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  • THE JESUS LIFESTYLE

    p.01

    THEJESUSLIFESTYLE

    NICKY GUMBEL

    SERIES ONE

  • p.01

    NICKY GUMBEL

    THEJESUSLIFESTYLE

    SERIES ONE

  • Copyright Alpha International 2011

    The right of Alpha International to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988.

    First published 2008

    New edition 2011

    All rights reserved.

    No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

    ISBN 13: 978 1 907950 28 5

    Biblical quotations are from the New International Version, 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Inclusive Language Version.

    Published by Alpha International Holy Trinity Brompton, Brompton Road, London SW7 1JA Email: publications@alpha.org

    For many the Alpha course represents the first step in the Christian life and many new Christians will end the course asking, What happens next?

    The Jesus Lifestyle is aimed specifically at those who are starting out in the Christian life and is an excellent followup course to Alpha.

  • how to find the secret ofhappiness

    .01.......................05

    page

    how to change theworld around you

    .02..................13

    how to understand theold testament

    .03................... 21

    how to handleanger

    .04.................................29

    how to approachsex in the 21st century

    .05..................... 39

    how to respondto divorce

    .06........................... 49

    CONTENTS

  • THE JESUS LIFESTYLE

    MATTHEW 5:36

    Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

    Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

  • how to find the secret ofhappiness

    TALK .01

    Blessed: (Greek) makarios blessed, fortunate, happy the privileged recipient of Gods favour.

    Are we looking for happiness in the wrong places?

    Happiness is not dependent on our outward condition.

    Jesus teaching is counter-cultural.

    When you first read the Sermon on the Mount, you think Its impossible. Then, when you read it again, you think Nothing else is possible.

    G.K Chesterton

    p.05

  • True happiness comes from being depressed.

    Notthemedicalconditionofbeingdepressed, but rather being brought low, being weakened

    Jesususesthelanguageofparadox

    Becoming a Christian can lead to growing spiritual dissatisfaction.

    We fall short of Gods standards, and become beggars.

    Thekingdomofheavenflingsopenitsdoors to beggars

    Thekingdomstartswithadesperateneed for God

    True happiness comes from grieving.

    Jesus is not talking here about crying.

    Mournisastrongword

    Genesis37:35Jacobmournshis son Joseph

    Two mistaken views of Christian life:

    Christiansmustneverbehappy Jesus disciples should be

    absurdly happy

    Christiansmustneverbeunhappy There is . a time to weep

    ECCLESIASTES 3:1,4

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

    We should weep over:

    Sinsoftheworld

    Ourownsins

    Grief drives us into Gods arms.

    BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

    BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, FOR THEY WILL BE COMFORTED.

  • how to find the secret of happiness .01

    p.07

  • BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, FOR THEY WILL INHERIT THE EARTH.

    BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

    True happiness comes from being deeply dissatisfied.

    A desperate hunger and thirst.

    Righteousness is:

    RightrelationshipwithGod

    Therightrelationshipwitheveryoneelse that follows

    Jesus says if we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we will be satisfied.

    True happiness comes from being broken.

    Meek does not mean:

    Weak

    Spineless

    Feeble

    But rather:

    Gentle

    Unassuming

    Moses is described as `the meekest man on the whole planet.

    Submit to God.

    It is liberating to say to God: `Lord, Im willing to do whatever you want me to do.

  • how to find the secret of happiness .01

    p.09

    There is a progression:

    Weseeourdesperateneed

    Wegrieveoverourneed

    WegiveourselvestoGod

    Wedesirearightrelationship with him

    When we are in a right relationship with God, we are deeply satisfied.

    RECOMMENDED READING

    The Cost of Discipleshipby Dietrich Bonhoeffer(SCM Press, 2001) 978 0 334028 56 7

  • THE JESUS LIFESTYLE

    1. Would you describe yourself as happy?

    2. What is the difference between being happy and being blessed? What does Jesus mean by his use of the word blessed?

    3. What does it mean to be poor in spirit? How does this help us to find true happiness?

    4. How do we deal with being unhappy as Christians? What difference can it make to know Gods love in our hearts?

    5. What does a right relationship with God look like? Why would that make you truly happy?

    6. What difference does being part of a Christian community make to our happiness?

    1. Would you describe yourself as happy?

    2. What is the difference between being happy and being blessed? What does Jesus mean by his use of the word blessed?

    3. What does it mean to be poor in spirit? How does this help us to find true happiness?

    4. How do we deal with being unhappy as Christians? What difference can it make to know Gods love in our hearts?

    5. What does a right relationship with God look like? Why would that make you truly happy?

    6. What difference does being part of a Christian community make to our happiness?

  • how to find the secret of happiness .01

    p.011

  • MATTHEW 5:716

    Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

    You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

  • how to change theworld around you

    TALK .02

    Can we make any difference?

    Hugeneed

    Individualunhappiness

    Spiritualandmoralvacuum

    Jesus said we can change the world around us not by withdrawal, but by involvement.

    We should be salt and light in our immediate surroundings:

    Inourworkplace

    Inourfamilies

    Inoursportsteams

    Withourneighbours

    p.013

  • THE JESUS LIFESTYLE

    Dont put on a mask, but be transparent

    Integrity

    Openness

    Sincerity

    Authenticity

    We must be able to talk honestly and openly, and remove our Christian uniform.

    The pure in heart are the same in every situation.

    The pure in heart see God.

    Dont give people what they deserve, but give them what they dont deserve.

    The virtuous circle: we forgive because we are forgiven.

    Mercy is also kindness to the:

    Hungry

    Homeless

    Sick

    BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL, FOR THEY WILL BE SHOWN MERCY.

    BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART, FOR THEY WILL SEE GOD.

  • p.015

    how to change the world around you .02

  • THE JESUS LIFESTYLE

    BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS, FOR THEY WILL BE CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD.

    BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO ARE PERSECUTED BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

    Dontexpectanythinginreturn exceptcriticism.

    Righteousness sums up the previous seven Beatitudes:

    ArightrelationshipwithGod

    Arightrelationshipwithothers

    Christianity is still a persecuted religion.

    Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.

    We are in line with the prophets who went before us.

    Dontstirupconflict,butmake peace.

    It takes a long time to make peace; a short time to make tension. Many, many people make tension; few people make peace. Wherever you find tension, you must make peace. Nelson Mandela

    Peacemaking must start:

    Inourmarriages

    Inourneighbourhoods

    Inourchurches

    God is a peacemaker.

    As children of God, we are called to make peace.

    God loves to see his children getting on with each other.

  • p.017

    how to change the world around you .02

    We are not helpless.

    These are unique Christian values:

    Tobemerciful

    Tobepureinheart

    Tobeapeacemaker

    Torejoicewhenpersecuted

    They are the values that hold the world together, and they will transform the world around us.

    If we follow Jesus and live our lives in the way he teaches, our lives have a