Real Life: Jesus’ resurrection

This past weekend at Eastbrook, as we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus our Messiah, we paused our series “Becoming Real” on the Sermon on the Mount, and turned to Matthew 28:1-10.

This passage tells the first part of the resurrection narrative, with the angel addressing Mary Magdalene and the other Mary before they first encounter the risen Jesus.

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire “Becoming Real” series here, as well as the devotional that accompanies the series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.” (Matthew 28:1)

The Dawning of Real Life (28:1)

  • Sabbath rest
  • The women
  • The work already begun…Jesus is already gone from the tomb

Announcing Real Life (28:2-7)

  • The angel’s appearance
  • The angel’s message:
  • Jesus was crucified
  • Jesus is risen
  • Go and share the message

Encountering Real Life  (28:8-10)

  • “Afraid yet filled with joy”
  • Bowing down to touch and worship
  • Go and share the message

Living Real Life

  • The living message of Christ
  • The unlikely who live with Christ
  • The charge to share the living message of Christ

Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper into Jesus’ resurrection in one or more of the following ways:

  • Consider memorizing Matthew 28:18-20 this week.
  • Share with others, both believers and unbelievers, about what Jesus means to you. Pray about who God would have you share with this coming week or month. Don’t just think about it, but actually do it.
  • As the weather improves, take a prayer walk around where you live. Pray for those who live near you that God would open their hearts to Jesus in new ways.

Real Faith: worry, trust, and priorities

This past weekend at Eastbrook, as we continued our series “Becoming Real” on the Sermon on the Mount, we turned to Matthew 6:25-34.

This passage speaks right into one of our most personal and constant issues as human beings: worry. I explore what worry is and what it does and doesn’t do. I also spent time talking about the power of creation in relation to our life with worry and our life with God. Ultimately, this is one more teaching that relates to the overall good life that Jesus outlines for His disciples in the Sermon on the Mount where God is the center and life is unified around God’s kingdom and righteousness. That is summarized so powerfully in one of the most memorable verses from the entire Sermon on the Mount, which is found here:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire “Becoming Real” series here, as well as the devotional that accompanies the series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

Why Worry? (6:25, 27, 28, 31, 34)

  • What is worry?
  • Why do we worry?
  • What does worry accomplish?
  • The difference between worry and work

What Preoccupies Us? (6:25)

  • Preoccupation with food and clothes (6:25-34)
  • Preoccupation with treasure (6:19-24)
  • Preoccupation with human reward (6:1-18)
  • The disciple is not preoccupied, but occupied with something else

Take a Good Look at and Learn from the Birds and Wildflowers (6:26, 28-30)

  • The well-provided birds
  • The best-dressed wildflowers
  • The care of God the Father
  • If that is true for them, then what for us?

Disciples’ Faith and Priority (6:33)

  • Living by faith in God the Father
  • Prioritizing God’s kingdom and righteousness

Making It Real

  • Perspective: the uselessness of worry and the power of faith
  • Provision: trusting God the Father for what we need Priority: living for God’s kingdom and righteousness first

Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper into Jesus’ teaching on real spirituality in one or more of the following ways:

  • Consider memorizing Matthew 6:25 or 6:33 this week.
  • Take some time this week to go on a walk or sit outdoors. While you do that notice the beauty of creation around you, especially the birds and the wildflowers. Let your consideration of them lead you into prayer, laying your worries down and choosing to trust God with your life. Perhaps you could use Philippians 4:6-7 as a basis for your prayer.
  • Consider exploring some of these articles on themes related to this passage:

Real Treasure: the heart and the life

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our series “Becoming Real” on the Sermon on the Mount by looking at Matthew 6:19-24. This brief passage explores what it means to have our interior and exterior lives unified in terms of what we most value and how that plays out in our material wealth and treasure. Our discipleship is spiritual but always must be worked out materially and tangibly.

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire “Becoming Real” series here, as well as the devotional that accompanies the series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…”  (Matthew 6:19-20)

Real Treasure (6:19-21)

  • The reality and limits of earthly storing up
  • The promise and possibility of heavenly storing up
  • The importance of the heart

Real Wholeness and Generosity (6:22-23)

  • The single eye
  • The bad eye

Real Dedication (6:24)

  • Divided loyalties
  • The power of mammon The calling of God

Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper into Jesus’ teaching on real spirituality in one or more of the following ways:

  • Consider memorizing Matthew 6:21 or 24 this week.
  • As a prayerful reflection on this passage, write about, sketch, or paint the visuals from this passage. As you do that, pray about your response to each image, laying your life down into God’s hands.
  • Look at your last month’s expenses, perhaps even checking your credit card or bank account statements. What do they say about what you’re devoted to and what has your heart? Consider this: if someone saw your account statements, would they know you were a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ or not?
  • Consider digging deeper into how our finances and discipleship fit together by reading one of the following books: Richard J. Foster, Freedom of Simplicity, or Randy Alcorn, The Treasure Principle.

Real Spirituality: three vital spiritual practices

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our series “Becoming Real” on the Sermon on the Mount by looking at Matthew 6:1-18. This passage builds on the earlier teaching by Jesus about surpassing righteousness (see “Real Righteousness”) by exploring three vital practices for spiritual growth: almsgiving, prayer, and fasting.

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire “Becoming Real” series here, as well as the devotional that accompanies the series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.
If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”  (Matthew 6:1)

Who Are We Living For?: The Audience of Our Righteousness (6:1)

  • Practicing, or doing, righteousness
  • The assumption: “When you give to the needy…and when you pray…when you fast” (6:2, 5, 16)
  • The hypocrites and their audience: “in front of others to be seen by them”
  • The real righteous and their audience: the Father
  • A word about “reward”

Giving to the Needy (6:2-4)

  • The way of deficient righteousness: announcing it for honor
  • The way of surpassing righteousness: secrecy in giving that gives for the Father

Prayer (6:5-15)

  • The way of deficient righteousness: public prayer to be seen by other or babbling prayer in hopes of being heard
  • The way of surpassing righteousness: secrecy in prayer and few words in prayer that rests in the Father
  • A pattern for prayer
  • Forgiveness and prayer

Fasting (6:16-18)

  • The way of deficient righteousness: looking somber so others see it
  • The way of surpassing righteousness: secrecy in fasting that hungers for the Father

Practicing Real Spirituality as Disciples of Jesus

  • Disciples put real righteousness into practice with real spirituality
  • Disciples practice real spirituality with secrecy and hiddenness
  • Disciples practice real spirituality for an audience of One

Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper into Jesus’ teaching on real spirituality in one or more of the following ways:

Real Righteousness: the old and the new

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our series “Becoming Real” on the Sermon on the Mount by looking at a very long portion of Scripture in Matthew 5:17-48. This long passage of teaching by Jesus looks at what it means to truly be righteous before God and in relation to others. Jesus has not come to abolish the Jewish Law but to fulfill it. He offers examples of what that looks like that are very important for us to consider.

You can view the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire “Becoming Real” series here, as well as the devotional that accompanies the series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”  (Matthew 5:17)

Jesus’ Arrival and the Time of Fulfillment (5:17-19)

  • Jesus and fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets
  • The continuing value of the Law and the Prophets
  • Real righteousness in the time of fulfillment

Different Pathways of Righteousness (5:20)

  • What is righteousness?
  • Moving from exterior to interior (Ezekiel 36:24-28)
  • A contrast between:
    • The old, deficient righteousness of the Pharisees and teachers of the law
    • The new, surpassing righteousness of Jesus and His disciples

Six Examples of Real Righteousness (5:21-47)

Theme & text“You have heard it was said…”“But I say to you…”
Murder & Anger
(5:21-26)
Don’t murderDon’t be angry toward others; instead seek reconciliation
Adultery & Lust
(5:27-30)
Don’t have sexual intercourse outside of marriageDon’t look at others with lust in your heart
Divorce
(5:31-32)
If divorcing, give the necessary certificateDon’t divorce in this way
Oaths & Vows
(5:33-37)
Don’t break oaths or vows used to convince othersDon’t use oaths or vows at all; just speak the truth about things
Retaliation
(5:38-42)
Repay injuries on par with what has been inflictedInstead of harm, help the one who inflicts harm on you
Love for Enemies (5:43-48)Love neighbors and hate enemiesLove and pray for your enemies

Living as Disciples of Jesus with Real Righteousness (5:48)

  • Disciples’ vision: the incarnate righteousness in Jesus the Messiah
  • Disciples’ power: the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit
  • Disciples’ goal: the completeness (perfection) of God’s character

Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper into this section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in one or more of the following ways:

  • Consider memorizing Matthew 5:17, 20, or 48 this week.
  • Take some time to prayerfully consider one or more of Jesus’ examples of surpassing righteousness. Let God search your heart and life about this. Reach out to a friend to discuss what you’re learning. Perhaps you could pray for one another about this.
  • Consider reading Dallas Willard’s article, “How Does a Disciple Live?” or his outstanding book The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God