On Sunday, October 8, approximately 70 people gathered to wrestle with the question, “What would it look like to be sold out to Jesus and be a dedicated disciple?” The meeting started with prayer and worship followed by discussing the following information:
Disciples of Jesus must:
*Believe the Bible is the true, inspired Word of God – even the verses we don’t like.
*Be devoted to reading the Bible and praying daily.
*Be obedient to the teachings in the Bible at all times.
*Be part of the discipleship group and not try to “go it alone.”
*Be supporters of other disciples – not judgmental or critical. We aren’t in a contest.
*Be willing to be misunderstood, ridiculed and even rejected by other people – even Christians.
*Allow Jesus into every part of our lives.
*Grow spiritually. People progress at different speeds – but we must progress.
*Quit making excuses about why they can’t do what God calls us to do.
Total Submission to Jesus
Jesus determines the requirements of our relationship. We don’t. (Luke 14:26-35)
*Disciples aren’t supposed to be perfect – just totally committed to Jesus. (Mark 1:16-20)
Submit 4 Aspects of Our Being to Jesus
Intellect – Jesus tells us what to think (Mark 12:30) …. and what not to think. (Luke 21:14)
*Additional Scriptures: Matt. 7:1, 17:25, 26:41; Mark 4:23-24, Luke 24:25; John 8:31-32, 15:18
Emotions – Our emotions should reflect the teachings of Jesus. (John 14:27)
*Additional Scriptures: Matt. 5,8; 5:28, 10:28; Mark 6:52, 7:18-20, 12:30; John 13:34-35, 14:27, 16:33
Words – The U.S. Constitution gives us freedom of speech. Jesus doesn’t. (Luke 6:28)
*Additional Scriptures: Matt. 5:36-37, 6:6-7, 6:31-32, 12:34-37; Mark 14:60-61, 16:15;
Luke 11:11-13, 17:10; John 16:24
Actions – Jesus has standards for how his disciples act. (Matt. 5:16)
*Additional Scriptures: Matt. 5:39, 6:1, 10:8; Mark 1:17; Luke 6:30, 8:21, 9:12-17, 10:30-38, 11:27-29; John 8:51, 9:4, 13:17, 14:12, 14:23-24, 17:6
– Jesus knows our deeds. (Rev. 2:2, 2:19, 2:23, 3:1-2, 3:8, 3:15)
Memorize the Scriptures – Our actions are a direct result of our thoughts. (John 15:7)
“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.” – Joyce Meyer
*Additional Scriptures: Matt. 4:3-4, 10:27, 24:35; Mark 4:24, 8:38; Luke 2:19, 9:44, 17:32;
John 8:31, 12:48; John 15:20; Acts 20:35; Col. 3:16; 1 Tim. 6:3-4; 2 Tim. 1:13, 2 Pet. 1:12-15; Jude 1:17; Rev. 1:3, 2:26, 12:17, 22:7
1) Read the verse out loud slowly 5 times.
2) Recite the verse 5 times.
3) Review the verse 5 times during the day.
Meditate on God’s Word – Meditating on the Bible allows God’s word to change us. (Ps. 119:11)
“Biblical meditation focuses on God as He is revealed in His Word.” – Ed Gross
Follow Jesus’ Teachings About the Old Testament – We are no longer bound by the written code of the Old Testament law. (Matt. 5:17)
Follow Jesus’ Way of Life – Jesus did the will of God the Father. (Luke 2:49; John 15:10)
*Additional Scriptures: Luke 5:16, 22:42, 23:46; John 5:17, 5:43, 7:17-18, 17:1-26
A) Make the Kingdom of God more important than our own kingdom. (Matt. 6:19-21)
*Additional Scriptures: Matt. 6:24, 13:22; Mark 6:8, 10:21-22; Luke 3:14, 12:15, 16:11, 18:24; John 2:14-16: 1 Tim. 6:17-19
B) Don’t seek honor from other people. (Matt. 10:22-25)
*Additional Scriptures: Matt. 18:4, 23:6-12: Mark 10:43-45; Luke 14:7-11, 18:10-14; John 12:24-28, 13:14-15, 15:18-20, 17:14
C) Be meek and peaceful. Don’t use force or power to get your way. (Matt. 5:5)
*Additional Scriptures: Matt. 5:38-39, 5:43-47, 26:51-52; Mark 9:38-40; Luke 6:29, 9:52-55, 10:3; John 6:15, 14:27, 16:33, 20:19-21, 20:26
D) Place God above other people. (Matt. 12:48-50)
*Additional Scriptures: Matt. 10:34-39; Mark 4:19, 10:29-31; Luke 9:58-62, 12:52-53, 21:34; John 12:24-26, 15:18-19
E) Don’t let works and obsolete traditions overpower true spirituality. (Matt. 6:1-7, 16-18)
*Additional Scriptures: Mark 7:1-23; Luke 18:9-14; John 4:21-24
F) Be obedient to anything else Jesus says to do.
Make Other Disciples – Jesus commands that disciples make other disciples. (Matt. 28:16-20)
We then discussed the following aspects of how discipleship will look at Snake Spring Valley Church of the Brethren.
*Discipleship isn’t a competition where we compete with each other. Some people may take 10 steps forward while other may only advance a step or two. The important thing is that everyone is moving forward in their relationship with Jesus.
*We offer support to others when they need it. We receive support from others when we need it.
*This isn’t a program that each person has to fit in to. Each person is unique. We want to develop a develop a discipleship ministry that helps each person grow in his or her walk with Jesus as much as possible.
*We want Jesus to lead us.
*Disciples aren’t perfect – just committed to Jesus. When we make a mistake, repent, correct it and keep moving.
*Don’t give up!
*Bible reading is a must! Disciples need to read the Bible at least 20-30 minutes a day minimum. Since we’re disciples of Jesus, start by reading the Gospels if you aren’t reading it now. The book of John is a good place to start.
*Do what the Bible says.
*Pray a minimum of 10 minutes a day.
*Pray about how we can develop a discipleship ministry that is beneficial in helping everyone grow as a disciple. Offer ideas and suggestions as we move forward.
We then discussed “How can we work together and help each other be a disciple?” Suggestions were:
*Prayer Partners / Prayer Groups
*Learn to listen to God – work with each other
*Support groups – people with same issues
*Encourage one another with new ideas
*Help each other recognize gifts and skills
Anyone who felt called to be a disciple of Jesus was asked to sign the following pledge: (Taken from Are You a Christian or a Disciple? by Ed Gross)
A Resolution for 21st Century Disciples of Christ
I, ________________ ________________, firmly resolve to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I understand that I am choosing to die to myself and to the world so that I may truly live in and for Him.
As a redeemed sinner, I belong to Jesus. I have heard His call to “follow me.” So, by a living faith in Him, I have repented of my sin and given my life completely to Him. This resolution means that, with His help, I will deny myself, take up whatever cross comes my way, and daily (day by day) follow Him.
I will follow Him in love, not in compulsion. I will love all others He has placed in my life and seek their highest good. I will seek to have His love rule in my heart at all times and venture forth in any endeavor for the Kingdom empowered by the love of Christ.
I promise, with 1st century disciples, to do the following: (1) to study His Word, (2) to memorize His core teachings, (3) to submit to Him by obeying His commands, (4) to follow His example, and (5) to train others to do the same.
I will obey His Great Commission to go and make disciples. I will prayerfully call others to join me as a believer in His gospel and a follower of Jesus, meeting with them in discipleship groups. I will also help those with whom I meet to join a biblical church near their home or to start a biblical church with other disciples.
I will allow God to use my eyes, heart, hands, lips and mind to worship Him constantly in prayer and praise while bringing the gospel message to others in words and deeds of love.
I will ask my brothers and sisters in Christ to hold me accountable to my calling and will do the same for them. Wherever and whenever I am convicted of sin, I will confess my sin, turn and follow Jesus again.
My resolution, though coming from my sincere and joyful desire, is humbly made with my total dependence on His grace to fulfill it in part and in whole.
Signature of Disciple: ______________________________________________
Witnessed by: ____________________________________________________
Currently we are in a time of prayer and discernment to see how God will have us to proceed.