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BIBLE STUDY - A FOLLOWER OF JESUS

 

 
 

 

How do we become a student, a follower of Jesus? Jesus makes it very clear, in His own words:

And He said to all, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

(Luke 9:23)


Jesus Clearly states that there are three pre-requisites to true discipleship:

  1. Denial of self

  • The first step in following Jesus is – is to say no to ourselves!

  • The choice of Christianity is not a choice between the devil and God. The choice really is between God and ourselves.

  • Theresa of Avila, states: “We do ourselves the most harm, when we do our own will”.

  • Her ministry companion, John of the Cross states; “We have three enemies: the world, the devil and ourselves – and we are our greatest enemy – the best prayer to pray is to pray – Jesus deliver me from myself.”

  • The paradox is that when we say no to ourselves and yes to God that we truly find ourselves.

  • The lesson of how God created us - (Gen 2:7) then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. Without the breath of God, we are nothing but a glorified mud ball.

  • When we deny ourselves as the source of our own lives, then we find God and realize that He is the source of all our lives. (Acts 17:28) “…for in Him we live and move and have our being…”

  • To deny ourselves, is to say Yes to Him, Yes to what He wants.

  • To deny ourselves is to cling to Jesus – the words of Claire of Assisi to Agnes of Prague: “…to embrace Jesus is to put our arms around Him, but often our arms are so full of other tings, that we are unable to embrace Him – the first step is to let go of everything else”.

  1. Take up your cross daily

  • To take up our cross is to live in the knowledge of our impending death.

  • To live with eternity in mind

  • The quickest avenue to humility is to contemplate your own death. Evagrius Ponticus writes; “…when the enemy of pride attacks, contemplate your own death and it will leave you humble, ready to serve the Lord…”

  • There is a fable in Greek literature of the fly who stopped on a chariot wheel after a long race, looked back and said – “my, my what a dust storm I am creating”

  • Moses wrote in (Psalm 90:12) “…so teach us to number our days, so that we might gain a heart of wisdom…”

  • When we realize that this life is short and that we are here to fulfill is His call, His destiny, His will for our lives. It is that perspective that makes us serve Jesus with all our heart – Jesus said in (Matthew 10:38) “and he who does not take up his crass and follow me is not worthy of me…”

  • Note that we have to take up our crass daily – live daily with this perspective that we will live forever.

  • Paul the Apostle, while in prison, facing his impending death writes in (Philippians 1:21) “…for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain…”

  1. Follow Him

  • To follow Him means to be with Him

When Jesus called the disciples He first called them to be with Him, (Mark 3:13-15)

And He went up into a mountain and called near those whom He would. And they came to Him. And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them out to proclaim, and to have authority to heal sicknesses, and to cast out demons.

  • How do we follow Jesus? We start by trusting Him, not merely His words, His actions – But Him!

  • We do that by giving Him our full control.

  • The hardest thing to give God is our future

  • When Jesus called the disciples He made it very clear that they had to follow Him, not a set out plan for the future.

  • Our fascination with Jesus with the future has made us unable to follow Jesus in the every day aspect of general life.

  • (Mar 1:17-18) And Jesus said to them, Come after Me and I will make you fishers of men. And immediately they left their nets and followed Him.

  • The idea is to follow Jesus every day – trusting Him for everything – including our future. He knows were we are going.

  • To follow Him is to surrender to Him, knowing that He will bring the best.

 

 

Copyright © 2012 Newborn Ministry