Want to learn more about Discipleship? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
Last week we finished our series of lessons on
suffering. We ended with a call to reflect Jesus’ love and sacrifice
for us in our dealings with others. What could lead more naturally
into our new series of lessons on discipleship? What does it mean to
be a disciple of Jesus? What examples do we have? What should motivate
us to be a disciple? Let’s dive into this study on discipleship and
begin to learn what it means to be a disciple of Jesus!
You have probably heard more than one Christian say “I
want to follow Jesus.” Likely, you have said that very thing. How
does that work today? In Jesus’ time, the disciples literally
followed Him around. What are we to do today? We learned last week
that the disciples’ original goal in following Jesus was self-interest. It made the disciples seem more like us! In what other ways
were they like us? What about rivalry among disciples? Did that exist
in the time of Jesus? Let’s jump into the Bible and explore how we
can be a better disciple now!
What did it take for you to become a disciple of Jesus?
What will it take on your part to convince others to be Jesus’
disciples? If you are not a disciple, what will it take to convince
you? Our lesson this week continues our exploration of how Jesus
called His disciples and how they responded. Let’s dive into the
Bible and learn more!
Admit it. Sometimes you just feel lazy. Sometimes you
feel comfortable and don’t want to change. Sometimes change seems too
complicated. Sometimes change seems not to be worthwhile. Recently, I
have made some very big changes. After 30 years of litigation, I
started as a new teacher in law school. After decades, the Holy
Spirit broke through my logic to show an area of sin in my life. I
repented and changed. My work change has been costly. It costs me
much of my free time, it costs me a lot of money because I now have
to rent a second home. It costs me time with my wife. As I write this
I’m laying in bed with a physical injury that I doubt I would have
had at my old office. Is the change worth it? Oh, yes! Jesus’ call to
us as disciples is a call to change. Let’s jump into our lesson and
study a group of men who were reluctant to change and follow Jesus.
Relax. We are not going to be plowing any new ground
with this lesson. Instead, we are going to study how women responded
to the call of discipleship to see what we (of both sexes) can learn
about being disciples today. The good news, ladies, is that the women
look pretty good in comparison to the men we are studying this week.
Let’s dive right into our study!
Solomon said that there is nothing new under the sun.
(Ecclesiastes 1:9) Racial problems are an old story. They existed in
Jesus’ time and they exist now – although in America they are at an
all time low. When I first moved to this area I was a member of a
church with serious racial issues. The one race predicted that the
other race would take over the church. After I left that church, I
came back to visit and preach. One time I recall walking in and they
had two racially segregated classes studying in the sanctuary. I sat
in the “wrong” class for my race. I recall preaching a racial
reconciliation sermon in that church. Afterwards, members from each
of the races came up to me and said, “I hope THEY were listening.”
It was quite distressing. Today, as predicted, the church is no
longer bi-racial. That is one answer to the problem, but it does not
seem to be the Bible’s answer to the problem. Let’s dive into our
study and see what the Bible says about race and discipleship!
In the last two lessons we learned that everyone is
eligible to be a disciple. What do we need to learn next to prepare
to be disciples? To prepare to lead? Let’s dive into the Bible and
I love to learn new things. Bet you do too. The great
thing about the Bible is that it is a bottomless source of new
insights. You can look at the same simple story dozens of times and
still discover something new. Our lesson this week suggests the joy
of Bible learning is not enough. We are supposed to actually put
this learning into practical use. It needs to change the way we live.
We might even have to refuse to do something we really want to do!
Does this idea apply to all of us? Would it be okay if I just kept
learning new Bible things and shared them with you? Can I leave this
“experience” stuff to someone else? Let’s jump into our study of the
Bible and find out!
Every morning we begin a new day during which we can
advance the Kingdom of God. Are you thinking of the possibilities for
“disciple work” each morning? What kinds of opportunities are
present? Is it enough to keep our eyes open to see what we can do to
promote God’s work? Or, should we be more active and search out
opportunities? Is it possible that if we are already doing something,
it is the wrong thing? Let’s dive into our lesson to observe some
disciples in action!
You think you have it bad? Last week I heard a speaker
who was a 14 year-old boy in Rwanda in 1994. His father was from one
rival tribe and his mother from the other. His mother died of cancer
and his father left the country taking him along. When other tribe
refugees noticed that the boy looked like his mother’s tribe, they
told the father they would kill his son. Sent back to Rwanda, the
boy was robbed of all his possessions. His family home taken by
strangers. Did I mention that he thought he would be killed about
six times? He is now 27 and a citizen of France. This boy was the
victim of more crimes than a small town in America would experience
in a year! When I was a kid my most traumatic event was acne. Let’s
jump into our lesson and discover disciples who experienced pressure
Where do you look when you are driving a car? The worst
thing is looking down while fiddling inside the car with your radio,
cell phone or navigation system. However, just keeping your eye on
the road is not good enough. You need to be looking far enough down
the road to anticipate problems. Is discipleship like driving? Does
it matter where we have our focus? Let’s jump into our study of the
Bible and find out!
When I started reading the Bible texts for this week’s
lesson I became discouraged. Jesus seems to give a test for believers
that I, frankly, flunk. Why don’t you join me in the study this week
and see how you do on the “test?” If you also flunk the test, I’ve
got an explanation that seems to counter the plain language of the
text. Let’s dive into this study of the Bible and see what you think!
We have come to the end of this series of lessons on
what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Let’s finish up this
series by looking at how we work together as disciples. What kind of
model for our work does the Bible present? Should we be selective
about our Christian “friends?” Should we “play well” with believers
that might not have exactly the right vision? Let’s jump into our
study and find out!