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Tag: discipleship

Jesus: Following Him (Mark 8:34-9:1, part 1)

For the past two years I have said at the beginning of every other sermon that Mark is showing us what it means to be a follower of Jesus. He wants us to know who we are following and what it looks like to follow Him. We have observed Jesus calling the disciples to follow Him, Jesus revealing Himself through His actions and words, and we have seen the disciples obey and disobey, understand and be confused. We have seen them doubt and believe. We have watched them grow as followers of Jesus. They represent us.

Jesus has just finished telling them about the suffering, rejection, and death He must endure. He also told them that He would resurrect three days later. They did not understand this. They still had a lot to learn. Jesus told them about His cross, but now He is about to tell them about their cross.[i] Continue reading

Follow Me (part 1)

Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people” (Matthew 4:19, HCSB). That is a powerful statement and is packed full of meaning. There are three major phrases in that statement. 

First of all, Jesus says, “Follow Me.” A disciple is someone who has made a decision to follow Christ. They thought it through, have repented (which means a change of mind) and surrendered their life to Jesus. This deals with the head.

Secondly, Jesus says, “I will make you.” A disciple is being changed by Jesus. As we follow Jesus He changes us internally. We gain a new heart that begins to desire new things. Our values begin to align up with God’s kingdom. Our motives and emotions are reflecting God’s values more and more. We become more other-centered rather than self-centered. There is a distinction about us that says we love God and love people. Jesus is making us and transforming us into His image. This deals with our heart.

Third, Jesus says He will make us “fish for people.” Jesus saved us for a purpose. You have a mission. You have a ministry. You have a job to do in God’s kingdom. You have been created in such a way and have been given a spiritual gift that equips you to reach and minister to other people (Eph. 2:8-10). This deals with your hands.

When Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fish for people,” He was addressing their head, heart, and hands: what they thought, how they felt, and what they did. This was a call to total life transformation. Continue reading

5 Stages of Spiritual Growth

The Bible teaches that there are five stages of spiritual growth and everyone is at one of the stages. Knowing the stages can help you grow personally, help others develop in their maturity, and assist churches in creating a strategic plan for discipleship. Below is a brief description of each stage. Continue reading

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