Follow Me Bible Study {Week 1} The Call

Satan would have loved for this study to go by the wayside. He’d have loved if we would have let the circumstances of the beginning of this (purchasing the wrong books, books almost being completely destroyed, and realizing that the online videos were more expensive than I first thought) deter us from what I knew the Lord was calling me to do here.  But, God!  God knows that there are people reading this today (even those that aren’t officially members of the study) that need to hear what’s going to be said.  So, we press on for the honor and glory of the Lord!

////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Follow Me Bible Study

Day One – The Cost

What’s the cost of following Christ?  Have you lost anything in your pursuit of Jesus or has it been a pretty smooth ride?  
There are people all over the world that are losing everything they have (their families, their homes, their lives) to follow Jesus.  I can honestly say that the gospel that I’ve heard all my life is not the Gospel that Jesus called his disciples to thousands of years ago and it’s not the Gospel that he’s calling us to today.  The Gospel call is not about praying a simple prayer, believing in Jesus, and returning to the life you’ve always known.  The true Gospel call is dying to everything we know and finding new life in Jesus.
What Gospel are we sharing with others?  The simple Gospel or the “die to everything you’ve ever known” Gospel?  Which one are we living?

The truth is, when Jesus calls us, it might cost us everything we’ve ever known.  It will cost some more than others, but it will cost something.  On day one, David Platt shares Matthew 4:18-22 with us where Jesus calls Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John to be his disciples.  What’s most intriguing about this passage is that they immediately follow him.  There are no questions asked and they have no idea what they’re giving up, but they’re obedient.  
Later on in Matthew 16: 24-25 Jesus tells them that they “must deny themselves” and take up their cross and follow him.  In Jesus’ day taking up their cross had great symbolic meaning as the cross was a sign of death (crucifixion).  It’s pretty certain that these men knew that what Jesus was calling them to wasn’t a simple task. So, why do we see it and preach it that way today?  Platt shares that all of these men willingly suffered for Christ’s sake.
How have you experienced the high cost of following Jesus? How have you suffered for His sake?  Are you willing to?

Day Two – Don’t Invite Jesus into Your Heart

I love how Platt shares the adoption of his son and correlates it with our salvation in Christ.  I’ve always known that adoption and salvation paralleled one another, but I never looked at the pursuit that takes place.  The fact that we sought out our baby girls (or the Lord sought them out for us and told us we were going to adopt them!), they didn’t seek us out.  In the same way, Christ initiates our salvation because we’re helpless to seek him out on our own.

This is the heart of Christianity, and we’re prone to miss it if we describe becoming a Christian as “inviting Jesus into your heart”. We don’t become followers of Christ by pursuing Christ or inviting Christ to do anything, for in our sin we’re totally unable to do so. Instead, we become Christians when Christ pursues us and invites us to follow Him.”    -David Platt 

Platt shares John 15:16-17 where Jesus tells his disciples that he chose them that they might go out and bear fruit.  It’s so humbling to know that Jesus chose me in the exact same way.  That He saw me worthy enough to do His work here on earth and that He calls me to the same task; to bear fruit.
Most importantly, I think it’s important to note that Christ chose us because our sinful state left us completely unable to want or desire the type of intimate relationship that God offers us through salvation.  My sin made me an enemy of God. It took Christ’s pursuit to make me new and acceptable before the father.  Salvation is not about what we’ve done to accept Jesus, it’s about what He’s done to accept us…that’s shocking grace!

How has God’s shocking grace impacted your life?

Ultimately, however, to be a Christian is to be loved by God, pursued by God, and found by God. To be a Christian is to realize that in your sin you were separated from God’s presence and deserved nothing but God’s wrath. Yet despite your darkness and in your deadness, His light shone on you, and His voice spoke to you, inviting you to follow Him.” – David Platt 

Day Three – Understanding Salvation

I think our churches are failing the people that walk through their doors.  Not all of them, but most of them, are giving people false reassurance when they tell them to pray a prayer, believe on Jesus, and you will be saved.  Not only are they falsely reassured, but they’re not being discipled, and they’re headed for hell because we can’t seem to share the true Gospel with them.

I think it’s pretty easy to tell when someone’s truly saved.  The bible tells us that we’ll know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:16), but we’re doing so many people a disservice when we give them false reassurance and don’t take the time to disciple them afterwards.

via

My hometown is home to one of the fastest growing churches in America.  Every now and then they’ll have a big baptismal service where hundreds of people come down to get baptized.  Not only does the sheer number of people being baptized alarm me, but knowing that there’s absolutely no way to disciple  every single one of those people makes me insane.  Knowing that hundreds of people are “getting wet” and trusting and believing that they’re saved, yet headed straight for hell is something I think we all should be concerned about.  American Christianity thrives on works (going to church, being a good person, being baptized) and so many are missing the intimate and personal relationship with Jesus.  We’re no longer teaching the repentance and renouncing of sin, instead we’re giving false reassurance when we encourage people to pray a prayer, sign a card, be baptized, and go on your merry way.

Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”            Luke 14:33 

Contrary to what many people believe today, Jesus wasn’t speaking metaphorically or exaggerating when he made that statement.  He meant what he said: that in order to follow Him we must voluntarily relinquish control over every aspect of our lives. That includes our possessions, our comfort, our careers, our family, our position, our sin, and even ourselves.” – David Platt 

We’re way too comfortable with our little prayers and false reassurances.  It’s time that the church stops watering down the Gospel and starts telling people the truth; that Christianity comes with sacrifices; some big, some small.  Because we’re doing a major disservice when we allow people to walk right back into the life they came out of believing that their eternity is secure in a false Gospel.

What have you renounced as a result of following Jesus?

Day Four – A New Creation

Isn’t it comforting to know that Christianity doesn’t require us to perform daily rituals, attain certain goals, or work for our salvation?  Christ has done the work for us on the cross and as Platt says, “Christianity stands alone among world religions because when Jesus came on the scene of human history and began calling followers to Himself, He didn’t say, ‘Follow certain rules. Observe specific regulations. Perform ritual duties. Pursue a particular path.’  No, He said, ‘Follow Me.'”
I know that the Lord calls us to rest in His work, but it’s so easy to get caught up in the earthly church’s expectations; dress this way, sing this way, act this way, put your church face on, don’t let the world see your flaws, your hurt, your sin.  Read your bible, go to bible study, attend all the women’s meetings, say your prayers…
While all these things aren’t bad (some of them are fruit of a healthy relationship with the Lord), I think we lose site of our intimate relationship with the Lord when we’re focusing on societal expectations for how we should act in the church.

We live in a world where every other religious teacher says, “Try harder, work harder, do more, become better.”  But not Jesus. He offers a burden that’s light. He offers rest. But the only way we can receive that rest is to reject superficial religion and instead look to God for the work of supernatural regeneration.” – David Platt

When we realize that we’ve been saved, cleansed, given a new heart, and born again we start to live like we’re new.  We stop striving for unattainable perfection and start living in the faith that only Christ can offer.

How has being made new (reborn) changed your perspective of how you live your life?
Day Five – Make Disciples
I know that the Lord has called me to discipleship, just as He’s called all of us.  Being a pastor’s wife, I know that I should be sharing the Gospel with others a lot more often than I do. Not only do I think that I need to be doing more, but I think the church as a whole needs to be doing more in regards to evangelism.   It’s so easy to get comfortable where we are and make excuses as to why we aren’t out telling people about Jesus.

The Great Commission
via

I think the main things that keep us silent are Satan, fear, and disobedience.  Satan, of course, would love to keep us quiet!  We let our fear of the unknown (fear of how people will react, fear of not knowing what to say, fear of not knowing enough) keep us still.  And, we’re often disobedient when we know that the Lord has asked us to go.  These three things are keeping us from sharing the One thing that’s changed our lives.  We have Good News and we’re not telling anyone.  Why?

What’s preventing you from giving more of your life to make disciples of all nations?

////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Please feel free to answer the questions in the comments and leave your prayer requests for the week.  If you’ve blogged about Week 1, please link up below and be sure to grab the bible study image to add to your post!  If you’re sharing on social media (FB or Twitter) please use the hashtag #FollowMeAtSTC

 photo Bible-Study-Button_zpsd20943ba.jpg


Check out this month’s featured shop!
The following two tabs change content below.
Christie is a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful little girls, a pastor's wife, and lover of Jesus. Her hope is that STC would be a source of encouragement for women all over the world!

Latest posts by Christie (see all)

Comments

  1. says

    Found you via prowess and pearls. The salvation portion spoke to me, as two people very desr to me are struggling with salvation so this reiterated what I tried to tell them. Thank you.

  2. says

    It isn’t always easy to know exactly what it is we are called to do. I think this is especially so in places like America. We have so many things calling for our attention that it is easy to fall into the habit of just wanting to be like everyone else. Thank you for the reminder that it is not enough to accept Christ and salvation. We also need to accept actually following Him.
    I’m glad you shared with us on Spiritual Sundays.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

We're eager to hear your thoughts! --Let's chat--