Follow Me Bible Study {Week 2} Be Transformed

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Follow Me Bible Study
Week 2 Scripture Memory
I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:5
To follow Christ is to be conformed to His image as He transforms our minds and wills through His truth.  We bend to Him.  We adapt to Him.  Ultimately, we submit to Him as Lord.” – David Platt
Day One – United With Christ

One of the most important images that Jesus uses to describe His relationship with His people is the parable in John 15:5-8.  
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

The fact that the Lord wants to abide in me is so overwhelming.  To know who I used to be (and who I still am today), the thought of a holy God living, moving, and breathing through me is beyond anything I deserve.  If we would just remain in Him (His ways, His words) His fruit will be our fruit.  But, if we choose not to live in Him we wither and die.  

Even through my Christian walk and knowing that my salvation is secure, I’ve seen how time away from the word and prayer has led me to bad fruit.  I’ve realized that the more time I spend with Him, the more I look like and live like Him.  The fact the He gives me life and desires to is such a blessing!
It’s wonderful to hear Jesus say, “I will come to you” and that He “gave himself” for us. But it’s shocking to hear Him say, “I am in you” and that Christ lives in me.  To be a Christian is to experience and intimate connection with Jesus – to have Him live inside you.  Believers are incredibly blessed in this way.” – David Platt
The most intimate times in my walk with the Lord have been all three of our adoption journeys (one failed).  The strength and support through Jesus was so powerful during those times where I knew that I couldn’t do anything on my own.  To know that what Christ had called me to do was beyond my human capability allowed me to fully trust in Him.  My faith will never be the same because of how He proved himself in situations that I had no control over.  My prayer is that each of you would experience the Lord intimately in that way, at least once in your life. 
What has been the most intimate time in your walk with the Lord?
Day Two – Jesus Changes Everything

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:1-5

I am the Vine you are the branches

When Christ saved me seven years ago (this month!), He offered me the vine.  He completely changed my life.  He took me from a life of sin and death, to new life in Him.  He took away my sexual desires, my foul mouth, my love of secular music, and every worldly desire I’d ever known.  He gave me life and washed me new.
Yet we’re not the same as we once were.  When we’re attached to the Vine, Jesus lives in us and is with us; we live in Him and are with Him.  As a result, from the moment we accept Jesus’ call to follow Him, He begins to transform everything about us from the inside out.” – David Platt
Because of the transformation that takes place when we accept the call to follow Him, our minds are renewed and we begin to think the way that God thinks.  As John 15:7 says, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” The Lord isn’t granting our “wishes”, He’s transforming our minds to desire what He desires for us.  When we’re desiring what He desires for us, it’s simple for the Lord to answer!

If Jesus has changed everything about us, we should be living like He has.  We should be living set apart from the world.  People should be able to tell that we’re different, that we belong to a holy God, and that who we once were is no more because of Him!

But, we’re in this process of sanctification (already, but not yet!) and we’re a work in progress.  Therefore, we are tempted, we do fall, and we do have desires that keep us from an intimate relationship with the Vine.  As Christians, we have to always be aware of what we’re allowing to consume us.  Is the internet becoming an idol?  Is the music you’re listening to honoring to the Lord?  Are the TV shows you’re watching impacting your thoughts?  

We have to hold every thought and action captive so that our affections aren’t taken away from Jesus.

We move past these false desires only when Jesus transforms our affections.  We begin to hate the things of this earth that we once loved.  More importantly, we begin to love the things of God that we once hated.“- David Platt
How has Jesus changed everything about you?
Day Three – From Internal to External

I mentioned the word sanctification a little earlier.  Sanctification is the process of being made holy.  We all know that at the moment of salvation, that we’re saved, we’re sealed, and there’s no losing that.  But, we are a work in progress.  That means that until we meet Christ we’re being sanctified.  The process of sanctification is an internal to external process.  The Lord transforms our heart, our minds, and then our actions.  
It’s only through Jesus’ transformational work that our wills become aligned with His will, and therefore our actions become aligned with His actions.” – David Platt
I am so in need of the Lord’s sanctifying and transformational work in my life.  I argue too much, I yell too often, I don’t love others the way I should, and a whole host of other things.  But, it’s so comforting to know that the Lord has promised to bring what He started (me!) to completion (Philippians 1:6).

The more the Lord changes my heart, mind, and actions, the more in tune I become with His will for my life!  To know that He so intimately cares for me is so overwhelming.  To know that the God that we serve is so personal that He’d spend a lifetime working on us to mold us and make us into His image.  Wow!  What other god offers such a loving and thoughtful relationship? There isn’t one!
Not only does He transform our will for our lives, but He transforms our relationships and our purpose! I can’t even begin to explain to you the way the Lord has changed the relationships with my immediate family over the last seven years.  Not only am I more caring, loving, and in-tune with others needs, but I’ve seen their relationships with Him grow as a result of my love for Him!  He’s also changed my purpose for my life.  What I used to think was my purpose now seems like the craziest idea ever…because it wasn’t His purpose for my life!
If we’d all just love the Lord with all of our hearts, souls, minds, and strength and ask for Him to change our lives completely, we’d realize that the call to follow Him is one of the greatest gifts anyone can ever receive.
To follow Jesus is to be transformed from the inside out.  The way you think becomes totally different from the rest of the world.  What you desire becomes different from the rest of the world.  Your will, your relationships, even your entire purpose for living is turned upside down as you abide in Jesus and as He abides in you.” – David Platt

Day Four – Abide in God’s Word

To remain connected with Christ and experience His transformation, we must continually encounter His word.  We must read His word in order to understand it, we must understand it in order to believe, and we must believe it in order to obey.  What this really means on a practical basis is that we submit our lives to the Scriptures.” – David Platt
The main question is; do you believe that the Bible is true?  Do you believe that the Bible is God’s word?  Do you believe that it’s His law and what we must live by?
Q always says, “If this isn’t true we can just pack our bags and go home!”  What are you living for if you really don’t believe God’s word is truth?  On the other hand, if we do believe it to be true, are we living like it?
Now if we’ve chosen to believe and live the word, Christ has offered us joy and friendship with God. I don’t know about you, but to be called a “friend of God” is a title I feel completely unqualified for.  To know that the God of the universe cares for and wants an intimate friendship with me is beyond my comprehension!
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my FatherI have made known to you.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
John 15:12-16

Knowing that the Lord loves me so intimately offers me solace in knowing that my belief in and proclamation of His word will set me apart from the world.  Being persecuted is something that none of wish to face, but I believe it’s something we all need to be prepared for and willing to suffer through for His honor and glory.  He was hated and crucified for me.  The least I can do is proclaim His name, no matter the cost.

The call from Christ is clear: believe My Word, obey My Word, and proclaim My Word, even when it costs your life.

Day Five – Personal Disciple-Making Plan: Fill Your Mind with Truth

We have struggled with infertility for almost six years.  Like, Platt and his wife, we know all too well the pain of not being able to conceive.  Platt states that the same desire to have children should be the same desire Christians have to see others come to know Christ.  To see the family of God multiply should be on the hearts of us all.  
Is that your heart?  Do you have a heart for evangelism or are you content in your faith?
I can honestly say that I am not reproducing the way that I feel that I should be.  I am not sharing Christ’s love and Gospel in my every day life the way I should be.  I know that so many people around me are hurting and I have the anecdote to every one of their ailments; Jesus!  But, fear holds me back and others continue to hurt because I don’t tell them about the One who loves them more than they’ll ever know.
In order to reach others, our relationship with the Lord needs to be a healthy one.  In order to have a healthy relationship with the Lord we need to “fill our mind with truth”.  Platt gives us three questions to help us intentionally fill our minds with His truth:
1.  How will you read God’s word? — do you have a bible reading plan to be able to tackle God’s word head on?
2.  How will you memorize God’s word? — commit to memorizing one scripture a week.  Write it down during your daily bible reading and stick it in your pocket.  Occasionally pull it out throughout the day and look at it to help you remember.  The more and more you read and memorize, the bigger your arsenal of God’s word you’ll have when you’re sharing your faith with others.
3.  How will you learn God’s word from others? — The bible tells us not to forsake the gathering of His people (Hebrews 10:25) for this reason — that we might learn from and encourage one another.  
Let’s take what we’ve learned this week, reflect on how the Lord has changed our lives, and use it to share Christ’s love and Gospel with others!
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Please feel free to answer the questions in the comments and leave your prayer requests for the week.  If you’ve blogged about Week 2, 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!

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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!

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