(1) How to Make Jesus Your Lord
If any of you wants to be my follower,
you must give up your own way,
take up your cross,
and follow me. NLT
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(A1) These 11 verses and the studies on them will help you to follow Jesus.
(A2) Green text are scripture. Red text are questions. Purple text are quotations from commentaries.
(B) How to Make Jesus Your Lord
(B1) Must give up own way, identify with Jesus in spite of suffering and obey him: Mark 8:34-37 (34) Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you MUST give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. (35) If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. (36) And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? (37) Is anything worth more than your soul? NLT
- In verse 34, for one to decide to follow Jesus is the same as deciding to make Jesus your Lord.
- In v34 what did Jesus say one must do if they wanted to be Jesus' follower? (The first word of each action we are to do is underlined)
- What do those 3 actions mean?
- "give up your own way" - Jesus is explaining what it will cost us to follow Jesus. First cost is to give up (deny ourselves) our own desires (the things we want) and live to serve Jesus.
- "take up your cross" - The second cost is to be willing to even suffer persecution for following Jesus.
- "and follow me" - The third cost is to dedicate our lives to learning, obeying and teaching (Matt 28:19-20) Jesus' commands.
- In v35 what are we not to do?
- In v35 what does Jesus promises us if we "try to hang on to your life"? (the key word of the promise is bolded)
- In v35 what 3 things must we do to save your lives?
- What do those 3 actions mean?
- "give up your life" - Summarizes the 3 actions in v34.
- "for my sake" - The motivation is not for my benefit, honor, pride, or well being BUT for Jesus' benefit.
- "for the sake of the Good News" - Living to advance the gospel (the Good News). This includes telling others about Jesus (Acts 1:8) and teaching younger Christians to obey everything Jesus has commanded us (Matthew 28:19-20)
- In v35 where do those who do NOT do what Jesus is commanding go when they die?
(B2) Must Actually Obey to Go To Heaven: Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. NIV
- What must one do to have Jesus as their real Lord?
- What happens to those who don't have Jesus as their real Lord?
(B3) Must Not Love The World: 1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. CSB
- What are we not to do?
- What happens to those who do love this world?
(B4) Must Not Be A Friend of the World: James 4:4 You adulterous people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the friend of the world becomes the enemy of God. CSB
- What are we not to do?
- What happens to those who are friends with the world?
- 1 Peter 2:11 "Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls." What do our worldly desires do to us?
(B5) Must Care Nothing for Our Lives So We Can Actually Serve and Follow Jesus: John 12:25-26 (25) Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. (26) Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me. NLT
- In v25 what are we NOT to do?
- In v25 what will happen if we love our lives in this world?
- In v25 what are we TO do?
- In v25 what will happen if we care nothing for our life in this world?
- In v26 what are we To do?
- In v26 what will happen if we serve Jesus and truly follow (obey) Jesus?
- Do you agree with this summary? If instead of loving our lives we care nothing for our lives so that we can focus on serving Jesus (including following his commands) we will keep our lives for eternity AND we will be honored by God.
(B6) Must Serve Only God As Master: Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. NIV
- Who are we to only serve?
- What are we to call Jesus?
- How are we to serve Jesus?
- You can tell who your master is by who you serve the most each day.
- If you are serving YOUR desires then who is your master?
- If you are serving what Jesus desires then who is your master?
- These 11 verses on this "How to Follow Jesus" card will help you serve Jesus instead of your own desires.
(B7) Must Live To Make Disciples. How? By Teaching Them To Obey Everything Jesus Commanded: Matthew 28:19-20 (19) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
- What does Jesus command us to do in this passage?
- Are all followers of Jesus commanded to teach younger Christians "to obey everything I have commanded you"?
(B8) Summary: One makes Jesus their Lord by giving up their desires and safety so that they can truly devote themselves to learning, obeying, and teaching his instructions. This includes serving Jesus by spreading his Gospel with evangelism and discipling.
(C) The Incredible Benefits of Making Jesus Your Lord
(C1) Look at the promises (they are bold) in the blue "How to Follow Jesus" 3x5 card #2, #3, #4, #5, #8, and #11.
(D) Read God's Word Daily
(D1) For practice together read out loud sentence by sentence Matthew 6:21-27. Identify everything God wants us to do. If you are reading from a physical Bible you can hightlight
(D2) Matthew 6:21-27 (21) Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. (22) On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ (23) But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
(24) Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. (25) Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. (26) But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. (27) When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.
(E) How to Memorize
- Why memorize? So you don't forget. Because if you forget you can't do it.
- With repetition keep saying: "1. How to Make Jesus Your Lord - Mark 8:34" until you can say it word perfect.
- With repetition keep saying: "1. How to Make Jesus Your Lord - Mark 8:34 - If any of you wants to be my follower" until you can say it word perfect.
- With repetition keep saying: "1. How to Make Jesus Your Lord - Mark 8:34 - If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way" until you can say it word perfect.
- With repetition keep saying: "1. How to Make Jesus Your Lord - Mark 8:34 - If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. Mark 8:34" until you can say it word perfect.
- Three times a day say this verse word perfect. The first few times you'll have to work on the verse some until you can say it word perfect.
- Think about what the verse means and ask God for help doing it daily.
(F) For Next Week
(F1) Memorize and review daily Mark 8:34. Can you do this?
(F2) Study next week's (2) How to be Saved - Romans 10:9 training session. Can you do this?
(F3) Pray: This week what can we be praying for?
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