How Much to Follow Jesus
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) Last Week
- Say Mark 8:34 (Topic, reference, verse, and reference) word perfect.
- Share one thing you marked from each of the last 7 days.
- What did God do about what we prayed for last week?
- Who did you share part of last week's lesson with?
- Share a highlight and a need from last week.
(B1) How Much to Follow Jesus
Mark 8:31-38 Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead. (32) As he talked about this openly with his disciples, Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. (33) Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter. “Get away from me, Satan!” he said. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
(34) If any of you wants to be my follower, you MUST give up your own way [deny himself - ESV], 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? (38) If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. NLT
- What is happening before and after v34?
- In verse 34 what are Jesus' 3 commands?
- "If any of you"
- Does this mean anyone, regardless of what they have done in the past, can become a follower of Jesus?
- "wants to be my follower"
- How would you describe what a follower of Jesus does?
- Would you agree that this describes what I follow of Jesus is? "One whose goal is to obey all of Jesus' instructions and to serve him well and is working hard to make good progress towards both of these goals".
- "Give up your own way [deny himself - ESV]" means to give up how how I want to live so I can live how Jesus wants me to live. This will require significant sacrifice.
- Can you truly follow Jesus without giving "up your own way"?
- "Take up your cross" shows the degree one "must give up your own way". Not only to the point of devoting very significant time to getting to know God and helping Christians to grow, but also to being willing to tell non Christians about Jesus even to the point of suffering physical or financial harm.
- "and follow me" means to actually learn and follow Jesus' example and teachings instead of calling Jesus Lord but not following his teachings (Matthew 7:21-23).
- In v35 what are we NOT to do and TO do?
- Is v35 another way of saying v34?
- Is this a good summary of v35? To give up our life means to give up our self-centered life so that we will be free to follow and serve Jesus and advance the cause of the Good News (gospel).
- Mark 6:12 "So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God."
- Do you think "for the sake of the Good News" includes witnessing (telling others about Jesus)?
- Matthew 28:19-20 "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them ... Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you."
- Do you think "for the sake of the Good News" includes making disciples (training to "obey all")?
- So is Jesus saying you have to be somewhat committed or 100% committed to be his follower?
- Do you think Jesus is saying you have to be 100% committed because that is the only way we'll be able to actually follow his teachings?
- According to Mark 8:34-37 how does one lose their soul (go to hell)?
- Look at #11 on the blue card (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.")
- According to Jesus why are these so called followers (they called Jesus Lord and did mighty works (v22) in his name) not going to heaven.
- Matthew 28:19-20 "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, ... Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you."
- How many of Jesus commands are even new disciples to know and obey?
- Is looking at how we spend our 'free' time a good way to determine if we giving "up our own way" to follow and serve Jesus and the Gospel?
- Matthew 10:32-33 "Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven."
- How does Matthew 10:32-33 help explain what is Jesus saying in Mark 8:38?
- Is Mark 8:34-35 a good example of how one makes Jesus their real Lord? Why or why not?
- Application: What will I "Give up your own way" TODAY/THIS WEEK so that I can spend significant amount of time both with Jesus and serving him.
- The next 10 verses on the blue card are 10 key ways of following and serving Jesus. Each one has it's own study.
(B2) Must Actually Obey to Go To Heaven: Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to me [Jesus], ‘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 Care Nothing for Our Lives So We Can Actually Serve and Follow Jesus: John 12:25-26 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 to serve Jesus what must we do?
- What does it mean to 'follow' Jesus?
- Is how well you follow Jesus' teachings how well you are actually following Jesus?
- In the next 11 weeks you'll learn how to follow Jesus well.
- 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.
(B4) 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?
- 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 Truly Follow Jesus" card will help you serve Jesus instead of your own desires.
(B5) The Incredible Benefits of 'Truly Following Jesus'. For each of the following verses: (1) What does God promise and (2) What is his requirement?
- John 14:21 "Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.” NLT
- Matthew 6:33 "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."
- Look at the promises (they are bold) in the blue "How to Truly Follow Jesus" 3x5 card #2, 5, 6, 8.
- To follow means to obey. If you only know and obey 20% of Jesus commands are you following Jesus? Depends if you are working hard to learn and obey the other 80%. Is that your goal?
- Truly Following Jesus will lead you to the greatest life you will ever live.
(C1) Memorize Romans 10:9 together
- Work at it until you can say it word perfect
In lesson 1 ask for committment to actually obey Jesus to seek him (#2-6 on blue card) and to advance the Gospel (#7-10 on blue card)
Matt 6:33, 10:37, Lu 8:13-15, 14:26-28, 33, John 12:24-25, 1 John 2:15-17, Ja 4:4
- If we want to make Jesus our Lord (by following Jesus), Jesus says we must actually learn and obey his instructions him. To what degree?
- That learning and living by his instructions is such a high priority that it crowds out our own desires.
- Being willing to even suffer for following Jesus.
- Are you willing to follow Jesus to this degree?
- The following 10 verses show how to follow Jesus well.
This study is for those who actually want to follow Jesus even if that means giving up their own way and suffering for Jesus.
- A true disciple must give up their own way (die to self-will), take up their cross (embrace God's will even to death) and follow Jesus (learn and follow his example and teachings). Do you agree?
****End with “What is your detailed application on how you will apply Mark 8:34? Ie., do Phil 4:9, Ja 1:25
(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.
Have them repeat the key thought of the lesson (and maybe the previous lesson)
(F) For Next Week
(F1) Memorize and review daily Romans 10:9. 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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