Step 1 - How to Follow Jesus - Mark 8:34
Table of Contents
(A) How to Mediate Day and Night
- Joshua 1:8 "Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do." NLT
- How often do we need to Meditate on God's word so that we'll "prosper and succeed in all you do"?
- Memorizing scripture allows you to:
- Accurately meditate on it day and night.
- Accurately share it with others.
- To memorize the easy way (the least effort) overlearn it.
- To start, keep saying: "#1. How to Make Jesus Your True Lord - Mark 8:34" until you can say it word perfect.
- Then add the next phrase and keep saying: "#1. How to Make Jesus Your True 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.
- Then add the next phrase and keep saying: "#1. How to Make Jesus Your True 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.
- Must always say the reference (Mark 8:34) BOTH at the beginning and the end of the verse.
- To memorize this verse for life all you need to do is to review this verse daily for 2 months and then weekly thereafter.
- Almost anyone can EASILY memorize if they consistently follow steps 3-6. Only takes 5-10 minutes a day to experience the slow life-changing process of storing God's word in one by memorizing word perfect and then daily praying and applying it.
- Each day:
- Review Mark 8:34 until you can say it word perfect a few times.
- Pray this verse: Ask God to help you give up your own way, take up your cross, and truly and completely follow him. Also pray this verse for everyone else God directs you to pray for
- Ask God how today you can today give up your own way, take up your cross, and truly and completely follow him
(B) Share the Key Verse from Each Day's Reading in the Gospel of John
Discuss the key thought from each day's QT
Give up your own way
Take up your Cross
(B) How to Make Jesus Your True Lord - Mark 8:34-37
(v34) If any of you wants to be my follower, you MUST give up your own way (deny himself - NIV), take up your cross, and follow me.
(v35) 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.
(v36) And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?
(v37) Is anything worth more than your soul? NLT
- In verse 34 according to Jesus what 3 things MUST we do to actually follow Jesus?
- In verse 35 Jesus describes the 2 possible responses to Jesus' v34 requirements. What are they?
- Read v36-37. In v35 does "you will lose it" mean not going to heaven and "you will save it" mean going to heaven?
- Matthew 28:19-20 "make disciples … (20) teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
- How many of Jesus' commands are we to obey?
(C) Commands: What does Jesus want us to do in each of the following 4 verses?
- 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." NLT
- James 1:25 "But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it— not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it— they will be blessed in what they do." NIV
- 2 Peter 1:10-11 "So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." NLT
(D) Promises: In each of the above 4 verses in section C verses what will God do if we obey his commands?
(E) Daily Learn From Jesus and Change - "(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.” (Matthew 7:21-27 NLT)
- Read Matthew 7:21-27 carefully
- What are we to do? (see v21 and v24)
- Why are we to do them? (see v21 and v25)
- What are we not to do? (see v23 and v26)
- Why are we not to do them? (see v23 and v27)
- Do you agree that v24-27 shows the defining characteristic of those who go to heaven and those who go to hell?
- If we are to follow Jesus (follow his instructions) we need to DAILY study his word. Each day this week read the Bible for at least 10 minutes, and identify (highlight or mark) what we are to do (obey or know), and why we should (if a reason is given). This is what you just did with Matthew 7:21-27. Then meditate (think) about them during the day while doing you best to obey them. Highly recommend that you use this one year New Testament reading plan www.OneYearNT.com. In 4 minutes a day you'll be able to read the whole New Testament in one year. Next week come prepared to share one key command or promise from each day's reading.
(F) Break the Destructive Cycle of Learning and then Forgetting Joshua 1:8 "Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do." NLT
- What are we to do?
- What does God promise if we do it?
- Can we mediate on Bible passages if we forget them?
- Memorizing key verses allows one to remember God's key instructions allowing one to actually meditate day and night on them so one can actually obey them (instead of forgetting them). Then one will experience God's incredible promises that come with obedience.
- Therefore we will memorize a key verse weekly (which is a very slow pace). But we'll learn how to memorize them for life instead of just for a week.
(H) Application: 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."
- "give up your own way" means to give up your own goals and desires.
- "take up your cross" means to embrace God's will no matter the cost.
- "follow" Jesus means to give up your own way so that you can work hard to learn, remember, and do all of Jesus' instructions.
How much are you willing to follow and serve Jesus?
Specifically, how will you follow and serve Jesus this week?
- Think about and pray over this verse & study throughout today.
- Next week you'll learn how God says one can be saved.