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So You're a Disciple of Jesus Christ...

But what's that mean?

(this is a continuation of last month's study on membership)

1. Outside of the Christian faith, who or what gives you guidance in life? Do you have a favorite book that you read all the time, or a mentor, or an inspiring quote tattooed on your body? How has this guidance changed your life?

2. Read Matthew 4:19, Luke 5:27-28, and John 1:43. The simplest definition of a disciple is one who follows Jesus. In fact, if you read Acts, the disciples are repeatedly called followers of "the Way" (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22). What do you think it means to follow Jesus?

3. Read John 8:12, 31-32. To follow Jesus is to continue in his word, and apparently that word will light up our lives. What words of Jesus bring light to your life? Which words inspire you the most? Can you find those words in the Bible (use an online search engine if you need help)?

4. Read John 13:1, 34-35. Discipleship is more than some nice inspirational quotes. Jesus says to follow him is to love like he did. How would you describe Jesus' love? What does it look like in real life? Give specific examples, from the Bible, history, and your life, if you can.

5. Read Luke 9:23-24 and Luke 14:27. Jesus describes discipleship as "taking up the cross". What do you think it means to take up the cross?

6. Remember that the cross meant "death penalty" in the 1st century. Let's reread these passages with that in mind: If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and live lives worthy of the death penalty every day and follow me. Or maybe it should be: Die to yourself and all your personal desires every day. One bible paraphrase says: Self-help is no help; self-sacrifice is the way (The Message). What do you think Jesus really means by taking up the cross?

7. Read Matthew 25:31-40. Jesus gives specific examples of cross-worthy love. How do you take up the cross each day in your life? If you don't, how could you?

8. Read Matthew 28:18-20. Disciples don't just follow Jesus. They make more disciples. How can you make more disciples?

9. The Gospels and Acts describe Jesus' followers as disciples. The rest of the New Testament speaks of members. After doing both studies (last month and this month), which term is more helpful to you?

Bonus Activity

Watch the movie "Little Boy" together as a household. It's a movie that has a lot of wonderful moments in it, but also so very sad ones (it takes place during WWII, and partly deals with the pain of a father called off to war). Just a warning that the movie may bring up emotions in those watching. But the heart of the movie is about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus in our daily lives, and the story is told beautifully. After the movie is over, make a poster of the list from the movie (it should sound familiar) and hang it in your house in the room where you most often talk together as a household.


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