Discipleship, a new series is a journey I hope you will join me on. Being transformed into the likeness of Jesus, on purpose.
This series of 13 posts, beginning with this one, is a journey that I have felt called to embark on and on this journey I hope to share with you I would like to offer to you the scriptures that are guiding me and some of my own thoughts along the way.
I enjoy and felt directed in creating With Hope & Joy and offering a place not only to share with you my own Bible studies, but to also offer you a small inspiration for your own studies and walk with Jesus. I have always felt that my relationship with Jesus and God’s hand in my life were a private and very special reality for me to hold close like a precious treasure.
You may feel the same about your own relationship with our Father. As time and my own life has changed, I now struggle with the reality of the world I live in and the need I have to share God’s love with everyone. To share my own experiences, testimonies, and truth of God’s incredible presence in our lives.
The Word calls to me. It fills me with such comfort and joyfulness. As I was studying recently, I once again read from Matthew and Mark. This time, I was ready to hear what I was being told.
I want to take up my cross and follow Jesus. It is time for me to become a disciple of Jesus. I am called to discipleship. The joy and peace of being transformed into the likeness of Jesus, on purpose.
Is it the state of our world today? Is it the state of my own mind, soul and growth? Is it simply the overflow of the love in my heart? Maybe it is a mix of all of it. Maybe it is so much more. As I continued to read, study, pray and write I quickly realized that to fully share this amazing path with you, it would have to be in stages.
The Word is God speaking directly to each and every one of us. The Word is our daily bread of life. It lays out our path and guides us every day of our lives.
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their lives will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”Mark 8:34-38 (NIV)
Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for? If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I’m leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels.”Mark 8:34-38 (The Message)
So as in every desire in which I am new to, I immediately turn to the one place I know the answers wait for me. The Bible. We must always start with the Word.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.Hebrews 4:12
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.Psalm 119:105
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.James 1:22
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.Isaiah 40:8
As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.Psalm 18:30
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.Matthew 7:24
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.Matthew 24:35
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.Philippians 2:14-16
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”Matthew 4:4
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.John 1:14
As we meditate on these scriptures, reading them aloud, focusing on they speak to us, today, and where we are right now in each of our own lives we should also pray to our Father.
Praying to Him so that He might open our hearts and minds wherever they may yet still be closed or guarded. Praying to understand His words to us and praying for His Holy strength to allow us to carry the cross and to follow Jesus.
The transformation into the likeness of Jesus, on purpose, is my path to discipleship. And it begins with the Word.