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Are You Willing to Be a Hero? Are you willing to be a disciple?
Are you willing to accomplish great things?
Make an Informed Decision
You must consider the cost of being a disciple of Jesus.
Luke 14:26-35 - As a disciple, you must be willing to give-up everything. You must decide whether or not you are willing to do this.
You must also consider the cost of NOT being a disciple.
Matthew 16:25-27 - What benefit is it, to gain the entire world, yet lose your soul? On the Day of Judgment, what will you be able to give, in exchange for your soul?
What type of foundation do you want for your life?
Matthew 7:24-27 - The contrast between the wise and the foolish builder: An illustration showing the difference between those who hear and obey Jesus, and those who don't.
You've heard what the Bible says. There are four ways you can respond.
Jesus describes these four ways in a parable about a farmer who was planting seed: Matthew 13:1-15; Mark 4:1-12; Luke 8:4-10
Describe the 4 types of hearers. Write down the differences between:
- the one who doesn't understand.
- the one who temporarily accepts ("believes") the good news.
- the one who seems to accept the good news, but who is preoccupied with other things in life.
- the one who accepts the good news and has a fruitful life.
What is the end result for each type of hearer? Which is the disciple?
REMEMBER: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." (These words were written by Jim Elliot, a missionary who was killed by headhunters in Ecuador.)
Respond God's Offer of Salvation
The reason you have this opportunity: It is because of his kindness, love and patience.
Matthew 5:44-45 - God shows kindness even to those who choose to be his enemies.
Romans 2:4 - He does this in an attempt to lead them to salvation.
2 Peter 3:9 - He patiently offers them the opportunity to turn to him.
The fact that this offer of salvation will not last forever.
Romans 2:5-6 - His righteous judgment will eventually result in wrath against those who reject him.
Romans 1:28-32 - When people reject God, God may "give them over" to their sins.
Acts 28:26-28 - When people hardened their hearts, they lost the ability to turn to God. And so God turned away from them, and offered the good news of salvation to others. (This theme occurs several times in the New Testament, as well in the Old Testament.)
**Don't let this happen to you.**
Remembering what being a disciple is all about (Reviewing the things emphasized in Parts 1, 2, and 3 in this study).
The way of the disciple has been described as an adventure.
What does it mean to be a disciple?
Why is it described as an adventure? (Also: Why do some people not consider it an adventure?)
The way of the disciple requires making a choice: To become one, you must choose to do so.
How can you become one? (The focus here is on YOUR responsibility. It does not deny the role God has in accomplishing the changes.)
The way of the disciple requires a change - you have a responsibility to learn from Jesus, to be his follower.
If you accept the way of the disciple, how will that affect your life?
The way of the disciple will require you to go against the ways (and views) of the world.
How does the world's view of being a hero (or being a success) contradict the Bible?
1. Which type of hearer are you?
2. Having examined what it means to be a disciple, are you one, according to the Bible?
If "NO": If you are NOT a disciple, you must decide whether or not to become one.
Remember that NOT making a decision IS making a decision to say "No."
If "YES": If you are a disciple, there are also things you must decide.
Are there weaknesses or sins you need to stop yielding to?
- Are there strengths you need to reinforce?
Remember that if you are not interested in becoming more like Jesus, it's possible that you might not actually be a disciple.
** The choice is yours. **
Psalm 131 reflects the heart of a disciple. As one of God's "heroes," he may accomplish great things, but these are not his his consuming passion or his ultimate goal in life. His goal is to rest in God, and to trust God to accomplish through him the great things that he, by himself, could never do.
LORD, my heart is not filled with proud ambitions;
my eyes are not lifted up in arrogance:
I do not preoccupy myself with heroic exploits
and mighty accomplishments.
But I have calmed and quieted my restless soul,
content like a child resting in its mother's arms.
My soul is like a contented, resting child.
O Israel, be content to put your hope in the LORD,
both now and forevermore.
Dennis Hinks © 1999 (including translation of Ps. 131)