The Meaning of Discipleship
The essence of discipleship is relationship.
John 1:35-51; 6
In Jesus' day, all kinds of people had disciples. Two of the Greek words that were in common use at that time were didaskalos, which means teacher, and mathetes, which means pupil or disciple. Now it was impossible for a didaskalos to be a teacher unless he had mathetes. It was equally impossible to be a mathetes unless you had a teacher. It was the relationship between mathetes and didaskalos, between pupil and teacher, that was the essence of discipleship. In other words, the essence of discipleship is relationship. This Bible discussion focuses upon discipleship—the dynamic relationship into which Jesus invites us. John 1:35-51 will guide the way.
The Lifestyle of a Believer
Understanding God's love for us empowers us to love others with that same love.
"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." If I take seriously the love of God and begin to imitate him, that will affect my lifestyle. By the same token, if I take seriously the wrath of God and deal with it, that will also change my lifestyle in a hurry. Ephesians 5:1-21 explores the truth of God's love and God's wrath, and the effects they should have upon our lifestyles as believers.
What to Do While Life Is Happening
Life happens, but we can be grateful for Christ's forgiveness.
People were going about their lives, and then the earthquake came. It just happened. People went to work this week and were called into the boss's office and were fired. It just happened. A woman went to her mailbox, leafed through the mail, and found divorce papers. Somebody else got a phone call from a doctor, who was reporting the results of a loved one's biopsy. These things just happened. Life just happens. There are all kinds of things going on that you can do absolutely nothing about. The problem, of course, is that it isn't just that life happens but that there is something inside us that has a tendency to make things happen badly, too. If we simply allow life to happen and allow this inner bias to happen as well, all kinds of problems can develop. How do we live well in this unpredictable world? This Bible discussion explores the answers found in Luke 7:36-50.
Ordinary Folks Make Great Disciples
A disciple learns and applies what Christ says.
Let's stop talking about what Christians should call themselves and go back to using a term that was in vogue long before Christian was ever invented. This is what the Bible says: "The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." Let's stop all this adjectival Christianity and just decide whether we are disciples of Jesus Christ. This Bible discussion describes the very out of-the-ordinary life of an ordinary disciple, from Mark 8:27-38.
Handling Your Insecurities
God's promises provide a secure anchor for the soul.
Whenever people come together, they usually look for the security they cannot find individually. Inferiority, inadequacy, and insecurity all go together. When you look at what it means to be a human being, you wonder how anyone could feel secure. You can't even count on your next minute or your next breath. This study discusses God's provision for our security, from Hebrews 6:13-20.
Total number of pages—42
Stuart Briscoe is the former senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin. He has written more than 40 books and founded the media ministry Telling the Truth, which continues to reach out daily around the world (tellingthetruth.org).