Grow Deep - The Brand New Edition week 4
Week4: January 26 – February 1
A Brand New Call
Memory Verse: “‘Come, follow Me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed Him.” Matthew 4: 19 - 20
As a kid, my mom often called me … to come in for dinner, to get ready for church, to get in the house right now because I was in trouble! Whatever the reason, mom needed my attention … immediately. She expected me to stop what I was doing and respond to her. And when her shout, her call, had a loud, high-pitched tone of authority, I did instantly stop what I was doing whether I was playing outside, watching TV, or fighting with my brother. I knew I had to obey her urgent command (well, most of the time anyway!). Mom’s call was directed to me specifically and was for a specific reason. There were to be no questions asked about why she called me or why I needed to do what she wanted. She just expected me to obey and follow her command.
Jesus called each of His disciples specifically. He called; they followed immediately, without hesitation. They followed into an unknown future, trusting in this man called Jesus. They left their everyday lives behind and accepted His brand new, life-changing call.
In his writing, St. Paul teaches about our responsibilities as called Christians, followers of Jesus. When the Holy Spirit calls us, tugs at our hearts, He gets our attention. When we respond, we “drop” our old sinful way of life and follow immediately.
Just like the disciples, our calling is a tough job. Everyday we struggle with sin and challenges and hardships. But as part of our brand new, life-changing call, our summons to be a disciple of Jesus, He brings us into God’s family. He places us in community with God’s people to experience the joy and peace of a future with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
Sunday, January 26
Read: Matthew 4:12-25
The disciples left everything and followed Jesus. This is our response to the presence and call of Jesus.
Reflect: Why do you respond and obey your calling to be a disciple of Jesus? How did you come to Jesus ... was it because your parents brought you to be baptized as an infant? A friend told you about Jesus? A circumstance in your life led you to seek Him? Why do you still follow Jesus today?
Monday, January 27
Read: Mark 10:28-31
The call of Jesus is not an easy one. It promises persecution and hardship. But it also promises blessings both here and in eternal life.
Reflect: How does being a disciple of Jesus affect your everyday life? Like the disciples, what do you give up to follow Jesus? What is your responsibility as a disciple of Jesus?
Tuesday, January 28
Read: John 15:12-17
The brand new call comes from Jesus. We did not choose to follow Him; He loves us; He chose us.
Reflect: What did Jesus teach us about love? What love does Jesus have for us? How do you show the love of Jesus to your family, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers and even to strangers?
Wednesday, January 29
Read: 1 Peter 2:9-12
We have been called out of the darkness, called into the Light to be something different in the world.
Reflect: Peter tells us that as followers of Jesus we are to lead exemplary lives. People all around us watch us everyday … how we act, what we say, what we do. How do you live an exemplary life, a life that is brand new everyday for Jesus?
Thursday, January, 30
Read: 1 Corinthians 7:17-24
Our brand new call into the family of God is total and complete, but it does not mean we abandon our current relationships. God, when He called us, placed us in specific roles and relationships so that we might labor for Him in those very places.
Reflect: How do you use your life circumstances, your family situation, your job, your time with friends or neighbors to tell them about Jesus?
Friday, January, 31
Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
Even as we are placed in the world and told not to lose those relationships, we are called to live in a brand new way … to live a life different from the world around us.
Reflect: What are some of Paul’s specific instructions about living out our calling as disciples of Jesus? What does Paul say in some of his other writings about our responsibility as disciples? How did Paul show in his life that he was a called follower of Jesus?
Saturday, February 1
Read: John 14:15-21
Jesus makes a promise that He will not leave us alone, even after His ascension into heaven.
Reflect: What is exciting for you about Jesus’ promise to be with you through the Holy Spirit in you? What does that mean to you? How does that affect the way you live your life?