Grow Deep - Core Discipleship Edition Week 4
Week 4: March 22-28
Disciples of Transparent Clarity
Memory Verse: “He said to them, ‘Go into the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.’” Mark 16:15
When I was young, I was dreadfully shy and nerdy. I read a lot of books. Alone. My shyness became to me almost a visible label on my forehead. I became “an easy target,” ridiculed for my bookish ways and for being slightly overweight in my grade school days. I used to walk around the school on the sidewalk over and over during recess just thinking about how Jesus loved me, even if no one else did.
I wonder now if the teachers and Sunday School instructors at St. Jacobi ever realized the gift they gave to me. My faith and love for Christ grew ever stronger as a high schooler because of their encouragement and planting the seeds of the Gospel. In high school, I came a teensy bit out of my shell and discovered that there were others like me who needed a friend. That became my mission. I knew my past loneliness could serve others who experienced the same pain. Friendships grew; my world expanded.
Today I am a crazy 60-something who loves people, especially those in need. Nursing became my passion from the time I was 12. God has given me so much to share. Still, sometimes I have to talk myself into sharing my faith with others due to that shyness factor that rears its ugly head.
Do you have a reason to “shy away” from sharing your faith? Are you afraid to be transparent about who you are in Christ? Let’s all pray today that God fills us with the same desire He has for sharing His fulfilled promise in Jesus Christ. Ask Him to allow His Holy Spirit to embolden us so others see Jesus through us and are encouraged as we speak words that clearly share His everlasting gift of eternal life with them.
Sunday, March 22
Read: Mark 16:15
God’s people are given a purpose to proclaim the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Reflect: Jesus tells us, His disciples, to tell everyone about Him and proclaim the Gospel. How do you follow this command in your life today?
Monday, March 23
Read: Luke 24:45-49
In every Gospel we find the same truth: Before leaving this earth, Christ sent His followers on a specific mission to bring good news to those who had not heard.
Reflect: Proclaiming the Gospel, the good news of forgiveness, and the certainty of eternal life that begins with repentance is the “prime directive” of Jesus to His disciples. How will you carry on this responsibility in your life? How does the power of the Holy Spirit assist you in your mission?
Tuesday, March 24
Read: Romans 1:16-17
Fear of the world will not stop us, for we are not ashamed; we know that the Gospel is the power of life for all.
Reflect: Sometimes in this era of political correctness, we find it difficult to be bold in sharing our faith. How can we share the Gospel of Jesus Christ without fear or concern about what others will think?
Wednesday, March 25
Read: Mark 14:1-11
The plan of Jesus’ enemies was always to obscure and distract from the Father’s will Jesus had come to accomplish. The woman anointing Jesus’ feet brought the spotlight back to Jesus’ impending death, as she anointed Him for His burial. Instead of complexity, disciples learn to find simple, transparent words and actions that point to Jesus’ cross.
Reflect: How do circumstances even today serve to obscure and distract from the perfect mission of Jesus Christ? What can you do to point to Jesus’ love for everyone and His desire that all be saved?
Thursday, March 26
Read: Romans 15:1-7
We are called to live as Christ lived, which includes letting go of our own desires and living for our neighbors.
Reflect: What will it look like in your life to do what is “uncomfortable”? What do you need to ask God to help you to serve the weak? How are you encouraged by these verses to build up fellow believers instead of doing what you would “rather” do?
Friday, March 27
Read: Romans 15:8-13
In becoming a servant, we find hope, not just for Israel, but for all Gentiles, including us today.
Reflect: God sent Jesus in fulfillment of His promises to the prophets in the Old Testament. But it was not just for the Jews; it was for the Gentiles as well. How do we share the joy and the hope that we have as adopted sons and daughters of Jesus Christ?
Saturday, March 28
Read: Luke 14:24-33
The cost of discipleship is high. It costs us everything.
Reflect: When we follow Christ, it is “all or nothing.” Discipleship is not always easy. It can cost us relationships, jobs, money. When you responded to the Spirit’s call to be a disciple of Jesus, did you realize the “costs”? How do God’s promises give you hope, enabling you to share your faith with others?