Grow Deep - Core Discipleship Edition Week 5

Week 5: March 29-April 4

Disciples of Holiness and Suffering

Memory Verse: “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” 1 Peter 1:15

Think of a time when you had to make a decision between two choices. It might be as simple as where to go on vacation, for whom to vote in an election, or whether or not to click onto a certain website.

We make choices every day and are constantly bombarded by ads that say use this product or that one. It may improve your looks, improve your memory or health, or simply make your life easier. When we make our choices, we usually consider what is best for us. But does our Christian faith or God’s call to holiness enter into the decisions we make?

We live in this world, but as disciples of Christ, we are to be different. When our decisions are counter to what the culture tells us and we follow God’s plan instead, we are choosing holiness. It’s not an easy thing to do, but something we are commanded to do as a disciple of Christ.

Before you say a mean word, you stop and think! What would Christ say in response? That website looks interesting, but is it what Christ wants you to see? Your neighbor buys a new car every two or three years. Will you buy a new car because your neighbor did or keep yours a few more years? You don’t need something new every couple of years just because your neighbor upgrades. New things are not bad in themselves unless they lead us away from God.

Although He could have worn the best clothes, traveled in the most luxurious chariot, lived in a fancy home or eaten at the best restaurants, Jesus was obedient to God’s plan instead. He chose holiness and suffering.

Keep Christ in ALL you do in life... in thought, word and deed. Be holy as He is holy!

Sunday, March 29
Read: 1 Peter 1:13-21
The path of discipleship calls us to live differently from the rest of the world, to look different from the world around us.
Reflect: Think of a time you had to make a tough decision. Was your decision God-pleasing? Why or why not?

Monday, March 30

Read: 1 Peter 3:8-12
In the midst of suffering, we are called to bless others who do evil to us.
Reflect: Recall a time when someone treated you with disrespect. What was your response ... was it also unloving, or was it a blessing to them?

Tuesday, March 31

Read: 1 Peter 3:13-17
Even if doing good is causing you to suffer, remain steadfast and continue down the path the Lord has made for you.
Reflect: Name some ways you have shown respect to your boss. What are some ways you have shown respect to your spouse?

Wednesday, April 1

Read: Mark 15: 16-20
This scene of Jesus’ being abused causes us to shudder. We may wish to look away; we may be confused about why this was part of God’s plan. Our natural response as humans is to repel all forms of suffering. However, disciples learn to accept suffering to carry out God's plans and purposes in life.
Reflect: What picture do you see when you read these verses? Have you ever suffered verbal or physical abuse for being a Christian? If so, what was it? How did you respond?

Thursday, April 2

Read: 1 Peter 3: 18-22
Christ suffered more than we have or can imagine. Through that suffering, He has brought us life.
Reflect: Name at least one thing you have done this month that was counter-culture. Did you “suffer” ridicule or in any other way because of your action? If so, how did that experience grow you in faith?

Friday, April 3

Read: 1 Peter 4:12-14
Rejoice in the suffering that comes your way … not because you like suffering but because it provides an opportunity for the glory of Christ to shine amongst those with whom you have been called to share good news.
Reflect: Do your co-workers, associates or neighbors know you are a Christian? If they know you are a Christian, how were they made aware of this fact?


Saturday, April 4
Read: 1 Peter 4:15-19
In the midst of suffering for the sake of Christ, and not because of sin, your hope is in Christ. It is not in the here and now.
Reflect: How have you suffered this week for being a Christian? How did you give honor and glory to God in your suffering?