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rocklife
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 following Jesus

This is not a complete list of "following Jesus," but it's a good start. The 4 Gospels, I believe, best describe following Jesus, (the whole Bible, too). I am learning more and more about obedience, and obedience especially to Jesus and His commands. Not that obedience saves us or makes us righteous, only the blood of Jesus makes a sinner righteous before God, but living to please God certainly includes obedience to His commands. Here's an article with some interesting points.

Discipling -- Teaching People to Obey Everything Jesus Commanded

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What Is Discipling?
Discipling is teaching people to obey everything that Jesus commanded using the methods of Jesus.

Mat 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, {20} and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

The word in Greek which is translated "make disciples" (matheteuo) is the verb form of the word "disciple" (mathetes). When used here in Mt 28 in a transitive sense, it means "to disciple", "to instruct", "to teach", "to enroll as a disciple". (The KJV translates it as "go teach all nations".) It is clear here that Jesus intended that after a person was instructed in discipleship of Christ that they should be baptized, and that he should continue to be taught obedience to the commandments of Christ. It is this continued teaching of obedience to the commandments of Christ after baptism which is most often referred to as discipling. Whatever it might be called, it is a clear command of Jesus, and we are disobedient if we neglect it. Discipling (by that or any other name) is not an option for any disciple of Jesus. Everyone must take part in continued teaching and learning.

John 13:15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

We should imitate the example of Jesus. Naturally, this would extend to everything he did, including his methods for teaching obedience to his commands.

John 13:34-35 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. {35} By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

John 15:12-14 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. {13} Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. {14} You are my friends if you do what I command.

Jesus loved his disciples. Loving someone starts with caring about their spiritual state and helping them get to heaven. Jesus helped the disciples in many ways to get to heaven. We should love the disciples in the same ways and employ the methods of Jesus to get them to heaven.

1 John 2:6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

We must do things the way Jesus did if we claim to live in him. This includes the methods that Jesus used to teach his disciples to obey all his commands.

The Methods of Jesus
John 13:1-17 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. {2} The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. {3} Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; {4} so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. {5} After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. {6} He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" {7} Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." {8} "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me." {9} "Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!" {10} Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." {11} For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. {12} When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. {13} "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. {14} Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. {15} I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. {16} I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. {17} Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

This passage typifies Jesus' discipling. He loved the disciples more than he loved himself. His desire was to serve them. Furthermore, he knew he was a spiritual man and had many things (everything!) in his life which were pleasing to God and worth imitating. So he put his faith into practice every day and let them see his example. After he had shown them his faith in practice, he taught, rebuked, corrected, trained, and encouraged them to do the same.

Explicit, Purposeful Relationships
Jesus made his discipling relationships explicit. He called them to follow him, they followed, and he took responsibility to make them into what they needed to be.

Call
Follow
Make
Teaching by Example
Jesus led by example. He never called his disciples to do what he would not do. His method was to show them exactly how to do it. He expected the same level of commitment and obedience that he had.

Live A Life Worth Imitating
Show Your Life To Them
Call Them To Do The Same
Complete Relationship Built on Love
Jesus loved his disciples first and foremost. People don't care about what you know until they know how much you care. If the disciples did not know that Jesus had their best interests at heart, they would not have accepted his hard teachings. In spite of all Jesus' teachings, sometimes his disciples still didn't get it. That's because spirituality is not a matter of knowledge, but of the heart. Therefore, he used various forms of discipline (e.g. training, correction, rebuke) to help the disciples take the teachings seriously and absorb them into their hearts.

Love
Teaching
Discipline


Explicit, Purposeful Relationships
Mark 1:17-18 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." {18} At once they left their nets and followed him.

Mark 3:13-14 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. {14} He appointed twelve--designating them apostles --that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach

Teaching By Example
Live A Life Worth Imitating
Luke 6:39-40 He also told them this parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? {40} A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.

Luke 6:41-42 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? {42} How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

James 3:1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Rom 2:17-24 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God; {18} if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; {19} if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, {20} an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth-- {21} you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? {22} You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? {23} You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? {24} As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

Show Your Life To Them
Spend Time Together
Mark 3:13-14 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. {14} He appointed twelve--designating them apostles --that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach

John 1:38-39 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?" {39} "Come," he replied, "and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.

Open Your Heart And Your Life
John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Jesus considered his disciples to be friends, and he opened up his life and shared everything he knew with them.

1 Th 2:8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.

2 Cor 6:11-13 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. {12} We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. {13} As a fair exchange--I speak as to my children--open wide your hearts also.

2 Tim 3:10-11 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, {11} persecutions, sufferings--what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.

Set A Good Example
Jn 13:14-15 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. {15} I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

1 Tim 4:12 Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

Titus 2:7-8 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness {8} and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

1 Tim 4:15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.

Mat 5:14-16 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. {15} Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. {16} In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Call Them To Do The Same
1 Cor 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

Phil 3:17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.

2 Th 3:7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you,

2 Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, {17} so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Tim 4:1-2 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: {2} Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.

Complete Relationship Built on Love
2 Tim 3:16-4:2 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, {17} so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. {1} In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: {2} Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.

1 Th 2:6-12 We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, {7} but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. {8} We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. {9} Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. {10} You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. {11} For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, {12} encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

1 Th 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

1 Cor 3:6-9 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. {7} So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. {8} The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. {9} For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.

God is the source of all spiritual growth in the disciples. But God has chosen to work through us, his fellow workers. Therefore, he is depending on us to sow the right seeds that will help people grow. People need many things in order to grow spiritually, and they can generally be broken down into three categories: love, teaching, and discipline.

Love
Love must be the foundation and the primary feature of the relationship. Someone will not accept teaching from someone they do not respect and they will not accept hard teaching from someone who does not love them. People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Whenever you have hard things to say to someone, ask yourself, "Will they still know that I love them?"

John 13:1 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

John 15:12-13 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. {13} Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Jesus loved his disciples more than he loved himself. This love is the foundation of any Christlike relationship.

Phil 1:8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

Jesus not only loved (Greek: agape) his disciples in a sacrificial way, he also had inward affection and tender mercy (Greek: splagchnon) for them.

John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Jesus considered his disciples to be friends, and he opened up his life and shared everything he knew with them.

1 Cor 13:1-8a If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. {2} If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. {3} If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. {4} Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. {5} It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. {6} Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. {7} It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. {8} Love never fails.

1 Cor 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Love is more important than miracles, knowledge, faith, zeal, and dedicated commitment. Love is the foundation of every spiritual accomplishment. Above all, love the ones you are trying to teach.

1 Pet 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

People are going to make mistakes. They are even going to sin against you at times. If you love them, forgive them, and persevere with them, the relationship will survive, and the sin can be put behind.

Teaching
Col 1:28-29 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. {29} To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.

2 Tim 2:1-2 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. {2} And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.

2 Tim 2:24-26 And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. {25} Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, {26} and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

The Scriptural commands about teaching, encouraging, helping, and correcting all fall into this category of teaching. Use the Scriptures to know the will of God and use life examples and advice based on experience to teach practical application of Scriptural principles. Don't get angry about something that someone did. Teach them how to do what is right. Before you every discipline someone, be sure you have taught them thoroughly.

Discipline
The Scriptural commands about training, urging, warning, admonishing, and rebuking all fall into this category of discipline. Discipline is necessary for anyone to grow, just like it is necessary for an athlete or a student to develop. Just make sure that you teach more than you discipline, and that you love much, much more than you discipline. When discipline is accepted, it should bring you closer as friends.


_________________
Jina

 2004/4/30 3:35Profile
moreofHim
Member



Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 Re: following Jesus

wow, you changed your nickname (from earlier post). Isn't it so great to have this hunger to know more of Him. It is evident in your post here. Keep pursuing Him. :-)

Satisfied in Him alone, Chanin


_________________
Chanin

 2004/4/30 9:55Profile
rocklife
Member



Joined: 2004/4/1
Posts: 323
usa

 Re:

I pray the Christian church will take Jesus' command to love others, especially the weak and even enemies seriously.
I've been learning recently how it really is only God who saves us and brings us to Him. We are so selfish and sinful it takes the power of God to draw us to Himself. I pray our works are not in vain, I pray when we obey God, He will bless our feeble efforts. This world is pretty secular, following after the sinful desires of the flesh. It's seen in countries that allow prostitution, allow child brothels, allow sex slaves (Thailand I believe does this), other countries allow harmful drug use (like cocaine), in others the military kills many openly, homosexuality is protected by some. I pray America will not follow other countries in this way, but if we allow secular forces and our own sinful flesh to lead us, we are going to invite disaster and death to take over.

Love is such a powerful thing that is not used enough. Do you know Marlilyn Manson? He is a transvestite satanic singer, very disgusting, very evil. I used to listen to his music as a teenager, I was interested in demons and monsters and disgusting things like that. I was taken to church on Sundays until I ran away from home at 16, but my parents just didn't pay enough attention (didn't love much), and I was enticed by the devil. Marilyn Manson went to Christian school for many years as a young person. How can that be? How can such an evil demonic person gone to Christian school and not be influenced by Christians? Why is he proud of being a Rev. of the church of Satan?
Again, it's only God who saves, but wouldn't a young person who went to Christian school be influenced a little? That singer hates Christianity with a passion. What happened? The church he went to should examine themselves to see how one who was in their care could have felt so ignored and unloved.
This isn't to condemn, it's to encourage us, let's love more and more openly. Not fake, superficial love. Teenagers especially, need adult, intelligent interaction. If they are left to the world for guidance, the world is going to use and abuse them. the other teenagers out there come up with stupid and dangerous ideas, I know because I've been there. When I was 19, my boyfriend (later husband) told his best friend and another girl (highschooler) to mess with her dad's tires so that when he would take his motorcycle out for a ride, it would hopefully mess up and he'd get killed. They did it, but it didn't work. They were happy about that. I just ignored that and smoked my pot. I can't believe how stupid I was, but when a stupid teenager is bored, the devil tells us to kill other people.
One easy thing to do is go on walks with your teenager, or a bike ride. Force them if you have to, but they will appreciate it secretly (if not at first). That's a great way to get exercise and have them open up. Just ask about school. Eat dinner together at the table, that will help ADHD. I have to belt my 3 year old son down in a car seat to sit still at the dinner table, but it works. It's teaching him patience, and eating together brings conversations. These 2 simple things can really bring your family together. The foundation for Christians is Jesus. Build up your relationship with Jesus first in bible time, prayers, then do for others. Pray with other family members, if it's embarassing or hard, that means you need more practice.

Thank you, Lord Jesus for forgiving evil people like myself. Thank you, please guide me and change me, and help me grow and mature. Please use me and help me be obedient to you, God. Lord, help me to love more and more, especially my family. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.


_________________
Jina

 2004/4/30 16:20Profile





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