Abide In My Word
In this series of four lessons, we are going to focus on the four times in the Gospels where Jesus explicitly set forth the what-we-are-calling “Jesus’ Discipleship Requirements.” Four times, he would state an expected response of faith & add words like these: “to show yourselves to be my disciples” or “if you want to be my disciple…” Now, the most basic requirement that sets the foundation for these four is the simple invitation & expectation of Christ when he said, “Come, follow me.” That’s the foundation upon which discipleship is built. So, if you are following Christ, here is the first requirement of Jesus that will set you apart as a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
It’s found in John 8:31-32:
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, & the truth will set you free.” The New Living Translation, a contemporary language version says: “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.”
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF ABIDING IN HIS WORD? – WHY IS THIS A CONDITION OF DISCIPLESHIP?
Let me let Jesus answer these questions as he often spoke of the necessity to stay close to His Word:
Matthew 4:4; Matthew 11:28-30; Matthew 24:35; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 5:1; John 1:1-14
ABIDING IN HIS WORD HAS TO DO WITH ONE’S _____________________________ – in two ways:
- When it comes to the Word, we must have the heart of _____________________________. Psalm 42:1-2
- This, then, leads us to have a heart of _________________________________________. Acts 17:11
ABIDING IN HIS WORD IS ALSO BASED ON OUR _____________________ – our needs for the following:
- We need _______________________________________. For these three points on need, I will use seven terms that begin with the letter “I” to help you remember.
• ______________________ – this is the knowledge of the mind, for us to know & study the Bible.
• ______________________ – this is the relational aspect to know the Lord personally.
- We also need _____________________________________.
• ________________________ – to eat & drink from the Word, to ingest & digest for our strength & direction. As Jesus said, “not bread alone, but every word” & “my food is to do the will of God” (John 4:31-35).
• ________________________ – it’s sometimes said, “You are what you eat.” Acts 4:13
- Third, we need the Words of Jesus to receive _______________________________________.
• ________________________ – it fulfills our desire for things spiritual & proper motivation to stay focused on Christ in spite of busy & hectic lives.
• ________________________ – how are we to follow the example of Christ if we don’t know about his life, his character, his actions, his obstacles, his mission, his heart, etc.?
• ________________________ – this is the 7th ingredient based on need – a necessary step to fulfill the desires of our heart in choosing to follow him as Lord & Savior.
King David began the book of Psalms with these words, “Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, & who meditates on his law day & night.” By doing this, you will show yourself to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus – you will live or abide in his Word!
QUESTIONS & EXERCISES
For Daily Devotionals or Bible Study Group
- Give thought to (and discuss if in a group) the ramifications of what you think it means to be a “true” disciple of Jesus Christ. What are the basic meanings of that word? Can it be used outside of the spiritual realm to other master teachers or leaders? Is this term “disciple” a natural extension of following Jesus as opposed to a higher level of commitment to a select few (like his apostles, or leaders in a church)?
- Go over the phrases in four versions of the Bible used in the message. Which do you like best? What are some of the elements involved in the word “abide” in Jesus’ words?
- We are using this requirement as the first one Jesus mentioned and as our first in this series. In what ways is it central and foundational to other commands and expectations of Jesus? Several scriptures were used in the point on “Why is this a condition of discipleship?” Expand on this.
- The two elements that have to do with your heart is that of necessity and eagerness. What are some of the challenges you face daily in keeping the reading and studying of God’s Word as a “necessity” in your daily schedule? How can you develop more of an “eagerness” in the way the Bereans showed?
- Knowing our needs for knowledge (knowing the Bible and knowing the Lord, for spiritual nourishment, and to receive the fullness of God’s blessings, recap what each of these words convey: