Discipleship: Following Jesus (part 3)

Some people say they try to follow the “teachings” of Jesus. But listen closely, they may mean they respect what He said but they don’t know Him – or really follow Him.

Our vision of discipleship is a daily relationship with the living Lord. We treasure His teachings as we trust His indwelling power to give us what we need to follow Him. He walks with us and lives resurrection life in us.

So as we ask: “how do we follow Him when we can’t physically see Him?”

We find His answer is the indwelling Spirit. Look what the Scripture says:

“If (since) we live by the Spirit —let us also keep in step with the Spirit”

Discipleship: Following Jesus (Part 2)

When Jesus called His first disciples He said:

  • Follow Me, (be with Him)
  • I will make you (changed by Him)
  • Fishers of men (join His mission)

We’re asking the question: is the invitation still to “follow Him” even though He physically left planet earth?

Looking at the end of John’s gospel sheds some light. Jesus has been raised from the dead and is about to leave. In His last words to Peter He still says “follow Me.” (Jn 21:22)

It seems clear that the plan is still following. Not figuring it out on out own. But a relationship – with Him.

We still need to ask: how do we follow Him when we can’t physically see Him?

Jesus told the disciples the Spirit would be “in” them.

Next time, lets start looking at how His Spirit works in us as we learn to follow. (Gal. 5:25)

Discipleship: Following Jesus

This summer we are taking a deeper look at discipleship.

Matthew 4:19 is a working definition of what it means to be a disciple.

Jesus said: “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt 4:19)

  • Follow Me (walk with Jesus)
  • I will make you (changed by Jesus)
  • Fishers of men (join His mission)

How do we follow Jesus when He is not here? Yes, God is everywhere- but you know what I mean, right? When Jesus called these disciples to follow Him, He was physically here on earth. They could actually, physically, see Him and walk with Him.

Are we still called to “follow Him?”

Let’s think about it this week. Is it mainly following His teachings or are we really called to follow Him?

Consider 5

As 2021 begins, I’d like to challenge to join us in reading through the NT this year. The key number is 5

  • 5 days a week
  • 5 chapters a week (1 each day)
  • 5 minutes a day

Catch up on the weekends or get a head start on the week. Lots of ways stay on track.

Let’s begin by focusing on the life of Christ. We can read Matt, Mk, and Luke between now and Easter.

Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

Notes from Sunday morning message for Shallowford.Church

video link:  Click Here

Fruit of the Spirit:  Joy
Gal. 5:22-23

Why is it called the “Fruit” of the Spirit?
1. Fruit is something we bear – not produce. (John 15:4-6)
2. Fruit is a result of abiding in Christ (Source). (John 15:4-6)
3. Fruit is different from the “Gifts” of the Spirit. (I Cor. 12:18-20)

In the New Testament, the word “Fruit” is used to describe:

1. Activity (Col. 1:10) “…bearing fruit in every good work”
2. New believers (1 Cor. 16:15; Rom 16:5) called “first fruits”
3. Attitude (Gal. 5:22-23)

How can we define this “JOY” that is produced by the Holy Spirit?

• Joy is a deep-seated feeling.
• Joy is MORE than a feeling
• Joy is inner witness of the Spirit (His Spirit bearing witness in our spirit).
• Jesus wants us to know Joy. (Jn 15:11)

We are all so different — Are we ALL supposed to be Joyful?
Different temperaments and personalities (some outgoing, some reserved)
• Globally,  cultural differences & expectations- different ways to express emotions.
• However:  The “Joy of the Lord, Rejoicing in Christ, Joy of the Spirit” –  is expected of all believers.  It’s not optional.

How do we see  “JOY”  in the Old Testament?
Different words translated “joy” and “rejoice.”

  • God rejoices over His people (Zeph. 3:17)
  • God’s people find joy in Him (Ps. 14:7; 32:11; 97:12; 149:2)
  • Gentiles are invited to find joy in Jehovah (Rom. 15:8-13 quoting OT)

Be careful to recognize how some find temporary joy in evil.

  • rejoice in evil (Prov. 2:14)
  • Earthly joy is temporary (Moses reference Heb 11:25-26)
  • Nature of joy is found in the source — object producing joy.
  • If God as source and object of our Joy, we will never be disappointed.
    (Rom. 10:11 quoting O.T.)

How can we summarize and apply teaching of “Joy” in the Bible?

1. Joy is a Celebration
• Joy is the deep-seated emotion that leaps from within.
• Great Joy expressed in Worship (1 Chronicles 16:10; Ps. 100)
• Commanded to be Joyful in Festivals. (Deut. 16:11,14)
• Feast after returning from exile (Ezra 6:22)

2. Joy celebrates a Connection
• Joy is an internal connection with someone or something we encounter.
• Jesus told three parables about broken connections being restored.

In each case, the restored relationship was celebrated with Joy.
Lost Sheep (Luke 15:6-7)
Lost Coin (Luke 15:9-10)
Lost Son (Luke 15:22-24)

Examples: separated by sin, the need to be reconnected, repentance leading to Joy

  • Hearing, conviction, weeping, and Joy of being restored. (Neh. 8:8-12)
  • David repenting and asking God to restore his Joy (Ps. 51:10-12)


3. Joy is not Circumstantial

• Holy Spirit, from within, moves our heart to see beyond the immediate situation and temporal circumstances.
Though (things are bad) …. Yet, I will rejoice, I will be Joyful. (Hab. 3:17-18)
• Disciples rejoiced they were counted worthy to suffer. (Acts 5:40-41)
• Count it joy… encounter trials. (James 1:2)
• Paul & Silas sang in jail after being beaten; Jailer rejoiced in Gospel (Acts 16:23-34)
4. Joy is Confidence in God

• Paul and Philippians (Phil. 1:4-6)
Paul, from jail, writes of joy in his life and his joy in them.
Paul assures them that God will finish the good work in their lives.

• Jesus and the cross (Heb. 12:2)
Jesus looked beyond the cross and saw joy.
The “joy set before Him” moved Him to endure the cross and shame.

• When I recognize His presence in my inner man, and entrust my soul to Him, a witness of the Spirit (deep within) moves me to celebrate my connection to the One who runs the universe and knows my name.



What tell me about God?

  • God wants us to know the Joy of His presence (Ps. 16:11)
  • We are created for God’s pleasure (Rev. 4:11)
  • We are Redeemed and saved by His will, for His pleasure (Eph. 1:1-22)


What does this call out of my heart?

  • I can let my sin and external circumstances steal my Joy.
  • Or, I can look beyond the circumstances and see God’s is working.


Are the commands to obey?

  • Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (Phil 4:4)
  • Rejoice always. (1 Thess. 5:16-18)


Putting it into Practice

  • Confess any sin that steals my joy. Do it right now (I Jn. 1:9)
  • Recognize the presence of Christ in my heart and circumstances.
  • Celebrate His presence my heart.
  • Ask Him to help me see His presence daily, moment by moment, as the Fruit of Joy comes forth in my inner being, from the indwelling Source.