“One of the greatest blessings of life and eternity is to be counted as one of the devoted disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.” James E. Faust, October 2006 Conference
Why do you want to be counted as one of the “devoted disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ”? What would that mean? What would that look like?
Today we are going to see the beginnings of the Savior fulfilling his true purpose in coming to earth.
He is going to share with us THE MESSAGE, THE MEANS of spreading the message, and then THE METHODS of getting the message to all the world.
In Luke 4:16, we learn that Jesus was in his hometown of Nazareth in the synagogue on the Sabbath.
Follow along in Luke 4:16-32 as you watch this video clip.
Think about how you would answer these questions:
1. What is Christ’s Message?
2. How did the people in the synagogue respond? Why?
So…What is His message to the world?
Why did those in the synagogue disagree with him?
Why do some have difficulty accepting the Savior? What excuses do people use?
What can you do to fully accept His message and accept the Savior?
Now that the Savior has made his message very clear, he needs to spread it across the world. He needed messengers and here enters Peter.
Luke 5:4 – What does Christ tell Peter to do? (make sure the check the footnote for the meaning of draught)
Luke 5:5 – What is Peter’s response? What do we learn about Peter’s character and testimony?
Luke 5:6-7 – What was the result of doing what the Savior asked?
What is the lesson for you in these few verses? When have you “toiled all night” and then did what God told you and you were blessed?
Luke 5:11 – Did they accept the invitation? How do you know?
“The word for disciple and the word for discipline both come from the same Latin root—discipulus, which means pupil. It emphasizes practice or exercise. Self-discipline and self-control are consistent and permanent characteristics of the followers of Jesus, as exemplified by Peter, James, and John, who indeed “forsook all, and followed him. . . What is discipleship? It is primarily obedience to the Savior.” James E. Faust
Being a disciple requires you to DO something. Dieter F. Uchtdorf has said it best:
“It is not enough merely to speak of Jesus Christ or proclaim that we are His disciples. It is not enough to surround ourselves with symbols of our religion. Discipleship is not a spectator sport. We cannot expect to experience the blessings of faith by standing inactive on the sidelines any more than we can experience the benefits of health by sitting on a sofa watching sporting events on television and giving advice to the athletes. And yet for some, “spectator discipleship” is a preferred if not a primary way of worshipping.
“Ours is not a secondhand religion. We cannot receive the blessings of the gospel merely by observing the good that others do. We need to get off the sidelines and practice what we preach.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Way of the Disciple” 2009 General Conference
When did you choose to become a disciple of Jesus Christ? When and how often do you renew that promise to you made to Him?
After he called his 12 disciples, he told them how the message was to be shared. Can you imagine what it would be like if we sent missionaries out into the field without first preparing them in the MTC? Would the message be understood enough by the messengers (missionaries) that they could teach it to others? God never asks us to do anything without preparing a way for it to be accomplished (See 1 Nephi 3:7).
In Matthew 10:1, the Lord refers to his 12 messengers as disciples. In the chapter heading, they call them “Twelve Apostles”. What happened in verse 1 that changed them from disciples to apostles (see the footnote if you need help)?
In the following verses, identify the methods that Jesus said to use in spreading the message?
vs. 1 –
vs. 6 –
vs. 8 –
Looking back over this list, do you have to have the priesthood to help spread his message? There are some that require the priesthood, but most methods of spreading his message can be done by any disciple.
THE GREAT PIVOT
The Savior handpicked these twelve men to spread his message because he knew they believed it. They had a testimony of it and understood the importance of sharing it with others.
We, too, can share the same message with the same conviction.
In evaluating our our level of discipleship, we need to ask ourselves these questions:
“Are my actions sending the right message? Am I bringing others closer to Christ?”
In June 1996, Elder Maxwell taught of something he called “the great pivot”.
In basketball, players can use a pivot to get themselves at a better angle to beat their opponent. Think about the symbolism of a spiritual pivot as you read this quote.
“Turning away from the world and toward God, toward home, requires of them to make what I call the Great Pivot. This Great Pivot begins slowly and tentatively when the mind perceives what is in comparison with what might be. This represents the first tentative steps in the process of beginning to develop “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).” Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Becoming a Disciple”, June 1996 Ensign.
What is the Great Pivot that you need to make to be a more devoted disciple of Jesus Christ?
Here’s a list of a few thought-provoking questions that might help you identify the pivot you need to make in your life?
- Do I wear what a disciple would wear?
- Do my choices in entertainment & media, including music, TV shows, movies, books, magazines, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, reflect what a disciple would watch or read?
- Am I a Christlike example to my friends and those I come in contact with?
- Am I always honest and full of integrity?
- Do I sound like a disciple in regards to the things that come out of my mouth?
- Do my Sabbath Day activities show my true devotion to the Lord, Jesus Christ?
- Am I constantly looking for someone who needs my help?
- Do I pay a full tithe and consecrate everything I have to the Lord?
“The blessings of discipleship are readily available to all who are willing to pay the price. Discipleship brings purpose to our lives so that rather than wandering aimlessly, we walk steadily on that strait and narrow way that leads us back to our Heavenly Father.” James E. Faust, October 2006 Conference
May you have the courage to pivot to the Savior and walk with purpose on the strait and narrow way back to God, while bringing others with you.
BIBLE VIDEO: Follow Me, and I Will Make You Fishers of Men