The Point: Choose to follow Jesus.
- Get Into the Study
- Study the Bible
- Live It Out
- Additional Questions
- Member Extra
- Tips for Leading Bible Study Groups
Get Into the Study
Read or summarize the following material as an introduction to this session.
On Thursday, June 23, British citizens officially voted to part ways with the European Union. This was a momentous decision that had major consequences not only for the British people, but for countries all over the world. As a matter of fact, immediately after the vote for independence was formally announced, stocks fell worldwide in reaction to the uncertainty of the new world.
As we watch countries and leaders make these huge choices, we hope that a great deal of thought and time goes into them. But what about in our own lives? Do we weigh the pros and cons of our decisions? Or is it easier to glide along with everyone else?
Making the decision to follow Jesus is the most important “vote” we’ll ever partake in, because it’s a vote for our own souls. Sadly, many people live in deceptive middle ground — thinking Jesus was a nice guy and hoping he wasn’t serious about the whole “one path” to salvation thing.
Today, we’re going to take a deeper look at the choice to follow Jesus. And as we do, I hope you’ll take the time to really consider the consequences connected with that choice. I hope you’ll carefully weigh Jesus’ words and determine what it means to follow Him — and what it requires of you. The good news is that once you’ve chosen to follow Jesus, you are immediately given the best ally in the world. And He’s done all the work for you; He has earned the forgiveness and salvation you could not.
- Why is it so hard for many to grasp the idea of Jesus being the only way to Heaven?
- Do you find yourself swayed by those around you to hope that there are multiple ways to salvation?
- Have you ever really “voted” when it comes to who will be the Lord of your life?
— Ashley Emmert wrote this Leader Extra. She is a freelance writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her sweet Southern husband and their small scrappy dogs. Find her at ashleygraceemmert.com or on Twitter @ashgemmert.
Live It Out
To supplement the second LIVE IT OUT suggestion – “Move Toward Community” – start by sharing the news item below:
The Pew Research Center recently released a study about the ways religion influences the daily lives of American. Part of the study revealed the “essentials” of what it means to be a Christian. Of the Christians they surveyed, 86% said “believing in God” is an essential part of what it means to be a Christian. Yet only 35% said “attending religious services” is an essential part of what it means to be a Christian. While church attendance is not a requirement for salvation, being actively connected to a church body should be an important part of every believer’s life. Yet based on the Pew survey results, not a lot of believers put a priority on church attendance.
Then call attention to the second LIVE IT OUT suggestion – “Move toward community.” Encourage learners to find fresh ways to be more effectively involved through their church community.
Information for this post was gleaned from here:
When have you found yourself with too many choices? What did you do?
When faced with a tough decision, how do you go about making your choice?
Why is the path that leads to God described as narrow?
Why is a gate an appropriate and telling description of Jesus?
If a friend asked you why you think Jesus is the only way to heaven, how would you respond?
What are some examples of spiritual fruit that we can be on the lookout for?
What spiritual fruit are you in need of right now?
In what ways do we often try to “produce fruit” in our own strength? Is this an impossible task? Explain.
What fruit have you seen God producing in your life this past year? What fruit has God produced in the life of your church this past year?
What are some sandy foundations people often try to build upon?
What does it look like for us to build our lives on the “rock” that is Jesus?
What dangers exist for those who build on a foundation other than Christ?
What do you find challenging in these verses? What do you find comforting in these verses?
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional: