Fall Sermon Series II: A Disciple’s Path

This fall, our series will emphasize discipleship. The series will seek to deal with two issues. First, many of us in the church have not engaged in the process of discipleship. Most of us haven’t taken the time to taste the word and engage in the process. It is unfortunate because it was at the very heart and center of Jesus’ ministry. Discipleship does not simply happen to us as we wait for this life to come our way. It happens when we take intentional steps toward Jesus and follow him. Discipleship requires that we be deliberate in our walk with Christ.

October 9 – “Disciples Believe in Jesus”

Scripture: Matthew 4:19-22 (NRSV) – Jesus Calls the First Disciples

We are going to kick off the series with the basic foundation of what it means to be a disciple. Disciples believe in Jesus. But that statement isn’t strong enough. Disciples have made a life transforming decision to have the center of who they are; their will, their heart, and their mind, moved to a heavenly realm. Disciples understand that the Son of Man came down and the reality of this warrants a new focus on life.

October 16 – “Disciples Are Grounded in Scripture”

Scripture: Luke 4:1-15 (NRSV) – The Testing of Jesus

Luke 4 marks the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry and highlights a feature of Jesus’ life. He was grounded in Scripture. He had an accurate working knowledge which he used to fight off temptation and define his ministry in the testing in the wilderness. So often, we assume that we understand the Bible but haven’t really given ourselves to it. Disciples simply cannot function with all our cylinders when we don’t have an active and working knowledge of the text. Not only that, disciples, like Jesus, submit themselves to the Scriptures and recognize the inherent power of the words and the importance of giving our lives to the same words that Jesus thought worthy of giving his life.

October 23 – “Disciples Pray Humbly and Aggressively”

Scripture: James 5:13-20; Luke 22:39-46 (NRSV) – The Prayer of Faith & Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives

The words humble and aggressive don’t typically go together, but I find that they do adequately describe a disciple’s prayer. On the one hand, we begin with the conviction that it is not about me, and that when it comes to prayer, I am entirely dependent upon God’s power over mine.

And yet I am also to pray aggressively. I can claim God’s promises and the Scriptures call me to pray boldly and without ceasing. I can be the persistent widow appealing to the judge, and I can pray confidently for healing for someone, even if that healing doesn’t always come as I would like. The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. A disciple’s prayer, like Jesus’, is an aggressive prayer grounded in humility.

October 30 – “Disciples Serve in Mission”
(Mission Sunday)

Scripture: James 2:14-26 (NRSV) – Faith without Works Is Dead

The book of James is very clear about the fact that our faith and discipleship should be lived out in a life of “deeds.” He says that faith without action is dead. It is not enough to worship and then go home and live our own lives. We are called to serve in compassion in the lives of others who are struggling for life. As James says, in our deeds and service to others, our faith is “made complete.”

November 6 – “Disciples Are Transformed By Worship”
(All Saints Sunday)

Holy Communion will be served during the service

Scripture: Exodus 20:1-6; Romans 12:1-2 (NRSV) – The Ten Commandments & The New Life in Christ

This week has two goals for the worship and sermon time. First, to simply remind our congregation of the fundamentals of worship, the primary fact being that disciples don’t come to worship to be entertained or to hear a performance. Each of us must engage spiritually, physically, and mentally in the acts of worship toward God.

But secondly, we will highlight the benefits of a lifetime and lifestyle of worshipping Jesus. So often, we are trying to make changes in our lives. If we are honest, we might see that many of our problems, whether they are relationships, money, food, alcohol, or others, are really due to a wrong sense of worship. We have allowed those things to take priority in our lives over Jesus. Transformation begins when we shift our life focus from those things to the one who desires to be the Lord over all.

November 13 – “Disciples Care for One Another”

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18 (NRSV) – Final Exhortations, Greetings, and Benediction

Disciples take care of one another. There are some among us who are especially gifted with the spiritual gift of mercy, and this comes relatively naturally. These people have a special place in the life of the church. Others are gifted with other gifts. Yet the readings remind us that we are all to be people of mercy and compassion with one another and those who are outside our midst. Sometimes caring for one another means challenging one another, other times, it means encouraging one another. Either way, we are our siblings’ keepers and, as such, need to watch out for one another in this increasingly individualistic culture in which we live.

This sermon will emphasize that as disciples and followers of Jesus, we are all responsible for caring for one another. Oftentimes, many believers feel that this is only the responsibility of pastors and church staff. However, we are family, and families love and care for one another.

November 20 – “Disciples Give Thanks”
(Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday & Consecration Sunday)

Scripture: Psalm 100 (NRSV)

Here is a more challenging question ‘WHY are you thankful for?’ This sermon gives us answers to the question and helps us focus on the unchangeable truth that Jesus Christ comes into our lives as the King, and everything is under his kingship. Therefore, whatever we have gone through in the past, let us lift our life to God and glorify our King, who receives our life of praise.

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