A Personalized Calling
A disciple is called personallly by Jesus to be a part of his kingdom mission.
John 15:16a – You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.
· Scriptures Used: Mark 1:16-20, John 15:16, Luke 5:1-11, Acts 2:14-41
· Discipleship is always a response to the call of Jesus – he initiates/chooses, not us
· Discipleship is personal – it’s a relationship with Jesus, not just his teachings
· Discipleship is personalized – it looks different for each person, tailored to fit them
· Discipleship is not individualistic – we are called into a community of fellow disciples
· Jesus calls us not only to follow, but to be sent out on mission for him
Putting it into practice:
Last week it was suggested to subscribe to the “Kingdom Awareness Calendar” at the links below to be reminded to notice the kingdom dynamics around us every day. This week’s practice is the same—except with a focus on mission. When you are reminded throughout your day to think about the kingdom of God, this time also recognize that wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you are a representative of that kingdom, and you have been sent by Jesus to continue his mission in the world.
Use the first link/QR code to subscribe to it in Google Calendar (preferred):
Use the second link/QR Code to subscribe to it using other software:
For personal reflection:
1. Find 30-40 minutes of silence and solitude with a Bible and journal (or blank piece of paper). Quiet your heart before God and ask him to speak to you. Read Mark 1:16-20 a couple of times, slowly. Then close your eyes and imaging yourself as part of the scene. What is it like to be called by Jesus? What emotions are you experiencing as you put yourself in the place of one of those fishermen?
2. For Andrew, Peter, James, and John, Jesus’ call was personalized to their skills and status as fishermen. What do you think his personalized calling on you might be? Use your imagination to go back to when you first responded to his invitation to follow. Think about not only your job, but your hobbies, interests, skills, and talents. Ask him for a glimpse of what he sees in you, and how he wants to use you for his kingdom mission.
Small group discussion questions:
First, check in with each other and pray for each other (since mutually supportive relationships are at the heart of a small group). Give each person opportunity to share a highlight of the last week, a challenge they faced, and anything else they would like prayer for. Then pray.
What did you want to be when you were in elementary school? Do you see any parallels with what you are actually doing (think creatively!)?
Scripture: Read Mark 1:16-20.
On Sunday we talked about how personalized Jesus’ call to the fishermen was, promising to send them out to fish for people. What kinds of character traits, experience, and talents do you think fishermen had that Jesus would want to use for his kingdom mission?
Read Mark 2:13-17.
If fishermen-disciples were a surprising choice for Jesus to make, calling a tax collector was outrageous. Tax collectors were universally despised, not only because they often charged extra to make a profit for themselves, but because as Jews they had aligned themselves with the hated Roman empire.
From this passage, what can we know about Levi?
What potential do you think Jesus might have seen in Levi, as evidenced in this passage?
How do you think the other disciples felt when Levi was invited to join their ranks? What about when Jesus explained why he was eating with “sinners” (what did it imply about them)?
Making it personal:
On Sunday Jeremy said that discipleship was a personal relationship with Jesus. How have you experienced this? What are some alternate ways we are tempted to view our faith?
Not only is discipleship personal, it is personalized, meaning Jesus calls you to follow him as you, not someone else. Not only this, but he has a part for you to play in his kingdom mission. What character traits, gifts, talents, and quirks do you see in other people in the group (and in yourself) that Jesus might want to use in his kingdom mission?
Have three people read aloud the memory verse for the week (on the other side), each emphasizing words slightly differently. What is the value of knowing this verse by heart?
End with a prayer of thanks to Jesus for choosing each of you personally, and bringing you together in a community of discipleship.