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Date published: 03/20/2015

Acts 16:4-5 “As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalemfor the people to obey. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.” (NIV) 

   This passage gives a great picture of obedience and growth. The apostles brought the Word of God to the church and there was growth! The people did not just take notes and praise God; they did not just sing songs of praise and go home; they did not walk away and return to life as usual … no, they obeyed!  Actually they may have done all those things, but their powerful response was obedience, which led to strengthening of faith and growth. In John 10:27, Jesus describes a disciple, “My sheep listen to My voice. I know them and they follow Me.” (NIV) A disciple is not just a hearer, but a doer of the Word. A disciple’s heart is set on following Jesus. Here are four ways a disciple follows Jesus:

·        A disciple obeys Jesus - John 14:21 “Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him." (NIV)

·         A disciple obeys regardless of the cost - Luke 9:23 “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (NIV)

·         A disciple is willing to be discipled by another - Luke 6:40 “A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” (NIV)

·         A disciple bears fruit - John 15:8 “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” (NASB)

   Let us eagerly and diligently pursue God in Word, Truth, and Relationship. Allow Jesus’ life in you to grow and multiply, so that the church around you grows. Let nothing in God’s Word be complacent, but alive and active, cutting sharper than the two edged sword that was described in Hebrews 4:12, “For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (NASB) 

1 John 2:6 “Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” (NIV) 

Do you know someone who needs this message on obedience? If so, forward this devotion to them as a blessing for their growth in Christ. 

Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “Discipleship” and “Transformation – Part 1”