Abiding In His Word

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During Lent we are looking at what being a disciple of Jesus entails. We’ve seen that a disciple is a student who follows Jesus as Master, and that includes taking up our own cross. Today’s reading
John 8:31 NIV84
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.

Those who had believed

There were those who believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but it was their own ideas of who the Messiah was that they believed. When Jesus did not meet their ideas they fell away. Believing is more than just a matter of saying the words. It can be easy to create our own image of who Jesus is and what it means to be His disciple.
Matthew 7:21 NIV84
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
When some of Jesus’ words became hard to understand we read
“From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” John 6:66
The parable of the sower and the seed – three groups start to grow, only one produces fruit. They all heard the word, but only the last group truly believed it.

His Teaching

Many people clam to teach the way of salvation, many religions claim to teach the truth. Why is it Jesus’ word that we must believe and obey?
It is God’s word
John 14:10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
It is true
“I am the way, the truth, and the life”
It gives life
John 8:51 I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”

Hold on to

We are to live in His word, not just visit it.
Augustine: It is a small thing for a disciple to come to him; it is a much greater thing to continue in him. Therefore he does not say if you “hear” or “come” or “praise” my Word. He says, “If you continue in my Word.”
Pressures and temptations to let go of His word
We abide in His word by:
In His Good Shepherd discourse Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice”
The Scripture and the Holy Spirit – The Scripture points to Jesus, and the Holy Spirit teaches us and reminds us of His word.
We do not become disciples by holding to His word, but we show that we are His disciples..
This is how we demonstrate our love for Him
John 14:15 NIV84
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.

Real disciples

True discipleship begins with a relationship with Jesus, which then leads to following Him and obeying His word, even to the point of carrying a cross.
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