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man placing a ring on a woman's hand October 1 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Mark 1:9-11; Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:29-34; Mark 1:12-13; Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13; John 1:35-51; Mark 1:16-20; Matthew 4:18-22; Luke 5:1-11

Commitment

We live in an age where many people in America and maybe other parts of the world are not committed to their spouses, families, churches, jobs, civic groups, or other organizations, and they do not volunteer. If they do, their level of commitment is usually low. Perhaps the reason is that adults and children are already involved in many things. Or, perhaps they like to live in leisure. Still another possibility is that they are looking to be challenged to do something great, something important.

In today's Bible reading, Jesus is called to a great ministry and he calls out common men to join him as his disciples (later many women also help him in his ministry).

God wants his servants to be committed and demonstrate it. Jesus came to the Jordan River to be baptized,

But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.

And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:14-17, NIV).

Jesus is baptized, not because he is a forgiven sinner, but because he identifies himself with those who are righteous and committed to God.

Today, God wants all who are made righteous by trusting in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins to be baptized. Why? Followers of Christ should be baptized to show the world that, like putting on a wedding ring, they identify with Jesus and are fully committed to living for him! In the days of the early church, those who were baptized immediately join the church (Acts 2:41). This is an example for us. Have we been baptized to show our commitment to Jesus Christ? Have we made the commitment to join a good Bible believing church where we may serve the Lord?

Immediately after Jesus is baptized, “... the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him” (Mark 1:12-13, NIV).

What??? Jesus does what his Father in heaven wants him to do, the Father says he is well pleased with him, and then the Spirit of God leads him into the desert with wild animals to be tested? Yes!...and God may test our faith and commitment. God wants us to be fully committed to him in times of adversity. The Apostle Peter warns, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1Peter 5:8, NIV). When will the devil attack? He will attack us when we are at our weakest. This is what Satan does to Jesus in the wilderness and what he will do to us.

Jesus faces temptations from hunger, pride, power and possessions. Satan knows Jesus has the power of God within him and might be tempted to use it. If the Lord gives in to temptation, then he will do it for selfish reasons and sin. Instead, he fights against the devil by quoting the Word of God, thereby declaring his loyalty to God his Father (see more for a thorough discussion of the tri-unity or trinity of God). As Satan appeals to Jesus, attacking him, so he attacks us with similar temptations. Will we cower under his attacks or take up the Christian armor and fight? We should know and live the Bible, the Word of God, and defend ourselves with it (Ephesians 6:10-18).

After the temptation, Jesus calls common, everyday men to follow him. They are not scholars or greatly respected leaders—some of them are fishermen, just average tradesmen. The Lord does not require us to be someone special—he just wants us to respond to his call and follow him. The early disciples respond to the call of Jesus. They recognize his ministry is more important than their occupation, so they leave it all to follow him.

The disciples, however, aren’t perfect. It appears from the Gospel of John's account that they go back to their jobs after following Jesus for just a little while. Perhaps, when they get hungry they do not trust the Lord to give them food (it looks like he does not have any). The men are surprised, however, when Jesus calls out instructions to them from the shore, telling them where to cast their nets. When they do, they catch a boatload of fish! They recognize their sinfulness for not trusting him completely; the teacher takes care of his disciples. They learn not to trust in themselves and their own resources but to trust in God and his bountiful resources. Where God leads he provides. What about us? Will we trust the Lord and respond to his call to follow him?

All Christians are called to leave their lives of sin and follow him.

  • We are called to learn from him (be his disciples).
  • We are called “to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:12, NIV).
  • We are called to be compassionate and share the gospel (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19-20).
  • Some are called to leave their careers and even their relatives to follow Christ in the full-time ministry of the gospel.
We may mess up, but God is merciful and gracious, if we confess our sins and renew the call to follow him.

Lessons to Live By

  • “ ...John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’”(John 1:29, NIV) God can take away our sins, forgive us, and give us peace and spiritual life (more...)
  • If we are followers of Christ, we need to identify ourselves with him by baptism, and then join a good Bible believing church.
  • We are called of God to follow Christ and learn from him, live upright lives, serve others, and share the message of the good news about forgiveness through Jesus.
  • Satan will attack Christ's disciples. Therefore, we need to know the Word of God and gird ourselves with this armor (Ephesians 6:10-18).
  • If we have been unfaithful in following the Lord's call, it is not too late. We must repent and re-commit ourselves to leave the trappings of this world to follow him.
  • Where God leads he provides.

Focus Verse

Matthew 4:19, NIV “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”

Here is a song you might enjoy which goes with this Bible study: I Catch 'Em God Cleans 'Em

Here are a couple videos I found on Youtube: Jesus' baptism and Jesus calling his disciples

praying hands Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to mtbiblestudies@gmail.com

A Look Ahead: Commitment is important but so is godly character. What is Godly Character and how is it shown? Join us for our Next Lesson.

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