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Abide 15 – Jesus is to be Functional Lord of Our Lives  

Day 1 Renew the Mind (Romans 12:2)

Introduction The word “Lord” is often seen as outdated and other names for Jesus seem to be more popular. However, “Jesus as Lord,” is a key truth in the New Testament. It’s not presented as optional, and if it’s ignored, the result is fragile Christians and ineffective churches. As Romans says, Romans 10:9 (NIV) … if you confess with your mouth that, “Jesus is Lord” …  

When Jesus is ACTUALLY Lord of your life, it should impact everything, including how important decisions are made. Even if you’ve been a follower of Jesus for many years, can you say that he is Lord of every part of your life? Followers of the Way can always grow in this area.  

Thankfully, affirming Jesus as your Lord is a GREAT blessing, as he comes to bring freedom! As Paul notes, 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. The Lord he’s talking about is Jesus!  

Jesus: Great Shepherd of the Sheep for Today   Jesus is qualified to be your Lord, today, because he is a great Shepherd! Consider what Peter says, 1 Peter 2:25 (ESV) For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. What a powerful metaphor! A Shepherd of your soul!  

Several chapters later, Peter calls Jesus the Chief Shepherd of the sheep - which is the church (see 1 Peter 5:2,4) This is wonderful news! As a Chief Shepherd, Jesus fully knows and understands his sheep – including YOU. Jesus explained it this way, John 10:27 (NIV) My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. Praise Jesus!  

Since Jesus is God and was involved in the creation of each of his sheep, he knows what purpose you were created for. He also knows your future and all the Father’s plans for you! Isn’t this a relief? And the Chief Shepherd also knows THE future – what is coming for the entire world.  

This is why, “Jesus as Lord,” is not an expired, out-of-date idea. He knows EXACTLY how to shepherd and direct you and this makes him the only Lord that you’ll need.  

Finally, Jesus knows how to find lost sheep! What an incredible Shepherd! Here’s a story from Pastor Ray Duerksen, illustrating this wonderful truth:  

“Our son Stefan was listening to a song given to him by his brother, “Come, Just As You Are.” You see, Stefan had thought that because of his past choices he wasn’t worthy of salvation. Therefore, he had been consciously trying to become worthy of salvation. But the Spirit, knowing this, directed circumstances so that Stefan would hear the words of the song, “Come just as you are.” And with that the Spirit opened his understanding and he was wonderfully saved!”  

For Your Journal Reflecting and Reviewing (2 Timothy 2:7)

1. In your own journal, write down something that stood out to you from today’s reading.

2. Why is Jesus qualified to be your Lord? What metaphor is used today?  

Life Application (James 1:22)

1. Spend some time in prayer asking this question – “Lord, show me what it means for you to be my Shepherd and for me to your sheep?” Write down what he shows you.

2. Review John 15:5-6, Romans 12:2, Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Peter 5:8, John 10:27, James 1:22, Psalm 1, Colossians 3:2, Psalm 39:4, Matthew 5:16, Matthew 6:9-13.  

Bible Reading

1. For Abide 15, your Bible reading will include some of your memory verses AND their surrounding verses. Today, please read John 15:1-17.

2. Write down 1 or 2 verses from the passage that stuck out to you.

3. Take time to quiet yourself before Jesus and meditate on the verses. Write down any thoughts that come to mind.  

Day 2 Renew the Mind (Romans 12:2) The Church Really Matters!

Did you know that when Jesus died, he died for all – every single person who would live – but he ALSO gave himself to create a church? It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that Jesus’ plans are ONLY for individuals!  

Instead, Jesus brilliantly balances the extraordinary value of each person, while also seeking to create and shape a beautiful community! Paul says that, Ephesians 5:25 (NIV) … Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Earlier in that same letter, in describing God’s plans, he refers to the church this way, Ephesians 2:21 (NIV) In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  

Jesus Is the “Owner” of the Church Today   The significance of the church to Jesus is highlighted many times in the New Testament. He LOVES the church! However, many churches and believers sadly act as if THEY are the owners of the church and managers of their own lives! The prophet Jeremiah, on the other hand, completely understood what everything belonged to, Jeremiah 10:23 (NIV) LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.  

Jesus is to be the owner of all churches, as he bought the church with his OWN blood (see Acts 20:28). Think about that for a moment. This is a very important truth! Then consider the pride of a person or group who acts as if they should be running things without the Lord?  

Jesus said that HE would build his church, Matthew 16:18 (NIV) And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. The way to build Jesus’ church is NOT to ask the members what they want. The way to build Jesus’ church is NOT for the leaders to come up with their best plans.  

The way to build Jesus’ church is to carry out what the true owner of the church wants. A radical shift in thinking is needed for this to happen. Local churches do NOT belong to you, nor to any boards or elders, nor to the pastors, nor to any denominations.  

For Your Journal Reflecting and Reviewing (2 Timothy 2:7)

1. In your own journal, write down something that stood out to you from today’s reading.

2. Typically, who do people view as the owner of local churches? Practically, how do churches or individual believers actually make decisions? Who should the true owner be?  

Life Application (James 1:22)

1. Examine your current and past involvement with the church. Have there been moments when you acted like you were in charge or that your opinion mattered most? If yes, spend some time confessing this and acknowledging Jesus as the owner.

2. Spend some time praying for YOUR local church (followers of the Way pray for churches. It’s really important!).

Pray that: a) Jesus would be acknowledged as the owner

b) the leadership of the church would be humble enough to let Jesus lead

c) that the leadership of the church would be supported in their efforts to let Jesus lead.

3. Spend some time praying for the churches of your country.

Pray that: a) Jesus would be acknowledged as the owner in all the churches in your country

b) the leadership of the churches would be humble enough to let Jesus lead

c) that the leadership of the churches would be supported in their efforts to let Jesus lead.  

Bible Reading

1. For Abide 15, your Bible reading will include some of your memory verses AND their surrounding verses. Today, please read Romans 12:1-8.

2. Write down 1 or 2 verses from the passage that stuck out to you. 3. Take time to quiet yourself before Jesus and meditate on the verses. Write down any thoughts that come to mind.  

Day 3 Renew the Mind (Romans 12:2) Jesus Is Lord Of All TODAY

King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had a deeply troubling dream about a large statue (Daniel 2). Together with his friends, Daniel went to prayer to discover its meaning. Daniel grasped who the Lord of all is, including of dreams! When God revealed what the dream meant, Daniel praised the Lord, saying, Daniel 2:21 (ESV) He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding ….  

When Daniel arrived at the king’s court, he told Nebuchadnezzar that God was the provider of his kingdom, power, might, and glory (Dan 2:37). Nebuchadnezzar would be nothing without God allowing him to rule! Put another way, the dream that God gave Nebuchadnezzar was a reminder of who is Lord. Then Daniel went on to discuss the king’s dream of a grand statue, made of various metals, noting that these metals represented various kingdoms which would rise, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian empire.  

Daniel ended his interpretation by telling the king that God had not only determined what the next kingdoms would be, but ALSO that a final one would be raised up, that God himself would rule. In fact, this kingdom would one day destroy all other earthly kingdoms and last forever! This is the kingdom that Jesus spoke of when he said, Mark 1:15 (NASB) The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.  

Just before Jesus went back to heaven, he announced, Matthew 28:18 (NIV) “… all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Paul also said that the Father had placed everything under Jesus, Ephesians 1:22-23 (NIV) And God placed all things under his feet …  

That isn’t something that will happen; it has ALREADY happened! As Paul describes the current role of Jesus, he says, Philippians 2:9 (ESV) Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name … And now, seated at the right hand of the Father, Jesus REALLY rules in the affairs of people. Consider these words, found in the last book of the Bible, Revelation 1:5 (NIV) . . . and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.  

Of course, at this time, there are stubborn pockets of resistance to Jesus’ rule. But the final outcome is not in doubt; it has already been determined. In God’s timing, all rebels will be defeated, and Jesus’ rule will be fully established on earth.  

Yes, rebellion continues, but the kingdom, like yeast, continues to spread, as the Lord TODAY guides all earthly matters to their conclusion. And so, followers of the Way are expected to keep praying, “your kingdom come,” and engage in the battle for that final victory.  

For Your Journal Reflecting and Reviewing (2 Timothy 2:7)

1. In your own journal, write down something that stood out to you from today’s reading.

2. What biblical example is used at the beginning of today’s reading to illustrate that Jesus is Lord of all, even today? Can you think of other verses or biblical examples that support this truth?  

Life Application (James 1:22)

1. Write down a list of different areas in your life – i.e. specific relationships, finances. Thank Jesus that he is Lord over all of this! Also ask him to speak to you – “Jesus, is there something that I am not making you Lord over?” If he reveals something, write out a confession.

2. Pick 3 countries to pray for, other than for your home country. Start with praise – praise Jesus that he is Lord over all. Then ask God – “is there anything specific that I can pray for these countries?” Respond by spending time in prayer.  

Bible Reading

1. For Abide 15, your Bible reading will include some of your memory verses AND their surrounding verses. Today, please read John 10:22-42.

2. Write down 1 or 2 verses from the passage that stuck out to you.

3. Take time to quiet yourself before Jesus and meditate on the verses. Write down any thoughts that come to mind.  

Day 4 Renew the Mind (Romans 12:2) Jesus ACTIVELY Rules His Churches Today

It’s clear that Jesus ruled and directed his apostles before his crucifixion: he sent them to heal the sick; to preach the Gospel; fetch a colt for him; feed the thousands; prepare a room for him; and so on.   It’s also obvious that Jesus led his apostles after his crucifixion, and before his ascension: he instructed Mary to tell the disciples that he had risen; directed the disciples to throw their nets on the other side of the boat; commissioned them to make disciples of all nations; and so on!  

But here’s a big question - “did Jesus directly rule and govern after his ascension?” The evidence overwhelmingly declares that he did AND does! This reality requires that you, and all followers of the Way, should respond to his active leadership by intentionally seeking him.  

What are some biblical examples of Jesus’ active leadership?  

First: how the gospel got to the Gentiles (those who aren’t Jewish)  

Cornelius, a Roman centurion, was a God-fearing man who gave generously to those in need, and he prayed regularly. One day, God gave him a vision in which an angel told him to send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Peter, who was staying at the place of a man named Simon.  

As the servants approached Joppa the next day at noon, Peter went up on the roof to pray, and fell into a trance. Peter saw a vision of a large sheet being let down to earth, containing all kinds of four-footed animals, reptiles and birds. Then Peter heard a voice telling him to kill and eat from these animals, which Peter saw as ceremonially unclean.  

At first Peter resisted, but the voice persisted three times. Now, that’s directive! While Peter was pondering the meaning of all this, Cornelius’s men arrived inquiring if there was a Peter staying there – there WAS!!! And while they were asking, the Spirit of Christ says to Peter, “Three men are looking for you. Get up and go with them, for I have sent them.” Without Jesus clearly directing Peter, there is NO WAY that he would have gone with those Gentiles and entered their house – it was forbidden for a Jew to enter a Gentile’s house!!   But Peter OBEYED the Lord who was ACTIVELY leading! As a result, the gospel ended up going to the Gentiles!  

Second: how the Gospel got to Europe   The book of Acts highlights the early days of the church, and how the gospel began to spread. It’s a thrilling book! Now notice the direction that Paul received from the Holy Spirit, similar to how Peter was specifically led, Acts 16:6-7 (NIV) Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them.  

Not once, but twice on the same journey, the Spirit changed their plans. And the following three verses then go on to say that they went down to Troas, where Paul had a vision (from the Lord) about a man from Macedonia begging them to come over. They concluded, it says, that the Lord had called them to preach there instead. This is how the gospel got to Europe!  

In Acts alone, the Holy Spirit is said to: choose church leaders, warn church leaders, resolve church problems, give prophetic words through people, judge people, and direct church leaders. This is because ONLY the Lord has all the information necessary to guide his kingdom and his church! No wonder that as the church listened and obeyed the Lord, amazing things happened.  

For Your Journal Reflecting and Reviewing (2 Timothy 2:7)

1. In your own journal, write down something that stood out to you from today’s reading.

2. What evidence is there that Jesus is still leading the church after he ascended?  

Life Application (James 1:22)

1. Ask the Lord to give you examples of where he has led the church that you’re currently a part of. If no examples come to your mind, simply pray for him to lead your church.

2. Send an email, text, or call 3 friends. Ask them to share how Jesus has used the church to help them walk with him.  

Bible Reading

1. For Abide 15, your Bible reading will include some of your memory verses AND their surrounding verses. Today, please read Colossians 3.

2. Write down 1 or 2 verses from the passage that stuck out to you.

3. Take time to quiet yourself before Jesus and meditate on the verses. Write down any thoughts that come to mind.  

Day 5 Renew the Mind (Romans 12:2) Jesus Is Evaluating Churches From Heaven Jesus is Lord! Are you willing to let him lead in every area of your life TODAY? As the leader, Jesus has every right to evaluate churches, and each follower in each church! He is still leading, as the book of Revelation highlights. In Revelation 2 and 3, you can observe five parts of Jesus’ evaluation.  

First: Jesus commended their correct behavior  

For example, see what he said to the church at Ephesus, Revelation 2:2 (NIV) I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.  

Second: Jesus challenged them to persevere  

To the church at Smyrna he urged, Revelation 2:10 (NIV) Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.  

Third: Jesus rebuked them for bad heart attitudes and behavior  

He rebuked the church at Pergamum like this, Revelation 2:14 (NIV) Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality.  

Fourth: Jesus warned the churches of discipline and judgment  

See how Jesus warned the church in Thyatira, Revelation 2:21-23 (NIV) I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.  

Fifth: Jesus called the churches to repent  

There’s an example of this in his command to the church in Sardis, Revelation 3:3 (NIV) Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.  

Remember that Jesus was doing all of this in THEIR “present time.” And he warned the church in Ephesus that if they did not respond, he would remove their lampstand. This means that even if they kept meeting, he wouldn’t be there with them! Jesus can do this because he is STILL evaluating and ruling his local churches.   Is He Lord?  

Jesus asked many challenging questions! Here’s one example, Luke 6:46 (NIV) "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?” Of course, you can’t know what Jesus, by his Spirit, is saying unless you hear his voice. This again emphasizes the need to abide!  

Or as Revelation says multiple times, Revelation 2:7 (NIV) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. This pattern of listening to the Spirit and then carrying out God’s will was even modeled by Jesus. He said, John 5:30 (NIV) By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. Wow! And so this is what he expects you to do – to listen to and follow him by his Spirit, both through your Bible and otherwise.  

For Your Journal Reflecting and Reviewing (2 Timothy 2:7)

1. In your own journal, write down something that stood out to you from today’s reading.

2. What 5 parts were there to Jesus’ evaluation of the churches?  

Life Application (James 1:22)

1. You’re part of the church! Ask God to evaluate your life – as a member of the church. Does he have an encouragement, challenge, rebuke, warning, or promise for you? (or all of these!) Write down what you receive.

2. Share what you received in Question 1 with someone who is close to you.

3. Review John 15:5-6, Romans 12:2, Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Peter 5:8, John 10:27, James 1:22, Psalm 1, Colossians 3:2, Psalm 39:4, Matthew 5:16, Matthew 6:9-13.  

Bible Reading

1. For Abide 15, your Bible reading will include some of your memory verses AND their surrounding verses. Today, please read Psalm 39.

2. Write down 1 or 2 verses from the passage that stuck out to you.

3. Take time to quiet yourself before Jesus and meditate on the verses. Write down any thoughts that come to mind.  

Day 6 Final Steps

1. You’ve finished all fifteen lessons! Congratulations! This investment of time will bear much fruit in your life.

2. Spend some time writing out a prayer to God, thanking him for the journey you have been on. Also thank him for others who are on this journey with you!

3. Are you committing to continued growth? What is your next step? Followers of the Way: A Discipleship Pathway has something called Grow Character lessons, if you’re interested. 4. Spend some time asking God – are there others that I can walk this journey with, encouraging them to also go through Abide? Perhaps re-do it with them! It might be one person or an entire group. Be bold in inviting others to experience the life found in Jesus!    


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