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Summary: Second of two-part series laying down our focus for 2011 - this message describing what marks a disciple.

What Marks a Disciple of Jesus?

Various Scriptures

January 2, 2011

Introduction

This is one of those messages that would make my preaching teachers shiver in their boots and deny they had anything to do with me.

Why?

Well, because it won’t have the correct “form” that they all say I’m supposed to have.

Because of the storm, I took my laptop home, hoping that I could do my work from there instead of risking getting snowed in here at the church.

However, having 7 kids, my mother-in-law, and a sick wife at home prevented me from getting much actual work done until last night about 6:00 PM.

However, about 7:15, I ended up taking Debra to the emergency room for dehydration due to some other things.

I took my laptop there and worked while they added fluids to Debra through an IV, but still wasn’t able to get everything done.

So this message won’t have much of an “introduction” or “conclusion,” and I’m going to pretty much dive right into the outline in your note-taking guide, okay?

By the way, Debra is feeling much better. She’s at home getting rest and drinking lots of fluids, but she would appreciate your prayers.

Dani is also sick, and would appreciate your prayers.

God: Of all the note-taking guides you will get this year, this may be the most important one.

Take this note-taking guide and keep it in your Bible (because you’re going to be reading it throughout the year, RIGHT?) where you can see it and pray through it on a regular basis.

We’re going to look at five marks of a disciple. Five ways that we can live in such a way that others will be able to tell that we are followers of Jesus.

Five ways that will show that we have something to live for that the world can’t offer.

Five ways that will, in a sense, tattoo us as people who put Jesus and living for Him above all else.

The first mark is that a disciple…

 Listens to Jesus.

John 10:27

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

Matthew 17:5

"This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!"

How do we listen to Jesus?

- The Scriptures.

If you’re not used to hearing me say that by now, you’d better get to hearing it.

The Scriptures are where we get the information we need about who Jesus is, what He said and did, and what He continues to do while seated at the right hand of the Father until He returns.

It’s so important that we go to the Scriptures, because there is plenty of mis-information out there about Jesus.

Next week I’ll show you a short video that illustrates this a bit.

When we’re reading the Scriptures, and particularly the gospels – those eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life – we see what Jesus said, and we can take that into our lives.

That’s listening to Him. Taking what He said and applying it.

The other way to listen to Jesus is through…

- Prayer.

This another way in which Jesus can speak to us.

Now I gotta tell you I’m a bit of a skeptic when someone says, “Jesus spoke to me,” because often when someone says that it doesn’t line up with the Scriptures.

And I’ve never heard the audible voice of Jesus that some seem to hear.

But Jesus has spoken to me and to some of you here by impressing something on their spirit in a way that lets them know Jesus is trying to get their attention about something.

Usually this happens when we are in prayer, and oftentimes it happens when we are praying about something entirely different than what He speaks to us about.

Why? It could be that we’re finally in a position spiritually where we’re willing to listen to what He has to say to us.

In any case, this is a reminder that prayer is not always a one-way communication where you say stuff and God listens.

Sometimes it’s the other way around. And the more time we spend with Him in prayer, the more likely we’ll hear Him speak to us.

One thing to keep in mind: He will only speak to you in ways that line up with His Word. He will never contradict Himself.

So if you feel like Jesus is telling you to say, cheat on your wife or sleep with your girlfriend, you can be dead sure that it’s not Jesus talking to you.

In the gospel of John, He said that He only speaks what the Father tells Him to speak. And the Father has some specific things to say about stuff like that.

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