Discipleship – Be with Jesus
Read John 15:1-11 and your notes from Sunday morning’s sermon.
What does it look like to be with Jesus? We know that God gave us the Holy Spirit after Jesus’ death so that He would still be with us even after Jesus was no longer physically with his disciples. Jesus tells us in John 15 that we should abide in Him and He in us. In other words, we should stay there and dwell there forever.
What is important to realize is that we are all abiding by something already. It is the thoughts and actions that we default to when we aren’t busy with everyday life. What we default to is what is forming us day by day into the person we are becoming. So when you have a free moment what do you default to? Is it TikTok or Reels, or maybe the mindless game on your phone? If so then we might find that we becoming people that are easily distracted and unable to focus. Is it the news on the TV or the gossip we call our friends over? If so then we might find that we are becoming people that are critical, angry, or negative.
Jesus tells us that it is Him that we should abide in. It is Him that we should return to again and again and in the same way, He will abide in us! In the same way that we live in and dwell with Him, he will live and dwell inside us. Our worlds begin to overlap and God begins to form us into a person that looks more and more like Him. We let God work in us to produce the fruit of His spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
To do this, we have to start practicing the presence of God. Dallas Willard says this:
“The first and most basic thing we can and must do is to keep God before our minds.… This is the fundamental secret of caring for our souls. Our part in thus practicing the presence of God is to direct and redirect our minds constantly to Him. In the early time of our practicing, we may well be challenged by our burdensome habits of dwelling on things less than God [that is, will be constantly distracted by a million other things]. But these are habits—not the law of gravity—and can be broken. A new, grace-filled habit will replace the former ones as we take intentional steps toward keeping God before us. Soon our minds will return to God as the needle of a compass constantly returns to the north.… If God is the great longing of our souls, He will become the polestar of our inward beings.”
- In what ways do you think you begin practicing the presence of God in your daily life?
- How do you plan to make being with Jesus a habit in your life?
- What could you cast aside or give up to make time for focusing on God throughout the day?
Feel free to discuss or ask additional questions as they arise
Our spiritual practice of solitude overlaps with the teaching this week. This week, continue to practice incorporating solitude into your life as a daily practice. If you’ve done well at making a habit of setting aside a specific time each day for solitude, go ahead and expand on that further by incorporating silent prayer into the small moments of the day. (stuck in traffic, during your shower, while cooking dinner, etc.)
Closing Verse: John 15:16 – “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last”