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Final Call

Last Sunday, we finished our two-and-a-half year journey through the Gospel of John. It was a bittersweet moment.

Through John's Gospel, I've grown more passionate for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I've grown more confident of His deity. I've grown more amazed at His love for the Father and for me. I've grown more familiar with His ministry and teaching style. I've grown more appreciative of His gift -- the Holy Spirit. I've grown more amazed at His death on the cross. I've grown more convinced of His unique authority and powerful resurrection.

I've grown so attached to this Gospel, but I'm also excited to move on to a new book in the months ahead. I don't know for sure where we're headed yet, but I'm praying about starting 1 Corinthians around the beginning of the new year. I see an urgent need for holiness in the church, and know this letter touches on many of the issues facing Christians today.

As we wrapped up our series in John, we heard Christ give a final call to His disciples, a call which involved two commands:
  1. Follow your Savior at any cost (Jn. 21:18-19). The freedom Peter enjoyed earlier in life would one day be replaced by persecution and death. God had appointed for Peter to glorify Him through martyrdom -- probably "stretching out his hands" in crucifixion.
  2. Fix your eyes on Him alone (Jn. 21:20-25). After hearing this prophecy, Peter became curious of John's fate. Would he too tend Christ's sheep? Would he too be martyred? Jesus' response was a good rebuke to all of us, "What is that to you? You follow Me!"
Questions for thought and discussion:
  • How do I view death? What comfort can I find in John 21:19?
  • What does it mean to "deny ourselves and take up our cross" to follow Jesus? (Mark 8:34)
  • What have I given up to follow Jesus?
  • What do I still need to change in order for Jesus to completely take charge of my life?
  • Do I need to talk to a Christian friend to get help?
  • What is the only right motivation to a life of cross-bearing and self-sacrifice? See John 21:15.
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how great is my affection for Christ?
  • How can I kindle that fire to love Him more?
  • Why do you think we're so prone to comparing ourselves to others like Peter did?
  • Who do I typically compare myself to?
  • What thoughts and feelings do I have when I compare myself to others?
  • Am I trying to run other people's lives? Who? Am I responsible for the decisions they make? Why or why not?
  • Am I resentful of God's blessing toward others? What should my response be?
Sunday's sermon has been uploaded to our podcast site and is available for free download.

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