Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Back to Basics - Part 1 - Who are you following?


 This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on June 2nd 2024 by Lasya. For the audio & video please click here.  For the worship please click here.

Who am I following?

Let’s start with a quiz - what were Jesus’ first words to any of his disciples? 

18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 5:18-19 

About 10 times in each of the gospels, Jesus says, ” Follow me” to his disciples. 

You can be a social media follower of Jesus- enjoy his teachings, subscribe to his beliefs, and tomorrow if you see something that doesn’t align with how you think or feel, you can unfollow. 

University style of following - listen to sermons, learn the Hebrew and Greek but don’t actually know how to put it into practice. Spiritually obese.

A disciple is a life-long learner: not an academic acquiring information about God, but a craftsman acquiring skills in the faith.” –Eugene Peterson

Apprenticeship- In the Jewish culture of apprenticeship, the apprentice would go with his master everywhere, learn from him and one day, become like him.

Matthew 8: 19 And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Does this model work? 

Illustration of the Meenakari work, Stradivarius violin, Kintsugi art centuries old crafts that are still alive today. It’s not because of a university, but because of apprenticeship. Each master in his lifetime will only take 6-10 apprentices. Is he ineffective? No, these crafts have lasted centuries without compromising the quality. This is the model of discipleship that Jesus laid down for us. How did Jesus take on the world? By taking Peter, John, James, Andrew and other disciples.

Each of them left something or someone behind to follow Jesus. How do we think of following Jesus today? 

There are 3 steps - the tagline of Word of Grace. 

  1. Enjoying God - Being with him/ beholding him 
    1. The primary call of God is to himself. Mark 3:13-15 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.
    1. How can you be with someone who is invisible? John 4:24 - God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 
    1. What do you do with him? Thank him (Psalm 100), Listen to him (my sheep listen to my voice), talk to him (prayer- ask and you shall receive), delight in him(behold, contemplate the glory of the Lord)
    1. Reflection question - What rhythms do you have in your life to be with Jesus? What is your sacred space, time? Do you have times when you will not touch your phone or any digital devices and completely turn your attention and affection towards Jesus? (Not just Sunday morning worship)

2.               Making Friends - Do as he did.


a.               Imitation - we are so scared of that word because we all want to protect our individuality. 

                                     i. But we are called to imitate Him. John 13:14-15 “14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. ” 

                                    ii. In fact, we are called to imitate those who imitate him! 1 Cor 11:1 “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.Illustration of an artisan. What are we supposed to imitate? Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith” (Heb.13:7).

                                  iii. Reflection Question- Who are you imitating? 


b.               Picture of apprenticeship. Eric Metcalf - 5 stages of apprenticeship - 

i. I do , you watch, we talk  

ii. I do, you help, we talk

iii. You do, i help, we talk

 iv. You do, i watch, we talk

  v. You do, someone else watches. Jesus did this with his disciples.


c.               Meals not meetings - Christian life is lived around meals not meetings. Jesus was always eating. With his brothers and sisters(those who were for him), with his enemies(those who were against him), with noted leaders of the synagogue (those who were socially above him), with sinners (those who were beneath him). 

Reflection question- What meals are you putting off with any one of these categories of people? 

3.     Changing lives - Becoming like him 


Q. What is the goal of your Christian life? 

Believe → become?

Romans 8:29 “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son


Believe → Behold → Behave → Become 

Salvation Sanctification

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV

“Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2 ESV

a.               Who transforms us? So just as you would go to the doctor and ask why I am not losing weight, when we feel stuck in our spiritual growth, we need to go to his word and spirit and ask where I am stuck

b.               Jesus is committed to finish what he started. But what did he start in you? Not your job, your finances, your fame, or even your ministry. Jesus is not committed to your success. He is committed to forming Christ in you. 

c.               This is a long road. So much so that it is not going to be complete on this side of eternity. But it can be an indicator of who you are following. The partially formed version of Jesus that is in each of us. 

d.               Reflection Question - Are you more like Jesus today than you were a year ago? 

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto   

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