In his book Not a Fan, Kyle Idleman asks a simple question, “Are you a follower of Jesus?” Admittedly most of us move quickly past that question with a “yes” not really thinking of the implications. A follower. Not an admirer, not an observer, not even a one-time decision maker.

The Scripture readings for this year take us to some important passages in which Jesus defines and describes what it is to be a follower, a disciple of His. Each month we will focus on one passage that points to one characteristic of a disciple of Jesus. 

I encourage you to use this as a sort of “discipleship evaluation.” We measure ourselves in so many ways, why not use God’s Word to measure our spiritual commitment? Read each passage, then read it again multiple times. Consider the brief description of a disciple listed with each passage. Pull out your favorite commentary. Discuss the passage with a mentor or friend. Memorize the suggested sections. Ask yourself the hard questions: does this passage describe me? Does it describe me better today than it did last year? Does it describe something I am becoming or desiring to become?

Be honest but don’t be brutal. Satan would have you feel defeated if you don’t match up. God doesn’t condemn you (Romans 8:1) but calls you to move forward, move closer and let Him produce growth (Philippians 3:12-14).

Use these individually, use them with your ministry teams, community groups, mentoring relationships and any other way that God leads. It is God’s Spirit using God’s Word that transforms God’s people! May this year be one of transformative growth for all of us at Hillside.

Pastor Paul for the Hillside Leadership 

Hillside Church 2016 Scripture Reading and Memory Verse Plan 

Jan –       Reading: John 1:1-18, memory vv. 1, 14

           Jesus’ disciple believes that He is fully God who became fully man

Feb –       Reading: John 3:22-30, memory v. 30

           Jesus’ disciple is fully committed to exalting Him even at great personal sacrifice

Mar –       Reading: Matthew 4:18-20, memory vv. 19-20

           Jesus’ disciple hears His voice and responds immediately to His call to join Him in the work He is doing

Apr –       Reading: Matt 8:18-22, memory vv. 19-20

           Jesus’ disciple counts the cost of following Him

May –       Reading: Matt 10:16-24, memory vv. 22-24

           Jesus’ disciple knows that if Jesus was mistreated he should not expect anything different

June –       Reading: Matt 16:24-27, memory vv. 24-25

           Jesus’ disciple subdues his own dreams, desires and pursuits in order to do all for the glory of God

July –       Reading: Luke 9:10-17, memory vv.16-17

           Jesus’ disciple steps out in faith to obey Him

Aug –       Reading: Matt 19:16-30, memory vv. 23-24

           Jesus’ disciple knows that the treasures of heaven far outweigh the treasures of earth

Sept –       Reading: John 14:15-21, memory v.15

           Jesus’ disciple obeys Jesus’ commands

Oct –       Reading: John 6:53-69, memory 6:68-69

           Jesus’ disciple is fully committed to Him and knows that eternal life is found in no one else

Nov –       Reading: John 15:1-8, memory 15:5

           Jesus’ disciple remains firmly connected to the vine (Jesus) and through that connection bears much fruit (personal holiness and new disciples)

Dec –       Reading: John 13:31-35, memory 13:34-35

           Jesus’ disciple is easily recognized by his demonstration of sacrificial love for others

To download a PDF version of the reading and memory verse plan, please click here