man placing a ring on a woman's hand October 1 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Mark 1:9-11; Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:29-34; Mark 1:12-13; Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13; John 1:35-51; Mark 1:16-20; Matthew 4:18-22; Luke 5:1-11


We live in an age where many people in America are not committed to their spouses, families, churches, jobs, civic groups, or other organizations, and they do not volunteer. If they do, their level of commitment is usually low. Perhaps the reason is that adults and/or their children are already involved in many things. Or, perhaps they like to live in leisure. For whatever reason, it seems difficult to find people who will gladly sacrifice personal time, family time, convenience, sweat equity, or even money and other resources to help a worthy cause. What is our level of commitment to the LORD? Obviously, we cannot do everything, so we must do what God calls us to do. What does He call us to do?

First, God wants all who truly believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, for their salvation and forgiveness of sins to be baptized. Why? True believers should be baptized to show the world that they identify with Jesus and are fully committed to living for Him.

In today's Bible reading Jesus is baptized, not because He is a forgiven sinner, but because He identifies Himself with those who are righteous and committed to God (Matthew 3:14-15). In the days of the early church, those who are baptized immediately join the church (Acts 2:41). This is an example for us. Have we been baptized to show our commitment to Jesus Christ? Have we made the commitment to join a good Bible believing church?

Second, God wants us to be fully committed to Him in times of adversity. 1Peter 5:8 says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour,” (NIV). When will he attack? He will attack us when we are at our weakest. This is what Satan does to Jesus in the wilderness, immediately following His baptism.

Jesus faces temptations from hunger, pride, power and possessions. Satan knows Jesus has the power of God within Him and might be tempted to use it. If Jesus gives in to temptation, then He will do it for selfish reasons and sin. The Son of God fights against the devil by quoting the Word of God, thereby declaring His loyalty to God His father (see more for a thorough discussion of the triunity or trinity of God). As Satan appeals to Jesus, attacking Him, so he attacks us with similar temptations. Will we cower under his attacks or take up the Christian armor and fight? We should know and live the Word of God and defend ourselves with it (Ephesians 6:10-18).

The third way Jesus wants us to be committed is to respond to His call. The early disciples respond to the call of Jesus. They recognize His ministry is more important than their fishing occupation, so they leave it all to follow Him.

The disciples, however, aren’t perfect. It appears from the Gospel of John's account that they go back to their vocation after following Jesus for just a little while. Perhaps, when they get hungry they do not trust Jesus to give them food (it looks like He does not have any). The men are surprised, however, when Jesus calls out instructions to them from the shore, telling them where to cast their nets. When they do, they catch a boat load of fish! They recognize their sinfulness for not trusting Jesus completely; the teacher takes care of His disciples. They learn not to trust in themselves and their own resources but to trust in God and His bountiful resources. Where God leads He provides. What about us? Will we trust God and respond to His call to follow Him?

All Christians are called to leave their lives of sin and follow Him. We are called to be His disciples. We are called “to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,” (Titus 2:12, NIV). We are called to be compassionate and share the gospel (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19-20). Some are called to leave their careers and even their relatives to follow Christ in the full-time ministry of the gospel. We may mess up, but God is merciful and gracious if we will confess our sins and follow Him.

Lessons to Live By

  • “ ...John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’”(John 1:29, NIV) God can take away your sins, forgive you, and give you peace and spiritual life (more...)
  • If we are truly Christians, we need to identify ourselves with Christ by baptism, and then join a good Bible believing church.
  • We are called of God to become Christ’s disciples and to share the message of the gospel.
  • Satan will attack Christ's disciples. Therefore, we need to know the Word of God and gird ourselves with His armor.
  • If we have been unfaithful in following the Lord's call, it is not too late. We must repent and re-commit ourselves to leave the trappings of this world to follow Him.
  • Where God leads He provides.

Today’s Memory Verse

Matthew 4:19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” (NIV)

Here is a song you might enjoy which goes with this Bible study: I Catch 'Em God Cleans 'Em

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