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

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: 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 jobs, their families, their churches, civic groups, or other organizations, and they do not volunteer. If they do, their level of commitment is usually low. Perhaps the reason for low commitment 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 God call us to do?

First, God wants all who truly believe in 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. Even Jesus was baptized, not because he was a forgiven sinner, but because he identified himself with those who were righteous and committed to God (Matthew 3:14-15). In the days of the early church, those who were baptized immediately joined the church (Acts 2:41). This is an example for us. Have you been baptized to show your commitment to Jesus Christ? Have you 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 did to Jesus in the wilderness, immediately following his baptism.

Jesus faced temptations from hunger, pride, power and possessions. Satan knew Jesus had the power of God within him and might be tempted to use it. Had Jesus given in to temptation, then he would have done it for selfish reasons and sinned. Jesus fought him by quoting the Word of God, thereby declaring his loyalty to God his father. As Satan appealed 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).

Third, Jesus wants us to respond to his call. The early disciples responded to the call of Jesus. They recognized his ministry was more important than their fishing occupation so they left it all to follow him. The disciples weren’t perfect. It appears from the Gospel of John's account that they went back to their vocation after following Jesus for just a little while. Apparently, when they got hungry they did not trust Jesus to give them food (it looked like he did not have any). The men were surprised, however, when Jesus called out instructions to them where to cast their nets to catch a full load of fish! They recognized their sinfulness for not trusting Jesus completely; the teacher takes care of his disciples. They learned 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) Have your sins been taken away? He can 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)

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