And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. ¾ Deuteronomy 10:12


When you were younger you probably learned to fear certain things in life. Things like hot stoves, or mean-eyed cats, or your aunt’s bad breath. It’s healthy to fear the things that can harm us. But what about being scared of God? What does the Bible mean that we are to “fear God”?


Take a second and read Deuteronomy 10:12. God’s power is awesome. And there are things we can read in the Bible that might give us cause to fear Him. But that doesn’t seem to be what’s being talked about here. The phrase “the fear of God” has a much broader meaning than being scared of Him.


Fearing God is kind of like having a super-huge level of respect for Him. It involves reverence, but also obedience. Having a “fear” of God, in the way the Bible speaks about it, is following His teachings, living them out day-by-day in faith, and doing it all out of a great love for God. Isn’t that an awesome idea? In other words the essence of “fearing” God is not being afraid of Him at all. It’s more love and honor than anything else.


Something To Think About . . .

  • Being a disciple in the Old Testament meant to “fear God” and keep His commandments. Do you think the measure of a disciple today is different than it was back then? If so, in what ways? If not, why not?
  • Have you ever thought about the term “fearing God” as meaning to love Him completely? How will this knowledge change the way you approach God? How will this change your relationship with God?



Let’s do a little Greek word study, shall we? Remember, the New Testament we read is translated from manuscripts that were written in Greek. And so sometimes we can look at the original Greek word and learn a new, or a deeper understanding of a particular concept.


Let’s look at the Greek word for “disciple.” It’s the word mathetes. (Pronounced “muh-THAY-tace.”) Mathetes was a word that was used in Greek culture to describe anyone who learned from anyone else in a student-teacher relationship. You could be a mathetes of a Greek philosopher or a Jewish rabbi. You could be a mathetes of a metalworker or artist. And the traditional understanding of mathetes had to do with knowledge. You were simply a learner.


But Jesus added a new meaning to this word. Jesus made being a mathetes all about being a follower. It was more than just learning the knowledge of your teacher. It was living the life of your teacher! The thing we miss is that God didn’t give us an option. He didn’t say, “OK, the BEST of you can become followers. The REST of you can just kind of agree with the idea of me, or whatever.” The belief that God calls us to involves life-transformation. God wants us to be followers, living our lives according to His ways, completely, 100% sold out to identifying with God.


Can you see the difference? Better yet, can you see the difference in your life?


Something To Think About . . .

  • What role does knowledge play in being a disciple? Can you follow God if you don’t know about Him?
  • Describe the difference between knowing God, or knowing about Him, and following Him.
  • Are you a follower? Or has your relationship with Christ been more about collecting knowledge but not living it out? What needs to change in your life for you to live the life of a disciple?



Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. ¾ Psalms 128:1


Think about a few examples of how you’ve walked in God’s ways in the last few days. Write them down if you feel like it.



Now, think about some opportunities you missed. When did you have a chance to follow after God that you didn’t act on? Write them down if you feel like it.



Take a moment to pray to God. Ask Him to help you be more aware of the opportunities you have to follow Him in your day-to-day life. Then, ask for the strength to actually follow through!



Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” ¾ Mark 9:35


When is the first option not the best option? When is the last option actually the more desirable one?


Read Mark 9:35. Here’s the ultimate “last is best” scenario! Sometimes in our journey of discipleship we get this entitlement mentality that when we’re “acting right” and feel close to God that we should get some kind of special treatment, like God should love us more, or that we should be happier, or more comfortable. The first problem with this is the idea that God’s love would be based on our behavior. (God‘s love is perfect and complete and depends solely on Him, not on us. God loves us because He is love. God welcomes us into relationship because of what Jesus did, not because we can do anything to make Him love us more.)


But the second problem is that Jesus taught that feeling like we deserve to be first is pretty much the opposite of what we should be about.


Jesus teaches that part of being a disciple is desiring to be last. He told His followers that to be great in His Kingdom you had to go last. You had to take on the servant mentality.


Something To Think About . . .

  • What would “being last” look like if you lived it out at your school?
  • What would “being last” look like if you lived it out in your youth group or at home?
  • Why do you think Jesus commanded His disciples to think of themselves as servants?



Read this quote:

Discipleship is more than getting to know what the teacher knows. It is getting to be what he is. ¾ Juan Carlos Ortiz


Consider jotting it down on your phone’s text app. Or putting it on your Tumblr, or Facebook page.


Whatever you do, find a way to keep it in front of you today.


Meditate on it. Think about it. Let it remind you of what you’ve learned so far about being a disciple.