Worship The Lord Jesus

In Jesus Is True Joy!

Are We Fans Or Followers Of Christ

I am reading the book, “Not A Fan: Becoming A Completely Committed Follower Of Jesus”, by Kyle Idleman.

 

The first section of the book is devoted to distinguishing between the fans and followers of Christ.

 

Fans tend to want Jesus as part of their lives, but only to the extent that they are not too inconvenienced by His presence.  For example, fans want what Jesus offers, as long as they don’t have to give more financially than they are comfortable with.  Fans want Jesus, but are not willing to give up that favorite sin, whether that sin be drinking or drugs, sexual immorality, lying, coveting, etc.  Fans want Jesus, but don’t expect them to go to church every Sunday, or join a Bible study, or sacrifice for the poor, etc.  In other words, fans want to dictate the terms of their relationship with the Lord.

 

And, reading the book, one might be surprised, even if they consider themselves to be a follower, how many fan-like tendencies there are in their lives.  And I include myself in that group.

The second half of the book is an in-depth study of a single verse of the Bible.  I like the way the author introduces it.  He asks how many are able to quote John 3:16 from memory.  And of course, everybody knows that one.  And John 3:16 is an important truth for anyone who follows, or would follow Jesus.  Then he asks how many know another verse that is, or should be, central to the life of the believer, Luke 9:23.  Do you know it?  In case you are like me and don’t know it off the top of your head, here it is:

 

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  —  Luke 9:23

 

As the author explains, the kind of “following after” that Jesus had in mind is the kind you would expect of a man who is in love with a woman and pursues her to win her heart.  he is totally devoted to her and willing to do anything for her, because he loves her.  This is the kind of relationship that Jesus wants for us. 

 

Using again the analogy of a smitten man, he would think nothing of denying himself to achieve his goal.  And the idea here is  not that he would resist his own desires for his prize, he would not even consider them.  The goal is everything.  Self is nothing.  And it is with this same selfless love and desire that Jesus wants His followers to pursue Him.

 

I have not finished “Not A Fan” yet, but I know already that this is a book that I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to deepen their relationship with the Lord.  In fact, we have two copies in our house.  One is a paperback that my wife is reading, the other is the Kindle edition so I can carry it along as I go.

 

God bless each of us, and may we all, by whatever means, be the kind of followers that our Lord desires.

 

Update, March 2015:  Jesus commands His disciples, “Follow Me.”.  Note that Jesus makes this simple command without qualification, and is therefore all encompassing.  Jesus is not interested in us following Him sometimes, but all the time, in everything that we do.  Just as with our love for God, Jesus commands that we follow Him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.

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March 31, 2012 - Posted by | Discipleship, Godliness, Knowing Jesus | , , , ,

14 Comments »

  1. Content deleted as inappropriate. Please keep on topic.

    Comment by Matthew Perri | March 21, 2014 | Reply

    • Sorry to have to do that, but I must insist that comments be on topic.

      Thank you for your consideration, and God bless you.

      Comment by johnconstitution | March 22, 2014 | Reply

  2. Hi John,

    I enjoyed the message. I love your style of teaching. SOUND DOCTRINE!
    I pray all is well with you and your family.

    HAPPY EASTER!

    DO REMEMBER TO TELL THE LORD THANK YOU!

    DEBRA

    Comment by Minister Aiken | April 7, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you so much Debra, your encouragement is a real blessing.

      Happy Easter to you too!

      God bless,
      John

      Comment by johnconstitution | April 7, 2012 | Reply

  3. Bit of a sweeping statement of mine John that it’s a wakeup call for all of us, a bad habit, I can’t answer for everyone else there are those who no doubt give all, just know I sometimes let other things get in the way, busy for sure but no excuse, if we’re too busy for God and others then we’re too busy. Anne says we won’t be counting our brownie points on our deathbed but those who we Love and who Love us .

    blessings
    Ron

    Comment by Ron | April 3, 2012 | Reply

    • Hi Ron,

      Perhaps the statement was a bit overreaching. Nevertheless, I’d guess that even the best among us could benefit from a spiritual reevaluation now and then.

      God bless.

      Comment by johnconstitution | April 5, 2012 | Reply

  4. Thank you for sharing, and God bless you.

    Comment by Scott Sholar | April 1, 2012 | Reply

    • And thank you Scot for stopping by. I hope that you are blessed!

      Comment by johnconstitution | April 1, 2012 | Reply

  5. Hi Ron,

    Yes, and that is what reading :”Not A Fan” has been for me, a 212 page wake up call. It’s been bringing some changes, that’s for sure!

    God bless,
    John

    Comment by johnconstitution | April 1, 2012 | Reply

  6. Thanks John for the wakeup call for all of us , its always good to test where we are at in our walk with the Lord and what precentage of our lives we give to the Lord. Its really good to have to revalue where we are spiritually.
    blessings
    Ron

    Comment by Freedomborn | April 1, 2012 | Reply

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  9. Hi John , very good message, yes indeed we need to ask are we 100% for The Lord or does He have to fit into our agenda …what is God’s Love….

    People have asked me … why must we Love God and be committed to Him 100% … I ask then if they have ever been passionate about something, I mean really passionate or have they known others who are ? someone who is really on fire for what they believe or cherish, perhaps Conservation, World Peace, Sport, Elvis, Grandchildren a Woman or Man in love… out comes the photos or brag book, eyes are bright, smiles exuberance, excitement, nothing is better and if it’s a loved one, they can do no wrong, perhaps they do but they don’t care, they love them. They think about what or who they are passionate about most of the time, they talk about it or them, they defend them or it, they fight for them, they want to be with them or participate and be involved in what they hold as extremely important, they never weary of listening to them or hearing about it, there loyalty never wavers, they are 100% committed and they are absolutely in no way luke -warm.

    Why does God ask for this 100% of us in regard to Him ( see below ) is it because He is egotistical….Passion is one of the faces of True Love, God’s Love reflects it’s intensity but there is so much more…so why does God ask us to seek and Love Him with all our heart, with all our all, because we need to and in doing so we will find true contentment and fulfilment. We need to Love fully, we need to give all, any less will leave us wanting, we were Created to Love 100% and God’s Love is Sacrificial, Constant, Faithful, Committed, Loyal and never ending, it is not at all Saccharine sweet, that leaves a bitter after taste or is it watered down, cold or luke -warm. When we Love God 100% we will Love ourselves and others and be at Peace, but we can’t have God’s Love without God, because we ask Him for it and He gives it to us and then as we walk in it and it overflows and cleanses and heals us.

    Jeremiah 29:12-14 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD:

    Matthew 22 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great Commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt Love thy Neighbour as thyself. On these two Commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

    Christian Love Anne

    Comment by Freedomborn | March 31, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you Anne for sharing that. It is such a blessing.

      The theme of the Jeremiah passage is one that is found throughout the whole Bible as well. Those who seek Him with the whole heart… Another example is in James:

      “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8

      And really, aren’t these passages just another way of saying that 100% commitment is needed?

      Comment by johnconstitution | April 1, 2012 | Reply


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