1/15/2013 9:29:24 AM
Not a Fan
Are you a Christian? Sounds like a simple question and we are often quick to answer that we are. But what does that mean to us? More importantly, what does that mean to God?
Kyle Idleman challenges us to become fully committed followers of Jesus. As a pastor of a large congregation he was preparing for Easter Sunday one year and praying about what he should do that Sunday that would bring people back to church. Then it hit him, it wasn’t about drawing a crowd but challenging people to follow Jesus. There were many that came to hear Jesus speak but there were far fewer that were willing to follow him. The crowds fell away when Jesus told them to count the cost before starting on the journey of following him.
Jesus was never interested in fans! He wanted committed followers that would go wherever, whenever and at whatever cost he ask them to undertake. The difference is level of commitment. The fan wants to follow Jesus as long as it doesn’t interrupt their life or come with significant cost. Following Jesus always costs you something. Many of us would be willing to make minor changes in our life but few are willing to allow Jesus to reconstruct our lives. Following Jesus means more than agreeing with him or mentally knowing he is right. It is taking action that means change in our lives.
Following Jesus is not something you can do part-time. It is a 24 hour a day commitment that will interfere with your life. There is no forgiveness without repentance. There is no salvation without surrender. There is no life without death. There is no believing without committing.
Many of us have a great desire to be in an intimate relationship with God but settle for knowing about him. God’s desire for you is to have an intimate connection with you. You will be challenged to think about how you decide the value of something. How often when making a purchase do we ask “how much can I afford?” but when thinking about what we offer to God ask “How little can I give?”
You cannot follow Jesus without being filled with the Holy Spirit or it will lead to frustration and exhaustion trying. It is that same Spirit that shows us our weaknesses. We cannot be filled by that Spirit unless we are willing to empty ourselves first.
Biblical belief is more than we express with our mouths but something we express with our lives. Jesus is available to anyone but it means giving up everything. We are not simply invited to follow Jesus but the Holy Spirit teaches us to follow Jesus. We cannot have the pleasure without that pain.
Jesus wants you to start right where you are and follow him going forward. Become a follower, not a fan!
This is a great read that could just transform your life!
Book Discussion and Movie
There is a movie created from this book called not a fan tells the story of a dedicated follower of Jesus and the impact it had on his family, friends and others.
The film will be shown at Venango United Methodist Church on Wednesday, February 6th at 7 p.m. and at First United Methodist Church of Cambridge Springs on Sunday, February 10th at 7 p.m. free of charge.
Starting Sunday, February 17th at 7 p.m. we will hold a weekly discussion group on this book using small group discussion material that goes along with the book. Anyone is welcome to join us and be a part of the conversation.