Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Fan or A Follower

The weekend of November 10, 2012, was a tough weekend for me as a Native Mississippian and a present resident of Alabama.  As I write this column, I am reminded of that Saturday.  Here are the results of that day: The University of Southern Mississippi, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Auburn, AND Alabama, all LOST their ballgames.  (On the following day, I was fretting whether or not the Saints would lose to the UNBEATEN Falcons – but THANKFULLY, the Saints prevailed that day!)
Admittedly, I have not ever been a huge College Football fan, but I have watched the Saints since the 1960’s.  Yes, I remember the days when the stadium was less than half-full and those ‘fans’ who did show up wore bags over their heads.  Such is the nature of a fan.  The fan is defined as an ‘ardent admirer & usually a spectator.’  Fans can be fickled.
Although people don’t appreciate hearing this truth, “Jesus didn’t die on the cross to build a fan base.”  Listen to HIS words:
“If anyone would come with me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.”  As I read the words and see the concepts of ‘denying self, cross, and following,’ it become apparent to me that these are not words which describes a fan but an ‘all in’ follower.  Put another way, a person must deny self, die to self, and dedicate self.
Think about the price Jesus paid for each person; “God demonstrated His own love (for you) in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.”  The Bible tells us that the compensation for sin is death BUT the gift of God is eternal life THROUGH Jesus Christ.  This is GREAT NEWS!! In Jesus’ death, He offers forgiveness of sin, being made right with God, and eternal life in heaven; the requirement is that each person believes by FOLLOWING Jesus. 
Being a follower is different from being a fan.  A follower can be counted on regardless of the circumstances.  Sadly, many have replaced the total commitment of a follower with the comfortable commitment of a fan. 
What is sadder than this is that Jesus never makes an offer for one to be a fan only. 
Some say that Jesus’ demands are not fair, too exclusive.  But I offer this; He is extremely fair for two reasons: Everyone is welcome and everyone becomes a follower the same way. 
Are you a ‘fan’ or a ‘follower?’

Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ for his books entitled 
“Words Of Warning”
"And They Were Called Christians"

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