Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fan or Follower?

We’ve read and shared the book, Not A Fan. It’s a very good take on the difference between fans and followers. I learned my lesson on this from of all things baseball.  I fell in love with the game and especially the Braves through spending time with one of my teenage daughters. I began to watch games with her. I was a fan, especially of some of the players. Mark Wohlers was one of my all-time favorite players. He had an arm like no one I’d ever seen- until he lost it. I watched the team try to keep him playing, try to help him get the pitch back and ultimately send him to the minors to try to help him recover. To my knowledge, he never did. Then there were the great players who would get traded to other teams. Then there were the players I didn’t know who came in to play for the team I enjoyed.

I found it hard to keep watching because the players changed all the time. Just as I had a favorite pitcher or hitter to follow, they’d be gone and another would replace them. I had just about decided I didn’t like baseball anymore when one of my cousins said, “you just have to pick your team and stay loyal to them because everything else is subject to change”. People come and people go. So instead of being a fan of a couple of players I became a follower of the team.

In the believer’s life, we are all on the same team – Team Jesus. But some of us are merely fans while others are completely committed followers. It’s hard to tell the difference in a fan and a follower until a real commitment is needed. When the going is tough, a fan will move on. When the thrill is gone, fans leave the stadium. When things don’t go their way, a fan will quit the team and begin to do their own thing. Followers look for a spot to plug into, while fans look for what makes them feel good. Followers are servants. Fans like being served.

We must pray for our pastors. They are over a team of followers and fans. It’s a rough place to be. Pray for our churches, they are filled with followers and fans.  Pray – that you and I will always be a completely committed follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, so that no matter what and after having done all we will stand. Pray for one another – that God to keep us all from straying when the heat is on, when the stadium is empty, when the money is low and the commitment level is lower.

Oh beloved, God knows what you’re going through. He knows you may have been slighted, ignored or pushed aside. It may have been intentional or accidental, but God was with you when it happened. You may have talents you want to use, gifts you want to give, blessings you want to share – but always remember, even when your talents, gifts and blessings are low you are needed on Team Jesus. God doesn’t need your abilities, He just wants your commitment. He reminds you to look into His Word and see: Caleb and Joshua were the only two who stood with God yet they were powerful men who stayed on God’s team, even when everyone else quit. Moses stood on the mountain with God while the rest of the group made an idol to worship. Mary Magdelene let Christ change her life completely and she was rewarded by being one of the first to view the empty tomb! Rejoice, beloved, in your commitment to Him and watch as He takes you beyond your wildest imagination! He will fix what’s wrong, He will bless what’s lacking, He will minister to you in your deepest hurts and use you for His Kingdom and His glory! 

He loves you and He’s for you and that’s worth all your commitment forever!

Isaiah 26:4 So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages]. (Amplified Bible)

Titus 2:14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us His very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.

Galatians 2:20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

John 6:66-68 At this point many of His disciples turned away and deserted Him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.”


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