Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Morning Musings ...

It has been a couple of weeks since I posted. I wasn't gone, just busy and get anything posted. Yesterday was a very good day. The weather was gorgeous. The spirit in worship was good. Our small group was good as usual. Attendance wasn't great but that was one of the few things that didn't go well.

I began a new series of messages yesterday. The series entitled "Not A Fan" and that title comes directly from Kyle Idleman's outstanding book by the same title. I highly recommend the book. The series, and book, are book answering the question "Are you a fan, or a follower of Jesus?" Jesus is not, and never has been looking for fans. He wants followers. The scripture foundation is Luke 9:23-24. The message yesterday was all about defining our relationship with Jesus Christ. It was about examining our relationship with Christ to determine whether we are just fans, or if we are followers. We are defining a fan as "an enthusiastic admirer". Some characteristics of fans are that they cheer for Jesus, they wear witness wear and cross jewelry. Fans are great admirers of Jesus. Fans can find the scripture reference the pastor gives faster than most people in the worship service. Fans make donations to the cause of Christ. Fans attend church as long as it doesn't interfere with anything else they have scheduled. In our culture it is a real possibility for our church to become a place full of fans. We come, sit down and open the program. We applaud at certain times, we fill in the blanks for the sermon and sing a little and then we leave somehow thinking this was all done for us. As we leave we evaluate the sermon, the song selections and the performance of all involved and give it a grade. Then we come back and do it again the next Sunday if we attend. You need to realize the truth that Jesus has never cared about having fans. He wants followers.

We examined 3 questions to define our relationship with Christ. 1) Why are you here? Not the philosophical question of why do we exist, but why do we attend church and claim to follow Christ? What is your honest answer? If it is because your parents are making you, then I applaud your parents. It could be to pacify your spouse, to help your business, to see your friends, or it could be to glorify Christ and worship him. In John 6 Jesus addresses some of the reasons people showed up. In verse 2 he said many followed him to see the next miracle. In verse 66 he said many left him when defined their relationship with him. Then in verses 67-69, Jesus asked the 12 if they wanted to leave also. Peter answered for the group and said that Christ had, and was, the answer and that Jesus was "Holy One of God". That is the reason to be here.

2) Is it personal? Have you made it your own? There is a danger that you can become a fan and actually create a faith that is not your own. You can fool yourself into believing that you have faith when it is really your parents, or your spouse, or your friends, or your Pastor's faith and not your own. Look at Luke 9:23-24. They are very personal verses. Deny yourself, carry your carry, lose your life and follow Jesus to save your life. You cannot do this through someone else's faith. This is about your relationship with Christ, not someone elses.

3) Are you all in? Being a follower of Christ requires complete commitment. Meaning you will do whatever, whenever and wherever Jesus asks. Absolute commitment is a struggle for us. We would prefer to customize our Christianity. We want to follow Jesus our way. We want to pick and choose which parts of Christ's call we will follow. That might work on Twitter, but with Jesus. Following Christ is not a multiple choice test. There is only one answer.

Are you a fan or a follower?


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