Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Not A Fan Anymore
Two Sundays ago our associate pastor preached a message at our church. We go to a rather large church and the response has been quite overwhelming. Like so many others, I was moved as well. But to be honest this is a message that God has been working in my heart for awhile now...since long before last Sunday.
The passage we looked at was in Luke 14:25-27:
"Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 'If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters - yes, even his own life - he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.'"
Are you on facebook? Are you aware that you can become a fan of different things on facebook...a fan of a band, or a person, or a place...and Jesus actually has a 'fan page'. Yes, you can actually become a 'fan' of Jesus on facebook. Our pastor explained that in this point in Jesus' ministry(in Luke 14), he had attracted a lot of fans.
"But Jesus was not interested in having a lot of fans...he was interested in having followers," he said.
You see, large crowds never impressed Jesus, but the commitment of the individual believer is what he was concerned about.
He also shared some alarming statistics.
Below is the results of a survey given to adults age 42+ who call themselves Christians, but consider the following things "acceptable".
Sexual thoughts or fantasies about someone other than their spouse 35%
Sex outside of marriage 23%
Getting drunk 13%
Having an abortion 27%
Having a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex 13%
The results of the same survey given to adults age 23-41 who call themselves Christians:
Sexual thoughts or fantasies about someone other than their spouse 57%
Sex outside of marriage 44%
Getting drunk 35%
Having an abortion 32%
Having a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex 28%
Isn't it amazing the difference that only one generation makes. And it makes me wonder.
Another story our pastor shared was about a Texan man who shared the story of his prodigal daughter with tears in his eyes...and this is what he said.
"We raised her in church, but we didn't raise her in Christ."
And can I be real honest with you...this is my fear.
It's not that I meant to be just a fan. But I have been. I've went to church and I've read a chapter in my Bible each day and I've written in my prayer journal. I know the worship songs, go to Bible Study, and can even recite memorized scripture. But Jesus is not impressed with this.
The fact of the matter is that my heart has gotten lost somewhere amidst the dirty diapers and the lesson plans and the volunteer commitments and answering emails. My heart has been chasing after the busyness of life instead of following whom it truly desires...the Love of my life. Jesus.
And it stops now.
It stops because I cannot bear to imagine my children being anything less than His follower. And it stops because it is what He desires of me. And there truly is no sweeter way than His.
But how can I move from a fan to a follower? Only by God's grace, I'm certain. So will you pray for me? Please pray for my commitment to be a follower and consider making this commitment as well. We can pray for each other.
Right now you can actually watch the entire sermon on our church's website at this link. Pin It Now!