Lakers lost, they are out of the 2012 playoffs! And I’m just giggling, okay laughing out loud in excitement. I’m just NOT a Lakers fan. In fact, I can’t stand Kobe it’s almost borderline haltered, I’m sick of his arrogance. I am however a huge Celtics fan. Huge! I watch every game, know all the stats, know each player by their legal name and could probably tell you their favorite meals, songs, movies, etc. Okay that definitely made me sound like a stalker. I’m not. But I am definitely a fan.
Here’s the problem with that, no matter how “HUGE” of a fan I am, no matter how many of their Jerseys I own, how many games I attend, how many stats I know, no matter how much cheering I do I simply can not help the Celtics win a game. I’m not on the court. I’m not sacrificing anything. I am just a fan sitting on the sidelines. In fact, I don’t even know the players personally.
So here’s where I am going with this. Are you a “FAN” of Jesus, “an enthusiastic admirer”? Are you that Christian that rocks them cheesy “Christian” t-shirts, warm up the same seat each Sunday, attend all the church services—even the ones that do not pertain to you, know all the Sunday school bible stories, Jesus juke on cue, have “Christian” ringtones, and even enthusiastically cheer Jesus from the sidelines?
Kyle Idleman, author of Not A Fan, notes that fans “want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from them.”
It’s time to define the relationship. Are you a “fan” or a follower (Luke 9:23 NLT)? Don’t skip the bible reference, look it up and read it!
A fan is “an enthusiastic admirer,” a follower lives the way Jesus lived and loves the way Jesus loved (Matt. 22:37-39; James 1:27; Matthew 25:31-46), which one are you, fan or follower?
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For that last several months my students and I have been trying to figure out what it means to truly “love” Jesus. What it looks like to “follow” Jesus in our everyday context? We’re not looking for the Sunday school answers. We really want to alter our lives to LOVE and FOLLOW Jesus no matter what the cost.
Recently we started reading Not A Fan, the teen edition, together as we wrestle through these tough questions. We’ve had some amazing dialogue so far. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
About NOT A FAN by Kyle Idleman
You attend every movie featuring a certain actor, you know the stats of your sports hero, and you can recite lyrics from your favorite songs. In short, you’re a huge fan. But are you treating Jesus the same as the other people you admire?
The truth is Jesus wants more than the church attendance, occasional prayer, and the ability to recite Scripture – the fan response. He’s looking for people who are actually willing to sacrifice in order to follow him.
In this teen edition of Not a Fan, Kyle Idleman uses humor, personal stories, and biblical truth as he challenges you to look at what it means to call yourself a Christian and follow the radical call Jesus presents. So, will you be a fan, or a follower?