This weekend, we begin a new sermon series at Gloria Dei called Half-Hearted Zealot. We’ll be exploring what it means to be either a fan or follower of Christ. Click here to follow the series: Half-Hearted Zealot.
It sounds like I’m asking if you follow someone on Twitter, doesn’t it? In fact, wouldn’t that be an easy way to be a follower of Jesus?
Follow Jesus. Check.
Like Him on Facebook. Check.
That’s our culture now. We follow and like from afar. We don’t really have to do anything, but once we click the button, we feel like we’re in. Except that we’re not.
Our online world is more of a fandom, I think, than true followers.
According to Dictionary.com…
A fan is an ardent admirer of a pop star, film actor, football team, etc.; an aficionado or enthusiast.
A follower is a person who imitates, copies, or takes as a model or ideal; an attendant or servant.
Both definitions are nouns, but don’t miss the difference.
A fan is someone who is something. A follower is someone who does something.
The difference is subtle, but huge.
So, the better question is…
Are you a fan or follower of Jesus?
Fans know about Jesus. They believe in Him, but are concerned with how they look as a Christian. They want others to see their actions, but they want their actions to be acceptable in the eyes of others. They want to be and look like a follower, but may not be willing to actually do anything as a follower.
Followers know about Jesus, but they also get to know Jesus personally. They believe in Him, but even more, they believe Him. They believe what Jesus says is true, and they are willing to act on it, regardless of what others might think.
Followers have an inner passion for who they are following. They know it won’t be easy to follow Him. In fact, everyday may be a struggle to put self aside and put Jesus first. But, they know it will be worth it.
As fans, we tend to rely on ourselves, thinking, I can’t possibly be a true follower—it’s frightening and overwhelming. I tried and I messed it up almost immediately. I know I’d keep failing.
As followers, we realize it’s not about us. We think, I can’t possibly be a true follower—it’s frightening and overwhelming. I tried and I messed it up almost immediately. I know I’ll keep failing—but I know God will keep extending grace and forgiveness.
God didn’t ask us to do it on our own. As followers, we have Someone to rely on—Jesus shows us the way…and God gives us what we need to follow. (<==Click to tweet.)
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:13 NLT
Photo credit: Stock photo: flight of stone stairs