Weekday Devotionals

Fan or Follower of Jesus…by Rick McCotter

Verse: 1 Samuel 15:22“What is more pleasing to the Lord; your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to His voice?  Listen!  Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.”

Thoughts: Happy 10th Birthday Thrive Community Church!  What a great day Sunday was to celebrate what the Lord has done with his church, Thrive.

As I listened to Pastor Pete and Shaylan talk about their pre-Thrive ministry, and they mentioned several times that it felt like pushing a boulder uphill most of the time, I thought to myself, that had to be exhausting mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

And, when that season of ministry ended, they heard God say…” Start Thrive,” and they did.  I’m thinking WOW, after what they just went through for years, to start over without any guarantee of success, takes a level of Obedience and Submission most people would never understand.  But here is the difference between Pastor Pete and Shaylan and most believers, Pastor Pete and Shaylan are Followers, most believers are just Fans.  Sad but true. (Matthew 7:13-14)

Are you a Follower, or a Fan?  Jesus said, “If anyone wants to follow me (be my disciple), he must deny himself (set aside selfish interest), take up his cross (willing to endure whatever may come), and follow me (believe in Me, conform to my example of living, and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in me). Luke 9:23. The truth is not always comfortable, but, it will set you free.  Let’s use me as an example of a Follower or Fan.

I got saved on October 1, 1980, almost 42 years ago.  For most of that time, I was just a Fan.  I believed in Jesus as the Son of God and my Savior and what he did for me on the cross.  Like most people…I believed, I went to Church, I was in a small group, I tithed, I helped others, I supported ministries and I was a good Christian man…NOT!  God doesn’t want my self-righteousness, money, my good deeds, my church activities (sacrifices and burnt offerings) …to Him, those things are detestable…filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6)!  I was a FAN!  I was not experiencing God in an intimate, personal and experiential way.  It was all just a show.  I was an empty Fan.  I believed when it was convenient and it made me look good; but, that was not what God wanted.

Several years ago, God confronted me about being a Fan…a Fake Follower of Christ.  I know, tough words; but the Gospel isn’t all fun and games. There is a real cost to pay to be a follower of Jesus.  The cost is everything; all of ME! My Absolute Surrender and Obedience in ALL things! Not just some of me that I would let him have when it was convenient for me or made me look good.  To be a Follower, His Disciple, Jesus demands we give him all of us.  And why would he settle for less; He gave us all of himself on the Cross when he died for us; the cost is great; the reward is eternal.  I thank God often for loving me enough to confront me with the truth and giving me the opportunity to become a Follower of Jesus.  Jesus demands Absolute Surrender and Obedience from his Disciples/Followers.  

Application: As I have been on my journey with Jesus; this has been truth for me.  I am living my best life as a completely sold out, 100% committed, Surrendered and Obedient Follower of Jesus.  My previous Fan life can’t compare to the riches I’ve found in really Knowing Jesus intimately.  The old Fan life has passed away; behold, new life in Jesus as a Follower has come.  2nd Corinthians 5:17

Now let’s get authentic with ourselves.  Are you a Fan or a Follower?  Are you going through all the comfortable and convenient motions of Christianity?  Or, have you paid the price of sacrifice and suffering, laid down your life in Absolute Surrender and Obedience to Jesus?  If you aren’t sure, you’re probably a fan.  I say this because I personally know the difference; Jesus loves the Fan, but, he’s calling all of us to be Followers.

Talk to God about where your relationship is with him.  Ask him to show you where you are; Fan or Follower.  He loves you enough to tell you the truth.  Just take the next step and ask God to direct your path.  He loves you too much to ignore you and he deeply desires to give you the life he created you to have which only comes in and through him as we daily surrender our will.

- Rick




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