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Introduction: In Luke 9: 23 it says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” I think many of you will usher this word, because you are ready to move to a different level of commitment. You’re ready to move past the casual and past the convenient into something more devoted, something more committed. Some of you are not, because you kind of like the set-up you have with Jesus. I mean, He is a nice guy and you like church - it gives you something to do on the weekend - and it’s awfully nice that we can sip some lattes in the coffee bar while we’re here. You kind of like what you have going, and this idea of being more committed, this idea of taking it to a different level? You might even think that you are being set up! You get a little anxious and overwhelmed. Maybe you even go into the “fight or flight” response. But what we want to do is define the relationship. Where do you stand with Jesus Christ?
Now, some of you are wondering why I’d ask a question like that. We’re all followers of Jesus, right? And some of us are even pursuing the level of discipleship. That’s why we’re here, aren’t we? Don’t jump to your answer too quickly. Let us get into God’s Word to understand where we stand.
1. Are you a ‘FAN’ of Jesus? (Matthew 21: 6-11)
The word fan is defined as “an enthusiastic admirer.” We’re all fans of different things, right? Many of us are sports fans. We watch the games. We cheer on the team. Some of us own the jerseys of our favorite players. We understand the concept of being a fan of sports.
And my concern is that our church has the potential to very easily become a stadium full of fans of Jesus. And Jesus never cared about having fans. If you define a fan as an enthusiastic admirer, then fans were not important to Him. See, I think we have a tendency to come together once a week and be fans of Jesus. We sit down in our seats and we open up our programs. We applaud at certain times and we leave somehow thinking that, as the fans, it was all done for us. We get in the car and we evaluate the sermon, and we kind of give the service and song selection a thumbs up or thumbs down. And we come back and do it again the next week.
And I get the fact that some of you are really big fans. I mean, you’re really into all of this. You know all the songs and also know what is coming next. You know where to turn. You’re pretty fast, and you kind of look around to see how much faster you are than everyone else, keeping your Sword Drill abilities in shape. You’re big fans of Jesus. And being a fan feels pretty good.
We can feel pretty good about ourselves because we’re these great admirers of Christ, but He never cared about having fans. So if we’ll be honest with ourselves, if we’ll really search our hearts and begin to define our relationship with Jesus, there is a question for you to answer.
• Why Are You Here?
Before the cross a Jesus fan cheered, at the cross a Jesus fan jeered, after the cross a Jesus fan went on with their business. A Jesus Fan quits at the first sign of trouble, a Jesus follower faithfully works through trouble. Are you a Jesus fan or a Jesus follower? A Jesus fan goes to church (sometime). A Jesus follower does the church work (all the time). A Jesus Fan has a dry spirit,
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