Summary: This was a Super Sunday message. Although at the last minute changed this quite a bit, I believe this will stir your thoughts. The audio will be available shortly. This also contains my LOVE presentation.
A Fan, A Follower, or A Fraud
* In 2007 over 100 million people watched the Super Bowl. This afternoon that number will, quite likely, eclipse every record that has been previously established. Why is that? Today the New England Patriots is putting their historic run on the line and people all around the world are interested. Some are cheering them on while many are simply pulling for the “underdog” New York Giants, because many want whoever is on top to be brought down. These folk who cheer and watch are called fans. In this congregation we have fans, and fans of all kinds. Certainly, we have those who are fans of football, baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, hockey, and many other sports. But we also have those who are fans of music, arts, shows, movie stars, and the like. Consider with me the characteristic of a fan.
* A fan defined is one who is an enthusiastic devotee of “sports.” I am not sure why this would be limited to sports as it could just as easily be the theatre, music, or the like.
* Let me give you four characteristics (that I have identified) of a fan.
1) EXCLUSIVE – It takes no imagination to recognize that fans have ONE focus. It can be their team, players, sport, or the like. But make no mistake, they don’t switch.
* Last week I mentioned Alabama as trying to win and all the Auburn (as well as the rest) enjoyed the funny as the expense of the Tide. But it matters not, Tide, Tigers, Rebels, Gators, Volunteers, Bulldogs, or the rest, we tend to stick to our favorite and NEVER CHANGE!! Whether one sport, one team, one artist, or one “something else”, the fan is, quite likely, exclusive.
2) EXTRAVAGANT – It takes no imagination to know that fans are big spenders. The last time I checked tickets to the Super Bowl ranged from $1900 to $5,000. College, High School, and professional games are regularly attended and cost hundreds of dollars. Is this wrong? No, not if you have the discretionary income to spend. But the point is this, for the fan, if they don’t have the money, they have the plastic and will stop at (almost) nothing to see their team.
3) EXPRESSIVE – Of all things a fan is expressive. Watch the ballgame on TV and you’ll see a wave, hollering, screaming, jumping up and down, and even yelling at the officials. Instead of the ballgame on TV, watch those who watch the ballgame on TV. They’ll stand on the couch, shout at the deaf TV, jump up with their hands raised like a referee signaling a touchdown, and even boo the opponent. Can you imagine when Tom Brady throws a TD pass the crowd whispering, “Yes,” or “amen”? Can you imagine the New England fans “if” the Patriots actually go 19-0?
4) EXHAUSTING – The fan NEVER GIVES UP OR IN!! They will wear you out!! I am still holding out hope that one of these Super Bowl Days, the New Orleans Saints will not only PLAY, but WIN!! Listen, fans will wear you out!! They are always talking about the team. They know who’s been recruited or signed. They know everything possible about “their team.” To be around them is exhausting and sometimes frustrating because they are so given to their team that they just won’t let it go.
* At about this point, many are saying, “Preacher, you have just ran all the way through your outline and you have only preached about being a ‘fan’, are you going to give us any word from God today?” Please consider all the things that I have just said, roll them over in your mind, add your own comment and then consider this statement.
* Jesus has not called us only to be, nor does He desire to have fans, His call is as simple today as it was in the first century. He calls us to be followers. To everyone He called, the same message was given, many times the same words were spoken, and no doubt the same expectation and invitation extended. He calls, expects, and desires followers. For the next few minutes, will you consider with me this question, “Am I a fan, a follower, or a fraud of and for Jesus Christ?” Turn with me to Matthew 4 and we’ll read verses 18-22. As you turn, we have started this year with a call to be a fellowship willing to “change” in order to become a “Jesus Church”, that is, a church filled up with Healthy Believers who have dealt with and demolished the strongholds which Satan has successfully built in our lives. Every message we hear and every step we take will be an intentional effort to lead us toward this.