Summary: This series of messages inspired by Kyle Idleman's book, "Not a Fan"
What do you ‘Treasure?’
A Fan or a Follower - #3 of 5
(Note: This series is inspired by Kyle Idleman’s book – “Not a Fan”)
* As we continue considering the question of, “Am I a Fan or Follower” of Jesus Christ, I remind us of this truth: “Jesus didn’t die to build a fan base, He died to develop followers.”
* Interestingly after the first two messages where we dug into Luke 9:23 & Luke 14:25ff, I heard Dr. James Merritt preach on this very text and subject. Here is his simple outline; If you are going to follow Christ, you have to go ‘all in’ (Bet the Ranch) which means you must deny self, die to self, and devote self. While this is the call for us to become a follower and not a fan, his strong point stuck with me.
* The scripture beginning of ‘if anyone’ is surprising. Why didn’t or wouldn’t He say, “If everyone.” Think about it this way; Jesus – where He came from, what He did, what He said, why He came – and now you can bring all that you are (flaws, faults, failures, strengths, weaknesses, good, and bad) to Him, and when you come to Him you pass from lost to saved, darkness to light, death to life, estranged from God to embraced by God, and the best part is your eternal destination changes from hell to heaven – why wouldn’t everyone want to come? “Blue-light special.”
* By the way, when you ‘come after’ Jesus and give Him your heart and life – you no longer face life alone, you have a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
* Please consider another revealing question from God’s word: What is it that you treasure? The Bible has much to say about ‘treasure.’ Candidly, in the Luke 9 & 14 passages we read the words “Come After” – and we ‘come after’ that which is important to us or better said, OUR TREASURE. Instead of ‘coming after’ Jesus many times we HOLD BACK from Jesus. It’s not that we don’t want a relationship with Him, we do, it is simply that we don’t want it to cost us anything? This “Come after” is like the romantic story of a man chasing the love of his life. When we were dating – we probably did some crazy things to express our affection because we simply had to demonstrate our commitment to her.
* READ TEXT. These are simple stories with profound meaning.
1. The Object – Both the man and the merchant had an object which was a ‘treasure.’ This was something they valued; it could have just as easily been a “someone.” Your treasure holds much sway or influence on you. What is the treasure of your life? (Family (kids, grand kids, spouse, etc), hobby, career, investments, your freedom, or Jesus?) Jesus had much to say about ‘treasure.’ He intimated that your treasure speaks words about your spiritual life.
* You can say Jesus is your “treasure” but if, by your deeds you pursue something else, then your deeds speaks louder than your words. When all the fluff of this life is stripped away–where you give your time, money, & energy is your treasure.
* One of the many reasons why I love my Lord so much is that He speaks so simple and plain. You never hear Him blurring the line of what He expects.
* The very first time He mentions treasure, simply but straightforward, He says, “Don’t collect treasures on earth” because on earth those earthly treasure are in danger. They are artificial. For us to control our treasure, we must know & be willing to admit what our treasure is. We must discover the treasure or the fine pearl. What is your treasure?
2. The Objective – will be to have it. In fact, like this man & merchant, they set their sights on having their treasures. This was their goal, their aim, and their objective. Now here is where the water meets the wheel: At least two times Jesus said, “If anyone would come to or after me.” This is an invitation, not a demand. You can or you don’t have to. You’re invited but it is strictly an invitation. Here is the deal; you do or don’t, you will or you won’t, there is no middle ground. If you come after Him – it means you follow Him, not just cheer for Him, and your objective is Him. We can readily (and privately) identify our treasure by what it is that gets our focus, our attention, & by what it is that we ‘have to have.’
* Kyle Idleman recounts the humorous story about the growth of boys and girls. (At least how it USED to be). 1st & 2nd grade “Stay away – you’ll get cooties.” 5th-7th grade – hmmm…. 9th-12th grade – “I got to get me one of those.” When you make something your treasure – you have to have it. A follower has ONE TREASURE.