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A True Follower or a Casual Fan?

Published on June 27, 2017 | By

I grew up as a Carolina Panthers fan. I’ve been to numerous games and have had many great experiences as a fan.

During their 2-14 season, I followed the team closely while working for a Charlotte radio station. However, because the team wasn’t playing well, watching games became more of a duty than a joy, and my passion for the Panthers began to lessen.  

Regardless of their unsuccessful seasons, I’ve remained a fan over the years. I still wear team shirts, display Panthers gear around my house, and watch almost every game. 

But even so, I realize I don’t care as much about the team as other fans who are willing to sacrifice by standing in the rain...traveling to away games...and spending lots of money on tickets. They are the true followers of the team. When it comes to faith and being a Christian, many of us attend church, wear Jesus t-shirts, and have Bible verses hanging on our walls. But, are we really following Jesus and completely surrendering to Him? Are we willing to go wherever He leads us? 

Mark 8:34 tells us, "If anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me."   

It’s challenging to know what Jesus says about being a disciple and what it takes to be a true follower of His. “He must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me” is a lot more serious than many of us live out.

Even when thinking about the most committed sports fans who make sacrifices to support their favorite teams, it doesn’t compare to the call Jesus has for us.

We need to ask ourselves if we're living like true followers of Jesus…or just as casual fans? Today, let's dig a little deeper by addressing the areas of our lives that reveal we're pursuing Jesus more as a fan than a follower. Let's commit to making sure our lives look different as followers of Jesus, as we deny our selfish pursuits and take up our cross daily. Prayer: Father, thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for us. Thank you that we have the ability to follow Him, and forgive us for choosing our selfish ways. Give us the strength to fully surrender and take up our cross daily. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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