“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9. 23
The journey from Fan to Fully Devoted Follower involves not only entering into a intimate relationship with Jesus (as we saw last week), but it also involves a willingness to be changed, transformed by Jesus. It is a willingness to reorient your entire life around the person and the teachings of Jesus.
I’ve found over the years that there are many here at FCC who are hungry for a deeper life with God. They want to see him working actively in their lives. They want to learn to live in His presence throughout the day. They want their lives to count. They want to be a part of God’s bigger, unfolding story.
To do that, however, requires a willingness to pick up our cross.
It’s a willingness to embrace that which the world looks at as weakness. It’s a willingness to ‘die’ to the ways and the values of a world that’s perishing and to take up the ways and values of the New Creation that Jesus is bringing into being.
This week, I gave two action steps you can begin to put into practice this week:
- Admit, to a trusted brother or sister in Christ, a specific area of weakness in your life: It’s easier to say, “I’m a sinner” then to say “I’m a lustaholic or I’m a gossip”. Generalities are places many of us like to hide. But deep and lasting change begins when we we get gut -level honest and specific about the places we fall short in our lives.
- Begin doing something that is uncomfortable: As we start to consider the places in our lives that need transformation, we begin seeing how ingrained our responses are. We don’t have to try real hard to get angry at the guy who cuts us off in traffic. It comes naturally, because of our many years of being trained by the values of THIS world. So, I’m encouraging each of us – myself included- to begin to do the OPPOSITE of what you want to do or feel like doing. The controlling person needs to let someone else call the shots; a self-absorbed person needs to ‘be quiet’ and listen; the loner needs to join a small group; the ‘social butterfly’ needs some time alone with God; the angry person needs to underreact.
Let’s commit together to putting these actions into practice. As we do, we as a church family will be well on our way from FAN’S to FOLLOWERS.
See you Sunday,