by Pastor Kyle Idleman
The question is asked – “Are you a follower of Jesus?” Many Christians automatically say yes and then dismiss much of what is to come from that point because they think that they truly are followers when in reality, we simply want to commune with Jesus on “our terms.”
This book isn’t asking if we follow the rules, it is asking if we “follow” Christ.
Right away I loved the style this book is written in. It flows easily and with Idleman’s touch of humor sprinkled through it via some of the personal foot notes, I found myself reading this book in just a few sittings. Idleman warns us that this book isn’t a book about following Jesus on a “comfortable and reassuring path” and he delivers just that.
Pointing out that we have made a decision to believe in Jesus but not committing to follow Jesus, he reminds us that we are nothing more than fans of Jesus. Fans want to be close enough to see the object of their admiration, touch and talk to the one they admire and get the benefits that may come from being in their company but not so close that it requires anything from them.
“Being a secret admirer of Jesus cost him [Nicodemus] nothing, but becoming a follower came with a high price tag. It always does. “
To completely follow Christ can be demanding, difficult and anything but comfortable, but true followers of Christ are willing to risk it. Fans are not. Each chapter has stories of people that are no longer fans, but completely committed followers.
Look at the details of your relationship with Jesus. Are you pursuing Him passionately or are you just there to be noticed in the crowd? Are you willing to take up your cross daily and die to self? Or are you waving from the bleachers trying to be noticed? Are you close enough that you can hear the whisper of your dear Savior?
Are you a fan? Admiring Jesus but not wanting Him to disrupt your daily life? Do you simply want Him to be there when you call, but are never willing to answer when He calls on you? Are you one of the many in the large crowd that wants to be where HE is, to see what He will do next, give next and say next?
Are you a completely committed follower? Willing to go where He leads, do what He says – even if there is nothing “free” in it for you?
Do you want to deepen your commitment to the Lord?
Do you want to be more than a fan?
This book is designed to help you become more than just a fan. It is filled with practical questions to get your heart moving closer to being committed to a daily walk with our Lord.
My name is Marie Wikle, and I am not a fan.
- The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren’t actually interested in following Christ. They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from them.
- Being filled with the power of the Spirit begins with an honest acknowledgment of our own weakness. The truth is that most of us go to great lengths to disguise our weakness.
- The cross gets covered up. The sermons are often about salvation, about never about surrender. Often about forgiveness, but never about repentance. Often about living but never about dying.
- The song I was singing with my life wasn’t “I surrender all” it was “I surrender some.” I didn’t surrender my pride and I was often motivated more out of a desire to impress people than to glorify god. I didn’t surrender my plans; God was welcome to come along, but I did what I wanted to do.
Thank you to Zondervan for the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest opinion. I’m not required to give a positive review.
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