Not a fan

Bakers Posted by Paul and Tania Baker on Fri, 27 Apr 2012 | 4 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

I’m not a fan

My job is to assume that everything at the Hospital will at some point stop working. I need to have a plan for when that happens. Most people think my ‘everything will break’ outlook is very pessimistic. But Noah didn’t wait for the rain to start before building the Ark.

In the same way, the only thing we can be sure of is that one day our body will stop working. We need to have a plan. Many people plan to wait until the last minute before turning to God. I think that’s because people see following Jesus as a waste of life. Unfortunately, some Christians don’t help to dispel this idea.

A few years ago we decided to do what the Bible actually says. We decided to actually follow Jesus. He led us into an adventure. This new life has had many struggles and difficulties but it is also a great privilege to serve God here in this way. God has been with us and protected us from day one and we can see Him working. God doesn’t promise an easy life – Jesus told us, “In the world you will have trouble”. Then He added, “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

We believe we are in God’s will and that’s where life comes alive – that’s where we discover what we were made for and what our true purpose is.

If you think Christianity equals a boring life – well, it can be pretty dull if we don’t fully surrender our lives to God. If we really follow Jesus we will discover real life.

One reason for turning to God is to get a ticket to Heaven, to avoid Hell. That’s why many people wait until their time here is nearly up. Personally, I would like to think I would choose to follow Jesus even if there was no after-life. Even if life ended completely when my blood stops pumping I would like to think I would still aim to live for God. Thankfully this isn’t the case but it’s something to think about.

Recently some friends visited us from Derrylin Parish. They left a book for us to read; ‘Not a fan’ by Kyle Idleman. I am now reading it for the second time. This book asks the crucial question: Are you a follower of Jesus or just a fan? Here’s an extract:

“The dictionary defines a fan as ‘an enthusiastic admirer’. Fans want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires sacrifice. Fans may be fine with repeating a prayer, attending church on the weekend, and slapping a Jesus fish of the back of the car. But is that really the extent of the relationship Jesus wants?

“Jesus was never interested in having admirers. It’s not fans He is looking for.”

I would challenge you to ask yourself – Am I a fan or a follower of Jesus? Don’t compare yourself with those around you. Don’t assume everything is fine because you are more ‘spiritual’ than the next guy. Ask yourself – do I know Jesus or do I just know about Him? Ask yourself – am I interested in what God can do for me or what I can do for God?

Some people will be put off by the fact that we ended up in rural Africa. Maybe you have a family and other responsibilities that prevent you from dropping everything. Well, following Jesus doesn’t mean you need to live in the jungle where there’s no Dominos Pizza. You can serve Jesus wherever you are – the needs in this world are everywhere and are growing. All God wants is for you to hand over the controls of your life to Him. Let Him show you how your life was planned. Let God show you the value of knowing Him.

“I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ”. Phil 3:7-8.

Paul (not a fan)

Comments

Bec Pinkerton said Fri, 27 Apr 2012 11:23AM
You guys are rocking it! Keep it up, you are doing some great work out there :) lots of love from Norn Iron!
Eddie Currie said Fri, 27 Apr 2012 05:05PM
Hi there! Totally agree that we must be true followers and not fans of Jesus. And that his applies wherever we live. Great to read your blog - may you continue to know His peace, blessing and provision! God bless. Eddie & Sheila
Tammi Peek said Fri, 04 May 2012 08:24AM
Thanks for this Paul..really challenging! Much love from Castlederg! x
David Steele said Tue, 29 May 2012 11:03AM
Thanks Paul, 1st time reading your blog & its though provoking or maybe that should be action-provoking! David

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