Stop Being a Fan
Chiefs fever has hit Kansas city, and as I write this, the outcome of the AFC championship game is unknown. But no matter what the sport is, there are many people who consider themselves fans of a team, some more passionate than others. But, sitting on the couch and yelling at the TV does not make any difference in the final outcome of the game or championship.
Sadly, too many people attend church and live their Christian lives as fans and not as active participants, even though we are all called to get in the game.
We often talk about being a missional church, we love missions, but it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of missions without realizing our personal role in the mission that God has called us all to.
The mission of the church is to proclaim the message of the Gospel to those around us who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
There is a huge difference between being a fan of the church, a fan of Jesus, an enthusiastic supporter of what God is doing, and being a follower of Jesus. A follower of Jesus is someone who walks in the steps of the master and lives a lifestyle of being abandoned to the call of God on their lives.
In Luke 5:17-26, we read the account of the men who brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus by lowering him on a mat through a hole they made in the roof of the house. There are four things we can learn from these friends who took this bold step to see their friend healed.
I. THESE MEN HAD A MISSION – Luke 5:18.
These men had a friend they cared about and had faith that Jesus could heal him. They had a mission, and nothing was going to stop them.
A mission is what drives us. Most businesses and some families have a mission statement, a defining statement to steer the passion and energy of the organization. Our Grace Point Mission statement is “To be a loving church family, worshiping God and transforming our community with the message of the Gospel.”
A mission statement keeps us on course, and when we get off course from our mission statement, we are no longer doing what our company or church was created to do. Jesus had a mission statement (see Luke 19:10).
What drives you?
What things, spiritually, has God put on your heart that you long to see come to fruition in your lifetime? When was the last time you stopped to think about those dreams?
The Poet and missionary C.T. Studd wrote, “Only one life, twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
II. THESE MEN HAD AN EAGER EXPECTATION.
They believed that Jesus could heal this man and they took a risk because of their mission.
This is true of men and women throughout the Bible, people of faith doing things with the expectation that God would perform a miracle. We read about Joshua leading the attack on the city of Jericho, David killing Goliath, the prophet Elijah against the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, and so many more acts of astounding faith.
We now live on the other side of Jesus’ work on the cross and the empty tomb. How much greater should our expectations be?
What bold step of faith is God calling you to make today?
Do you have an eager expectation of someone coming to faith, through your prayers and witness?
III. THESE MEN ENCOUNTERED AN OBSTACLE – Luke 5:19.
Because of the large crowd, there was no way to get their friend to Jesus and at this point, many of us give up. Whenever we encounter a challenge we quickly default to the thinking that this must obviously not be God’s will. When it comes to seeking God’s will we often assume that an open door is equal to the path of least resistance.
These men saw the obstacle, but because their hope and belief were so strong, they kicked open that closed door.
What obstacles have derailed you from the mission?
What would it look like for you to dig a hole in the roof?
What step of faith is God asking you to make in spite of the opposition today?
IV. THESE MEN GOT MORE THAN THEY BARGAINED FOR – Luke 5:20.
These men came seeking a physical healing and Jesus said something that no-one expected. Jesus was a known Rabbi, a teacher and a worker of miracles, but what Jesus said was so unexpected that it silenced the room. The pharisees were looking for a fault in Jesus’ theology, they thought that he had finally crossed the line and blasphemed.
Jesus perceived their accusations and said in verse 23, “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? Jesus then proceeds to speak to the man and command him to stand up and walk. He is healed! The friends not only got what they came for, but they got so much more. This man and his friends thought his primary need was physical, but Jesus addressed the deeper need and the people were filled with awe.
What Jesus did shows us that the greatest need is an internal posture of a heart that needs to be changed. God is more concerned about your eternal destination than your temporary comfort. If God can use a little pain and discomfort in your temporary life now to secure your eternal life, He will do it because of His great love for you.
Getting back to our theme of, “who’s your one?” Just like these friends, who was the person most instrumental in you coming to know Jesus as Lord and savior? Somebody cared enough for you, so that in faith they brought you to the feet of Jesus.
Now as a follower of Jesus, not simply a Christian, but a disciple, why would you not long for this same type of transformation in others? Sadly, too many of us are cheering from the sidelines when we have been called to get in the game. We are missing out on the greatest miracles of all; seeing Jesus change lives.
Who’s your One?