Friday, January 30, 2015

More Than A Fan

Have you ever been “friended” by one of those companies that says they can get you 1,000 fans in one day for a small fee? 

I was feeling pretty good if I got a few new followers each day; that was until I saw I those posts. 

If you’re on sites like Facebook or Twitter you have seen those ads.  It can be rather exhilarating to think that millions of people are befriending you with all those “likes.” 

Then I get to thinking about those with tons of followers. How can that sixteen year kid old have a million fans when they don’t even have a job?  (My carnal self wants to call him/her a twit, but that wouldn’t be “Christian-like.”) Just to show him/her, I won’t like, share or follow him/her.  That will show him/her!  Thankfully, the Lord pulls me out of that selfish mentality and reminds me of my calling as a believer. 

Every week I look at the statistics on my media sites to see how they are doing.  It’s moving to see all the new people and countries that have somehow found their way to my articles.  I list them purely to show my appreciation and gratitude.  I’d like to believe it was the Holy Spirit leading them here when that happens. 

On the other hand, it’s far less rewarding to see when numbers have dropped off or people have chosen to “unfollow” me (…of course, that isn’t you).  That takes things to a new level and becomes personal.   

“What did I do to cause the people to no longer log on to my pages? Did I offend someone or am I boring?”  This can be a bummer, and just when I was getting famous might pop into my thinking.  Prideful and arrogant attitudes like that can easily get in the way of the real purpose of why I write. 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFBKazakhstan; Latvia; Nigeria; Malaysia; Romania; Kenya; China; Brazil; Northern Marina Islands; Russia; Belize; Sweden; Entebee, Uganda; Hai Yai, Songkhla, Thailand; Chandigarh, India; Bogota, Distrito Especial, Colombia; Wigan, England, United Kingdom; Benalmadena, Andalusia, Spain; Belgium; Egypt.
USA Fostoria, Marblehead, Aurora & Findlay, Ohio; Brownsville, TX; Blythewood, NC;  Ogden, Utah; Fairton, New Jersey; Isle, MN; Arkport, NY; Chester, MD; Broadway, VA; Chester, MD; Chattanooga, Madisonville, TN.
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Fan verses Follower 

Is there a difference between being a fan compared to a follower of someone or something?  I suppose for some they might say no, but when it comes to being a Christian there is a very huge difference. 

Fans admire from a distance; they don’t often have the opportunity to mingle with the one they follow.
A fan looks at the works of a person and because of that particular ability they place these people on a higher level than others. 
Those who live on fan mountain are out of range for the average “Joe” and do not have to adhere to the rules like the rest of us.  They become superheroes, praise worthy and worshipped because of what they have achieved.  In reality we become fans of and follow false gods. 

A true follower is one that is willing to take on the lifestyle and teaching of the one they believe to be correct in their way of thinking.  Knowing this information, which are you?  Can others see that you are more than a fan of Jesus by the way you are following Him? 

False Followers 

The Word of God is specific in giving us examples of true followers of Christ and those who fooled the crowd.  Judas was one of the first disciples of Jesus who led people to believe he was a follower.  We later learn that he was neither a follower nor a fan, and certainly not into being disciple. 

In this era, there are “modern day” Judas’ that we have to watch out for so that we don’t get led onto a different path for our journey to Jesus. 

People often click the follow tab to see if they can get you to follow them back.  They’re only looking to build their own numbers to make it appear that they are popular.  If you don’t follow them back right away (especially on Twitter) they will unfollow you.   

The catch is, that if you do follow them, they’ll wait a few days then unfollow you misleading others into believing they have a vast number of followers or fans.  With thousands of followers they are counting on people not checking to see who is no longer following them. 
When that happens to me I go after the “unfollowers” to see why they stopped following. I try to reconnect, but if they don’t want to I let them go to travel their own path.

For me, I’m looking for followers who will believe in what I am doing to the point that it will lead them to follow after  a "branded" Jesus. 

Who are you following?  

Who or what are you attracting yourself to by following the wrong person, crowd or group?  I have looked on some “famous” Christian media sites to see who they have attached their wagon to so to speak.  It amazes me (not in a good way) to see how many Christians will hook up with the world, but not follow back when it comes to a believer.  That action triggers a message that they are looking for fans and not followers of their God.   

When I saw a certain musical group in whom I believed the lyrics in their songs, I tweeted that I would pray for them on their tours.  After seeing who they followed I realized they were sending mixed messages.  

It’s not uncommon to follow people in your field, in fact, it’s good business to do that.  For example, comedians will follow other comedians simply because of their career, even though some of the material is “raw” and not something Christians should be condoning much less following.
If you are following people that post things that are not godly, even though you think that it’s funny, you are hitching up to the wrong wagon and following after the wrong “Jesus.”  It will take you right out of the favor of God.

Flexitarian Christians

If you haven’t heard of this word “flexitarian” let me give you a short definition.  Flexitarians are people who call themselves vegetarians, but sometimes eat meat such as fish.  (Short note here: A vegetarian may eat dairy products, but a true vegan eats nothing that comes from an animal.) They want to call themselves vegetarians or even vegans, but do it on their own terms meaning they will eat what they want, when they want.  So basically, isn’t that just an ordinary eater?
In turn, vegetarians refused to have these people clumped in with them and insisted they call themselves something else, thus the term “flexitarians” came into being. 

The church today is full of flexitarian believers, people who still want to sin and refuse to follow Jesus’ Word on certain things.  They go to church, have worship songs as their ring tone, yet don’t want to give up breaking God’s law.  They want Christianity and following Jesus to be flexible to their lifestyle only obeying the things that fit into their “profile”. What they are doing doesn’t reflect Christ or show they have a true commitment to Him. Living like that makes us fans, not followers of Jesus. 

The church isn’t to be a stadium full of fans,

but a sanctuary for followers.

The Follower’s Cross

When Jesus defines what He wants from us we get upset that His way interferes with our life.  So we stay fans and believe in Him, but not His life. 

“Then He (Jesus) said to them all (which includes you and me), If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23 NKJV) 

In Luke 9:57 of the Bible, the man says that he will follow Jesus anywhere, but Jesus knew his heart in verse 58.  He knew the man wasn’t willing to give up all his comforts and lifestyle.  There is a cost of discipleship when it comes to following Jesus that not all are willing to pay. 

“Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go. 

And Jesus said to him, Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Luke 9:57=58 NKJV) 

Most people don’t get this statement Jesus made and believe that He didn’t have a home or place of His own.  That isn’t so; Jesus was advising those who choose to follow His way that they will be rejected, mistreated and outcasts in society leaving them no place to feel “comfortable” in their life calling.  

If Jesus were on media sites today, He would not be welcome in social settings with the way He believed.  Are we willing to give all that up for the sake of being All In believing Jesus?  There is a cost in discipleship and following the Lord.

The Lord asks that we take up our cross, not His, and follow.  We will never have to bear what Christ did for us at Calvary, but we are to sacrifice the things of the flesh in order to become more like Him. 

Fan or Follower?

You need to decide.  A fan cheers for Jesus, listens to worship music, gives praise when all is going well.  Fans want relationships, but not commitment. 
That’s not what Jesus wants.  He wants involvement, change, interaction and loyalty to God.

I’m not looking to build a large fan club (even though my pride and ego would love it), but hope to build followers of Jesus through my work.  Here the common thread is the Lord, not me.

Will you do that?  Will you be a true follower?  It’s not enough to be a fan. Be more than a fan … believe and follow Jesus. 

This Week’s Challenge:
Check Your Follow Club

If you are one of those who have oodles of true followers of your work, my hat is off to you.  However, if you have followers or are following after the fan club of the world, you need to take some positive action getting back on the path of Jesus. 

This week we are going to literally take a look at those who we are following, whether it is on the internet or in life. 
One of the first things I do is check to see if the person has a website or another place I can read something about them or their work.  The person may not be a believer of Christ yet, but my prayer is that things will change in their life. 

People see who we are following; even more important so does Jesus.  If you are connecting to people or things that are not lining up with God’s Word, my friend you are allowing the favor of God and His blessings to be stolen from you and your family.  We cannot follow two masters and expect God to be OK with that.   

Let’s make the decision not to turn back when believing God by truly following Jesus even if it means denying the follow back sign.  Receiving from God can be as easy as clicking the unfollow tab of the world.  

From here after, we’re not going to be false followers or flexitarian Christians when it comes to believing the Word of God in its entirety. We’re going to be more than a fan club for Jesus.  

Until next time, believe Jesus favors His followers.

Check Messages throughout the week.

“I’m looking for fans, but followers.
Will you be one?”

Jesus Christ

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Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. A.N.A. logo by J.C.Penney, Inc.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Fan or Follower  Twitter Fake Followers  Jesus Follower
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.

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