Wednesday, October 1st PDF Print E-mail
3) Have You Made It Your Own?

Truth be told many of us started going to church because of a parent.  Perhaps you're like me ... you grew up just simply ... going to church.  It was the way things were.  It was who we were.  There was no discussion about it.  There was no "Should we this week?" ... "You want to go church?" ... "How do you feel about going to church?" Nope.  In fact, it was deeper than that.  It wasn't even like, "We're going 'cause that's what we do."  It just wasn't even an issue or a discussion or even a thought, really.  In fact, it wasn't about church as much as it was about loving God, living for God, and having God present in our home.  Anyway, I'm sure there's some of you that can identify with me on that.  For others, mom made you.  Dad said you had to.  Or maybe you started coming because of a spouse.  You came because they liked it when you came.  You came because it appeased them.  Maybe you came because of your child ... or a friend/aquaintance ... or because you felt welcomed and knew you needed to "get back to going to church".

For those of us who grew up in the church, or who attend church in order to apease a significant other or relative, it can be really easy to become a fan.  Truth be told, for some others, it can be easy to slip into "fan mode" and continue to come because you know pastor or some other church member will be disappointed if you didn't come (or you know pastor will call you and put you on the spot with a "Where were you?" text or phone call;).  It's like riding in the car with someone who listens to a type of music you're impartial to.  They drive you to school or work everyday, and every morning it's Aerosmith (ok ok ... I know that's carnal but it's just for illustrative purpose!).  As music taste goes, I don't really care that much about Aerosmith.  I don't hate them but I don't really like them.  Eventually though, a few songs grow on you a little bit and all of a sudden you can't help but hum along to, "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing". So you might say you became a casual "fan" of Aerosmith.

That can happen to us in church.  We keep coming to appease someone else, and pretty soon we get into the flow of things.  We know most of the songs, we recognize the stories or the teachings, we appreciate the atmosephere of worship, and we're fans of Jesus.  But that can be the most dangerous situation to be in.  If your faith isn't your own, if you aren't pursuing a relationship with Jesus, and you keep coming week after week to create a "faith" that was someone else's in the first place, you're just numbing yourself to the real thing. You'll become numb to real faith, and comfortable with a few songs and a few favorite verses, none of which requires any sacrifice or personal change.

You have to make your faith your own. Jesus isn't looking for a relationship between you, your mom, and Him.  He's not looking for a relationship between you, your spouse, and Him.  He's not looking for a relationship between you, your church family, and Him.
He's looking for a relationship with you. That may be one of the reasons Jesus said these words in Luke 14:26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters - yes, even his own life - he cannot be my disciple." This is not about your mom or dad.  This is about you and Jesus. Jesus isn't suggesting you have to literally despise you're family in order to have a relationship with Him.  He is, however, underscoring that 1) It has to be about you and Him ... you have to get it for yourself ... you cannot rely on someone else's relationship with Jesus counting on your behalf and 2) There can be no close seconds when it comes to him being a priority in your life. He's either number one or he's none at all.

So again, I challenge you over these final couple weeks to go deeper ... to be more than a fan ... to ask, "Are you a follower of Jesus, or are you just a fan?"

~ Pastor
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