©2022 Spring Series
Not A Fan... A Completely Committed Follower!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 26 July 2022, Lesson 9
Kyle Idleman, Not A Fan… A Completely Committed Follower of Jesus
Devotional Time: Not A Fan, Chapter 9 (pp. 129-141)
Passionate Pursuit of Jesus – The language of Scripture helps us learn the original sacred texts with increasing understanding and clarity. Many statements and sayings of Jesus, convey a richer and deeper meaning than what we perceive. The group of sayings where Jesus “invites” us to believe in, and follow Him, is actually translated as romance language. Jesus describes the desire to follow Him, as a deeply passionate act of the will and heart. Jesus says those who follow Him “must want” to do so. Following Jesus is not by compulsion or force of any kind; it is the “desire” of a believer who has come to trust in His word and longs for relationship (cf. Luke 9:23, NIV). Some translations read, “If anyone wants to come after me…” In his very helpful book, Not A Fan, Kyle Idleman comments on the phrase, “Come after...” He says: It’s a phrase that was commonly used in the context of a romantic relationship. When Jesus says, “Come after,” he’s describing a passionate pursuit of someone you love.” As we come to know our Lord, we develop an ever-increasing desire to follow Him. Fans have an appetite for the program and excitement. Committed followers of Jesus have an insatiable thirst and appetite for the Word and communion with Jesus Christ (cf. Psalm 42:1-2, NLT). In giving His Kingdom and ethical teachings, Jesus mentioned a priority of blessing for all who hunger and thirst for a life of living just and doing what is right (cf. Matthew 5:6, NKJV). Here again, Jesus used the language of physical and human passion as an illustration of the believer’s genuine spiritual needs. The prophet Isaiah, seven hundred years before Jesus came, spoke of the invitation the Messiah would extend to all who desired a committed relationship with Him (cf. Isaiah 55:3, NLT). When David was king of Israel, God had promised that the ruling scepter would never leave his hands. A descendant of David would always be on the throne. When Jesus came, He fulfilled and is fulfilling the promise made to David. Jesus’ earthly descendants were from the tribe of Judah. Jesus reigns as Lord and Christ (Messiah). Isaiah said, he is King of Kings! No other king will ever be seated on the throne. Jesus invited all who would come; to receive the living water (Holy Spirit) from Him. Jesus said all who become committed followers, will be blessed and have life perpetually, through eternal life. Jesus made the promise before He was crucified, risen, and ascended into heaven (cf. John 7:37-39, NLT) Yet we know, the promise was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit indwells every true follower today (John 14:15-17, NKJV).
Passionate Pursuit of Jesus, 2 – Jesus makes it clear that anyone is free to pursue a relationship with Him. In honestly pursuing Jesus we will have the provisions we need, to sustain our lives. The Lord will never reject us, and we are guaranteed eternal life and a resurrection (cf. John 6:35, NLT). In the Old Testament we see the illustration of God pursuing Israel, although His attempts at maintaining a covenant relationship with His people is, at times, met with rejection and unfaithfulness. This is dramatized in the real-life story of the prophet Hosea and his attempts to lure his wife, Gomer, back to him, despite her unfaithfulness to him. Hosea said, “Then the Lord said to me, “Go and love your wife again. Even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them (cf. Hosea 3:1, NLT). A fan may have enthusiasm for Jesus, but they also have equal loyalties to other secular interests. Our relationship with Jesus is a covenant; a “binding one” (Hebrew bereith). The invitation Jesus describes, has its meaning in the idea of covenant relationship or marriage. Such a relationship is intended to be permanent, and not casual. On at least one occasion, Jesus challenges the Twelve and other unnamed disciples about their commitment and sincerity in following Him. Some of the latter disciples abandoned their relationship with Jesus, but the Twelve remained (cf. John 6:64-69, NLT). A fan’s enthusiasm to a cause is always limited to their sense of value for that interest. There is a difference between admiration and service. The fan admires Jesus and the good He does; but a committed follower of Jesus serves Him passionately. The committed follower gives one’s all for Christ. Kyle Idleman says, “It’s [being a follower of Jesus] a pursuit that can easily consume our thoughts, our resources, and our energy. That’s what Jesus is looking for from a follower when he says, “Come after.” Jesus said that being obsessed with our mortality alone, will cause us to lose a living and eternal relationship with Him. Jesus further said, that in following Him as a disciple, we must be solely with Him (cf. John 12:25-26, NLT). Jesus is saying as important as life is; we must not place human interests alone, over a more abundant life He has come to give us (cf. John 10:10, NLT). Jesus promises us a “fuller’ life here on earth; and the “fullest” life beyond earth! We should say as David said of God: “O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.” (Cf. Psalm 63:1, NLT).
__________________________KEY IDEA __________________________
What We Believe!
“Anyone who followers Jesus, must pursue Him with passion!
1. A fan admires greatly; a follower of Jesus serves passionately!
__________________________KEY VERSES __________________________
)Luke 9:23, NIV
“Then He said to them all,“If anyone desires to come after Me, let [them] deny self, and take up your cross daily, and follow me.”
Psalm 42:1-2, NLT
“As a deer long for streams of water, so I long for you O God. I thirst for God, the living God. Where can I go and stand before Him?”
Matthew 5:6, NKJV
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,for they shall be filled.”
Isaiah 55:3, NLT
“Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.”
John 7:37-39, NLT
“On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowd, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare. ‘Rivers of living water will flow from the heart.’ When He said “living water,” He was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in Him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered His glory.”
John 6:35-40, NLT
“Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. However, those the Father has given me will come tome, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those He has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. For it is my Father’s will that all who see His Son and believe in Him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”
John 6:64-69, NLT
“But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and He knew which one would betray Him.) Then He said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.” At this point many of the disciples turned away and deserted Him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”Simon Peter replied, “Lord,to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.”
John 12:25-26, NLT
“Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants