Bible Study Notes 9/27/22
Ending Summer/Early Fall Series
Not A Fan... A Completely Committed Follower!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 27 Sept. 2022, Lesson 14
Kyle Idleman, Not A Fan… A Completely Committed Follower of Jesus
Devotional Time: Not A Fan, Chapter 14 (pp. 201-212)
Can You Say, “Whatever?”- Jesus invites us to follower Him, but we’re asked to give up any priorities that may be in conflict with our devotion to Him. The instances we read in Scripture where people said they would follower Jesus, but reneged on the commitment were always the result of conflicted loyalties. Often there was some noticeable exaggeration in the excuses people gave, to justify their abandonment of the commitment. It is much better to be honest about our intentions before we make them. The admonition in the wisdom words of Scripture says: “It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.” (Cf. Ecclesiastes 5:5, NLT). Who among us has never made a promise and failed to keep it? The guilt of this, reminds us how important the weight of a commitment is. Fortunately, we’ve all grown through such an experience; however, slight. It is God’s loving compassion and forgiveness that helps us become better persons. When Jesus required His followers to be willing to give up “whatever” stood between them and their commitment to His call; He also, wanted them to “lean in” to the responsibilities of their call, as a committed follower. The requirements of Jesus are not draconian or impossible; but they do require our honest desire to learn from Him, and to follow His teachings. The committed follower of Christ will learn that our relationship with Jesus is both personal and communal. It is your intimate fellowship with the Savior; and one engaged in with other members of His flock (cf. John 10:14-16, NLT). Jesus defined a committed follower, as one who takes seriously His teachings, and lives according to the principles and precepts He instructs (cf. John 8:31, NLT). The closer we become to Christ, the more we will desire to learn what he has to say about our lives, circumstances, and future. In his book, Not A Fan, Kyle Idleman says that “fans” of Jesus will say they are committed to Him, but they are usually holding back something they won’t give up. Idleman says, “They are willing to follow Jesus, but the relationship is not exclusive. They’re [often] holding on to some things from the past.” Jesus said His “love” exhibited in the character of believers, is the true sign of a committed follower (cf. John 13:34-35, NLT). When we release the inner fixations, we have on other loyalties that possess our attention, and throb at our hearts and minds; we can fully commit ourselves to Christ, who can satisfy our needs and lead us away from other dependencies. As in ancient times, we are to have no other idols or deities before God (cf. Exodus 20:3-5a, NLT). The jealousy of God is His passionate love and loyalty for all of His children!
Can You Say, Whatever?” Part 2 – We are promised love and compassion for generations to come, from a God who cares for us; especially when we devote our lives to His divine teachings. (Cf. Exodus 20:6, NLT). Jesus promises unconditional love, unfailing forgiveness, and eternal life for all who genuinely put their faith in Him. Many have made the claim, ‘Lord, I will follow you and do whatever you want me to do.” Unfortunately, these promises have been abandoned as quickly as they were made. To be a committed follower of Jesus Christ, doing whatever He asks of us, is to trust the Lord in the moment. This is faith in action. When we trust the Lord, believing that He is leading us, we will not be as apprehensive as we would be otherwise. In our age, people become consumed with an immediate outcome. Faith assures us, there is certainty in the right outcome, when we trust the Lord’s leading. Mary, the blessed mother of Jesus, did not initially understand what was going on in her life. The great plan God commissioned for her, was one she had to ponder. Yet, Mary’s faith in God, lead her to do “whatever” she received divine instruction for. (CF Luke 1:37-38, NLT). Later, in His ministry Jesus would instruct others to do the same! Jesus does not require human perfection to follow Him, only commitment and obedience. Jesus was never looking for a special class of people; only those of any background or circumstances who were willing to be committed to Him, and to enter His Kingdom. Matthew the tax collector was such an example (cf. Matthew 9:9-16, NLT). Kyle Idleman comments: “When you accept the invitation of Jesus to follow him, you are not just saying that he is a top priority in your life; you are making him the only priority in your life. He desperately wants you, but he won’t share you. He will settle for nothing less than your undivided attention and complete commitment.” Idleman is here echoing the words of God to Israel, that He was to be their only deity. In terms of the idols of this age (and any age), Christ is indeed the committed believers’ only priority as Lord. We should be aware of our need to remain in fellowship with the Lord, and to ever seek cleansing and renewal through the Holy Spirit (cf. John 13:6-9, NLT).
What We Believe!
“Giving up, and Giving in, is necessary to follow Jesus!”
1. Being “all in” with the Lord is a sign of total commitment.
2. The Lord is compassionately jealous in His love for us!
John 10:14-16, NLT
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own sheep, and they know me. Just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and they will be one flock with one Shepherd.”
John 8:31, NLT
“Jesus said to the people who believed in Him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
John 13:34-35 NLT
“So now I am giving you anew commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Exodus 20: 3-5a, NLT
“You must not have any god before me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of any-thing in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them, or worship them, for I the Lord am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods…”
Exodus 20:6, NLT
“But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey me.”
Luke 1:37-38, NLT
“For nothing is impossible with God.” Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And the angel left her.”
Matthew 9:9-16, NLT
“As Jesus was walking along, He saw a man named Matthew sitting as his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed Him. Later Matthew invited Jesus and His disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this He said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do.” Then He added, “Now go and learn the meaning of the Scripture: ‘I want to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
John 13:6-9, NLT
“When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to Him, “Lord are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You don’t under-stand what I am doing, but someday you will.” “No, “Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.” Simon Peter
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