Fan or Follower?

Fans often confuse admiration for devotion.  They mistake their knowledge of Jesus for intimacy with Jesus.  Fans assume their good intentions make up for their apathetic faith.  Maybe you’ve already decided you’re a follow and not a Fan; well, I hope you keep reading, because, one of the core symptoms of “fandom” is that fans almost always consider themselves to be followers.

– Idleman, Kyle; Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus; Zondervan; copyright 2011; Grand Rapids, MI; Kindle Edition; page 28

Like a Basketball off of a Backboard is His Word to Our Hearts

We reveal our natural hostility toward God by the low esteem we have for Him.  We consider Him unworthy of our total devotion.  We take no delight in contemplating Him.  Even for the Christian, worship is often difficult and prayer a burdensome duty.  Our natural tendency is to flee as far as possible from His presence.  His Word rebounds from our minds like a basketball from a backboard.

– R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Ill., Copyright 1985, Kindle Edition

What Characterizes You Leadership?

The point is, you don’t need to fear investment of any kind.  Investment represents a visionary decision to give freely, as often as you can, within the bounds of sound discipline and good sense.  Remember also that you set the tone as a leader.  If your leadership is characterized by love, humility and self-discipline, you will reap loyalty and devotion from the people you lead.  If they recognize that you invest your very life for their good, they will more readily follow your leadership and example.

– Haggai, Dr. John E, The Influential Leader: 12 Steps to Igniting Visionary Decision Making, copyright 2009, Harvest House Publishers: Eugene, Oregon, page 147

Vision Generates Direction, Order, Devotion

A vision generates direction, order, devotion.  It overcomes aimlessness, chaos, lawlessness.  But a leader must also feel an inspirational dissatisfaction, a determination to change things, and a certainty that he himself can function as an agent of change – even if he does not yet have the necessary resources or skills.

– Haggai, Dr. John E, The Influential Leader: 12 Steps to Igniting Visionary Decision Making, copyright 2009, Harvest House Publishers: Eugene, Oregon, page 43

What Were the Prophets and Jesus Criticizing?

What were prophets and Jesus criticizing (Luke 11:39-46; 20:47; Matthew 21:31; Isaiah 58:2-7)?  They were not against prayer and fasting and obedience to Biblical directions for life.  The tendency for religious people, however, is to use spiritual and ethical observance as a lever to gain power over others and over God, appeasing him through ritual and good works.  This leads to both an emphasis on external religious forms as well as greed, materialism, and oppression in social arrangements.  Those who believe they have pleased God by the quality of their devotion and moral goodness naturally feel that they and their group deserve deference and power over others.  The God of Jesus and the prophets, however, saves completely by grace.  He cannot be manipulated by religious and moral performance – he can only be reached through repentance, through the giving up of power.  If we are saved by sheer grace we can only become grateful, willing servants of God and of everyone around us (Mark 10:43-45).

– Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, copyright 2008, page 59-60

Devotional Life

Devotion signifies a life given, or devoted to God.  He therefore is the devout (godly) man, who lives no longer to his own will, or the way and spirit of the world, but to the sole will of God, who considers God in everything, who serves God in everything, who makes all parts of his common life, parts of piety (godliness), by doing everything in the name of God, and under such rules as are comfortable to His glory.

by, Williams Law

quited by, Jerry Bridges, The Practice of Godliness, copyright 1983, page 19