A popular gospel songs proclaims, “I Am a Friend of God”. I hope that you are His friend too. The alternative of being a friend of God is being an enemy. Yet, there is a relationship in between these two. It is being a Fan of God.
Are you a Fan or a Friend? Friends stick with you through thick and thin. Friends are faithful and they will listen to you and have enough love to encourage you or even correct you if necessary. Friends applaud your success and they mourn when you fail. Proverbs says, there is a friend that sticks closer than any brother could. That friend is Jesus Christ.
Fans are a lot different. When a ball player scores the winning goal in a game, they applaud and cheer. They laud him or her as a superhero. They wear their replica jerseys on their back and claim to be on the “team”. It is common to hear a fan brag about “our team” or that “we beat them”. It matters not to a fan that they have not played one down or scored any points or sacrificed any time other than to show up and cheer for the players on the field. And as long as the players do what pleases a fan, they will praise them. However, when a player makes a mistake, they go from hero to goat. They can go from the heights of fame to the depths of shame in one play or one game. Friends are faithful but fans are fickle.
Jesus knew the fickleness of human beings when He spoke or ministered. In Luke 4 we read –
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. The people who knew Him from childhood reacted with mixed emotions. They cheered as long as He said and did what they liked but when He displeased them or challenged them, they got angry. Verse 23-29 explain this. 23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’” 24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy[g] in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff.
Today, Jesus is seeking worshippers who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. He always builds His kingdom with and entrusts His riches to friends. In John 15:15 Jesus said to His 12 disciples, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
He simply cannot trust or rely upon fickle fans. Are you a friend or a fan?
If you would like to become a friend of God and a follower of Jesus Christ, simple pray this prayer.
“God, thank you for loving me in spite of me and my sins, my flaws, failures and fickleness. I believe that Jesus Christ is your Son and that He died to take my place. Forgive me and save me. I put my life in your hands today. Make me your child and a friend of God. Help me to live for you the rest of my life and connect me to the larger family of God through a local church. Amen”