Monday, April 10, 2017

Sports Fans

There are many sports fans, especially in Kentucky where Kentuckians are used to their team winning. It's okay to be a fan because it shows enthusiasm for the team. Fan is a shortened version of fanatic: those who have single-minded enthusiasm. Anyone who has watched those at ball games and in sports bars know that Kentucky fans are fanatics. Likewise, North Carolinians, Hoosiers, Michiganders and those in any state.

There is a precursor to being a fan: The team must be a winning team! Sure, there are die hard fans who hope for a comeback late in the season, and stick with the team, even traveling to away games with them. These folks are zealots, those who are faithful fanatics.

Christians are like sports fans. For some, Christianity is a game. Of course the other religions are the opponent. Just as with the favorite team, as long as things go well, those Christians are fans of Christ. Incidentally, they prefer the shortened version fan to fanatic, because of the implications of being a fundamental and excitable Christian. Christians don't mind being a fan of Christ, but being a fanatic for them, is outside their comfort zone.

However, Christians are to be fanatics since they are to be single-minded. Few are, but that is the Greatest Commandment:
Mark 12:30 "... thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment."
I comment on the Greatest Commandment often because it is the greatest and first in that it is essentially mankind's job. Mankind's job is to dress and keep the Garden (Genesis 2:15). At the center of the Garden was the Tree of Life who represents Jesus Christ. Tending God is the purpose of mankind. How must we tend God: by serving and loving him. (See my earlier commentary on the

Adam was to tend to the Tree of Life with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. His vocation was to serve God and his assignment was to be a fanatic: single-minded for God.

Adam had a second love. It was for pleasant things which the other tree offered. He loved that other tree, not as much as God, but too much! His single-mindedness waned, and God became jealous (Exodus 20:5) because Adam began to serve God and mammon. He never actually abandoned God, but his single-mindedness ended when he added to his first love, a second one - himself! He became as god in his mind, and he began to serve his own idol - the flesh. Whatever was right in his own eyes, he did it.

Just as the sports fan's zeal ends when the team begins lose, Christians abandon God when there are more pleasures elsewhere, or things go wrong in life. For instance, if a marriage is failing, rather than remaining faithful to their home team, many couples walk out of the gym -  God's sanctuary, because things aren't going in their favor. Sure, they still hang on a little to God, but their single-mindedness ends up being on their own life, rather on being faithful members of God's team. Fans of Christ persevere even when times get rough. They know in their hearts, if they endure through hard times, good things are ahead. These fans of Christ are fanatics and the most faithful are zealots!

Think on Job. When he was tested with loss, bad health, and destitution; he remained true to God. When it seemed as if God's team was losing, Job remained faithful to the home team. He was a single-minded fanatic of God who loved God with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength! In the face of Satan, Job remained a true fan of God, and lived to reap the rewards of his faithfulness. Truly his was the faith of Abraham and even Noah! Those three were among the most fanatic of all time, and they were indeed fans of righteousness!

When the going got tough, and the world offered more, they stayed firm with God. They didn't pick up their belongings, allow their enthusiasm to wane, and leave God's gym. They stood firm in their applause for God because they knew sooner or later that God will win the game -  in his time. With one second left to play, God will come through! Those who love and trust him know that he will, and have little doubt that God allows some missed shots, but ultimately will win the game. Those missed shots are our tests for faithfulness. They separate the fans from the mere spectators!

Satan goes to and fro. He and his dark angels are the bad spectators who just won't stand up when the wave progresses around the gymnasium.  After a few bad plays, even those who claim to be fans, stay seated. Their enthusiasm wanes, and they become mere spectators, and not true fans. Some are even so disheartened that they leave the gym or pick another team. True fans of God, never do that!

When things get tough those on His team stay with Him, because they know God is always with them:
Deuteronomy 31:6  "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."
Sports fans, that's how we are to be with God. That attitude is loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength! That is being a true fan of God.

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My Amazon link to my book: The Skull of Adam

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