Two brothers, Clarence and Robert, committed their lives to Jesus in their youth. Clarence grew up and became a civil rights activist. Working for these rights was difficult at the time. Racial tensions were high. People staged sit-ins and other demonstrations. Police used dogs and fire hoses to disperse them. Robert grew up and became a lawyer. One day Clarence asked Robert for legal help in a civil rights matter. Robert refused, saying it could hurt his political future. When Clarence asked him about his commitment to Christ, Robert said, “I do follow Jesus, but I’m not going to get crucified like He did.” Clarence said, “Robert, you’re not a follower of Jesus; you’re only a fan”. This is an interesting example of whether we are willing to pay the cost of being a disciple. Jesus warns us that following Him will not always be easy. He tells us we must be willing to pick up our cross daily and follow Him. There are times when standing up for His truth will involve facing ridicule, misunderstanding and even rejection, sometimes even from our own family and friends. But if we are going to be followers and not just fans that is a cost we must be willing to pay. We must remember that the Lord has showed us that new life often comes only from death. Only when evil is torn down can the good grow up. We must be willing to give up ourselves in imitation of the Lord to bring about the changes that are needed so that His Kingdom may appear. Difficult for us, but possible in the power of the Holy Spirit.
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