Fan and Follower.

spain

I hate soccer.
Hate is a strong word. I dislike soccer.
Hm, I think I should say, I dislike playing soccer.
Actually, I don’t even enjoy watching it very much.

Nevertheless, a couple years ago I decided to go watch the final game of the European Championship between Spain and Germany in Vienna.
I must have been very bored.

I didn’t want to waste my money on tickets, so I went to the free public viewing area and joined about 40,000 Spanish fans in cheering for their team.
Yes, I am Austrian. And no, I didn’t cheer for Germany. Sorry.

Now if you know anything about soccer, then you know that most soccer fans are real fans. And let me just say this: Soccer is very, very important to the Spanish and German people. They take a lot of pride in their teams and when a game happens, nothing can be more important than watching and cheering. They will put flags on their houses and cars, they will wear their team jerseys, paint their faces, and they will let everyone know on whose side they stand. This will be expressed through screaming, shouting, roaring, honking, drinking, trumpeting, and in extreme cases, actual fights with fans of the opposite team.

This made me think about my Christian walk.
Am I a die-hard fan of Jesus Christ?
Am I letting the world know on whose side I stand on in the great controversy between Christ and Satan?
Which flag is raised over my life?
Whose colors am I wearing?
Does the world see my “Christian jersey”?

I think we need to be real fans of Jesus. He is simply the best and we should take pride in Him, right?!

Here is my problem though: Is it enough to be just a fan of Jesus? Isn’t He calling for so much more?

And he said unto all, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. – Luke 9:23

Jesus actually wants more than fans. He is asking you and me to be followers of Him. Being a Jesus-fan is nice, but not enough.
A soccer fan dresses up and goes crazy for the 90 minutes of the game, and then goes back to normal life.
A follower on the other side devotes his entire life to a cause. No breaks.

It’s not enough to celebrate Jesus for just two hours on the Sabbath when throughout the week, life is being lived wearing the “jerseys of the world,” praising its temporary idols, chanting meaningless songs, and proclaiming foolishness.

DiscipleshipTwitter

Complete devotion to Jesus, alignment of our lives to His righteous principles through the work of the Holy Spirit combined with the willpower of man, doing the will of God in every small and every big thing in life, … that is what Jesus is asking from His followers.

Yes, I absolutely want to be a fan of Jesus. 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
I want to celebrate Him! He is awesome, He is the Winner, and everybody needs to know!
But more than that, it is my desire to be a true and faithful follower of Him. Denying self and picking up my cross daily.

What about you? Do you want to join the Jesus-fan-follower-club?

I hope you do.
His jersey, His songs, His eternal club-membership is truly worth it.

Advertisements

My Small Tribute To An Amazing Woman.

Now, if you are reading this and expecting a heartbreaking rundown on how much I love my fiancée (whom I most certainly do love), I have to disappoint you.
Even though I am getting married in literally one month from today, this post is not about my beautiful future wife Amanda.

This post is also not a love confession to my mother (even though she is wonderful too).

Today, I want to take a moment to honor and pay tribute to a woman that has and still is shaping my life in a very special way. She has influenced my spiritual walk with Christ in a powerful manner, she has opened my view to the bigger picture of reality, and she is constantly reminding me of my need for Christ and the total connection to Him.

The crazy thing is, that I have never met her or talked to her. In fact, she has been dead for quite a while!

The woman I am honoring today is Mrs. Ellen Gould White.
Today, July 16th 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of her death.

Ellen G. White was a messenger of God, a prophet. She was used by God in a powerful way to deliver important truths and messages to His people living in the last days. (That’s right now, by the way.)

“During her lifetime she wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books. She is the most translated woman writer in the entire history of literature. Her writings cover a broad range of subjects, including religion, education, social relationships, evangelism, prophecy, publishing, nutrition, and management.”*

bgqn4m

The Smithsonian magazine even named Ellen G. White among 100 Most Significant Americans in an acknowledgement of her influence on religion.

In the past couple years I’ve had the privilege to read her most prominent books and have been tremendously blessed by them.

I firmly believe that she was an inspired and divinely appointed messenger for Jesus.
How do I know? Among many reasons for that statement, I want to bring out the two most important ones to me:

  1. The Bible prophesied that the Spirit of Prophecy will mark God’s last movement in Earth’s history (see Revelation 12:17; 19:10)
  2. Reading and applying her writings has brought me closer to Jesus and His word. It has helped me to fall more and more in love with my Savior and to commit fully to His will.

It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian or not, … I don’t know anybody who has not been deeply impressed by this lady (who, by the way, didn’t even have more than a 3rd grade education!).

I want to challenge and encourage you today to read. Read her writings! They are all available online and for free.

If you are looking for powerful insights into Bible religion, or you want to be challenged in your spiritual walk, or you long to understand Jesus and the Bible better, then read the writings of Ellen G. White. A great place to start is the small book ‘Steps to Christ‘.

Her words will help you get more excited about God’s word and applying it into your life and relationship with Jesus.

May you be as blessed as I have been.

Here are some helpful links for more resources on Ellen G. White:

* http://ellenwhite.org/content/article/learn-about-ellen-g-white

Why I love being a Seventh-day Adventist.

sdalogo2

Why I love being a Seventh-day Adventist.

I will be very short and clear about this one.

I love being a Seventh-day Adventist, because I have not seen any other religion, denomination, belief-system or lifestyle that is so …

real,
logical,
comprehensive,
purpose-giving,
healthy,
fulfilling,
reasonable,
holistic,
honest,
prophetic,
joyful,
fulfilling,
and simply amazing,

… as the fully lived out biblical Adventist faith.

It answers life’s hardest questions.
It shows the path to continual growth and development in all areas of life.
It is all about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is now my Savior, Friend, Brother, Judge and Creator.

To those who don’t believe in anything, I say: Well, you are missing out. Why don’t you e-mail me and we can meet up for a green smoothie and let’s talk about life? I pay.

To those who believe in something supernatural (whatever it might be) I say: Try the Adventist faith. I promise you, you will not regret it. If you want a green smoothie, I’ll buy you one too ;-)

To those who share my faith: Let’s rise and shine and share our faith! We have a world to win!

I am fulfilled, happy and excited to be called a Seventh-day Adventist. What about you?