Acts 4:12: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (NIV)
I consider myself a Steeler fan. I grew up in Pittsburgh in the 70s when they won four Super Bowls. I grew up believing that if you were a fan of a professional football team, they never lost. Back then, I was part of a group of faithful followers of the team. Skip ahead a few years and now that I’m a wife and mother, I spend my Sunday afternoons doing things other than just watching football. I would say I have moved into the casual fan group. I still enjoy the Steelers, but I’m open-minded and enjoy other teams as well. I haven’t kept up with the changes in the lineup and don’t even know the player’s names anymore.
Some people claim to love God with their mouths, but that’s as far as it gets. Other people claim to love God, and after you are done interacting with them, you know it’s been more than a casual conversation. God is so much a part of that individual’s life that after interacting with a true Christ follower, you notice something different and you experience some of God’s character in the exchange.
Now, I admit that I have fallen short in the football fan department. My parents would be disappointed that I don’t hang my “Terrible Towel” on display or wear my Steeler football jersey on Sunday afternoons after church. However, as a Christ follower, it’s my goal that when people are finished interacting with me, they have smelled Jesus in my life.
You see, when it comes to my relationship with Jesus Christ – It’s personal, it’s real, and it’s the most important thing in my life. By putting God first, every other relationship fits. By making my relationship with God my first priority, it means getting to know Him on an intimate level and seeking to model my life after Him. My God is a gentleman. He doesn’t ask me to do things that are hurtful, cruel, or self seeking. By getting to know Jesus at the deepest level and imitating His actions and His love for others, my other relationships are strengthened, my work ethic is stronger, and my life is more peaceful. Spending meaningful time with the One, true God makes my life better and hopefully I then pass along some of that peace and love and gentleness to others that I encounter throughout my day.
So, even though I have missed the mark when it comes to being a true football fan, I pray that as I live my daily life, people will see that I have been a faithful follower of Christ, hands down the most important relationship in my life. Anyone can do it. All it takes is admitting to God that you are a sinner, confessing those sins to Him, and then asking Jesus to be Lord of your life, entering into a relationship with Jesus. After that simple step, taking it to the next level is easy. Just start by spending more time with Him and getting to know Him. Read the Bible and talk to Him in prayer. Pretty soon you will move from casual fan to faithful follower as well. When you have done that, you will then be on the most important team…and soon others will notice a difference when you (and Jesus) walk in the room.