What would you think of a guy who says, “I am a really big Packers fan,” but doesn’t have a sweatshirt, has never been to Lambeau Field — not even for a free tour, has never worn styrofoam cheese on his head, cannot name even three present players, and hasn’t watched one of their games all season? You would say, “He’s no fan at all!”
I consider myself an excellent football fan. When my team says, “We have a game on Sunday night,” I’m there. Thursday night? I’m there. Name any time, and chances are, I’m there. And I’m not just there in presence. I’m all there. I’m usually wearing my team shirt and annoyingly spouting what I think is well-thought-out, in-depth, and incredibly accurate game analysis.
All across the country today we are obeying our football teams. They say, “But $125 tickets to our games,” and we do. “Pay $25 to park in our parking lots,” and we do. “Give us 3 and a half hours of your day,” and I will. “Purchase and wear our clothing,” and I will. “Visit websites throughout the week that provide you a taste of what will happen Sunday,” and I do on many occasions. Our football teams have basically asked us to orient our lives around them and we have.
The question hit me, though, this week: “Do I obey my Savior like I obey my football team?”
What would you think of a person who says, “I’m a serious Christian” but then only touches his Bible on the Sundays he attends church, rarely prays, knows only the five verses in the “Romans Road” by memory, and spends most of his free time watching programming on television that really doesn’t reflect anything that Jesus values?
Jesus says in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
Our love for Jesus should result in passionate obedience to Jesus. Sadly, though, we often obey our respective football teams more than we obey our Savior. Quite frankly, this reveals where our heart-affections are placed; it means that at times we probably love our football team more than we love our Savior.
What’s wrong with this picture? Everything. Your football team doesn’t love you. As much as you may have an infatuation with your team, the fact is that they fleece you for cash and time every year. But the Savior, on the other hand, bled and died, facing God’s wrath that we deserved so that we could be reconciled to God, enjoying His fellowship now and for all eternity.
If Jesus is the greatest love in our lives, we will read His Word more than the latest analysis on our team. We will orient our lives around the meetings of His people. We will spend our resources on the furtherance of His gospel. Our thoughts will consumed with Him. Our greatest passion will be loving Him and obey His every word.
Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”