“Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.” Acts 26:11 NIV
Read: Acts 25:9-18
There is pride in being a fan of your favorite sports team. You are excited to go to a game and cheer them on or watching them on TV. Yet, some of us go to extremes. Spending thousands of dollars for tickets and apparel, ignoring our responsibilities, painting our faces while dancing in the bleachers can be viewed as a fanatic.
There is a huge difference in being a fan and being a fanatic. The dictionary describes a fanatic as a person with an extreme single minded attitude or an excessive behavior. This is usually akin to sports or politics, but you may know someone who is a religious fanatic. Some can go from fan to fanatic to total obsessed in a blink of an eye.
Before Paul was born again, he was obsessed with tracking down Christians, having them jailed and even murdered. He was a fanatic whose purpose was to destroy the Christian faith. As Saul, he was every Christians worst nightmare.
Then, Saul found JESUS. Blinded and struck to his knees, he went through a transformation and became the leading writer of the New Testament and perhaps the greatest evangelist of all time. He accepted his new position with reverence and was attacked, beaten, outcast, tortured and eventually martyred…all for CHRIST. Paul went from being an obsessed fanatic to being a loving fan of our RISEN SAVIOUR.
Are you a passive Christian or do you love JESUS? You can be a loving fan, a follower, of JESUS. Ask HIM to forgive all the wrongs in your life and be like Paul.
Today’s prayer: “Forgive me, LORD, for being obsessed with the fanatic followings of the temptations and false efforts of this world. Help me be the loving fan as a true, loving follower of YOU. Amen.”