Friday, May 06, 2011

Can I Buy A Follower Please?

Did you know that you can buy Followers for your Twitter page? Really. I kid you not. Facebook has friends. Twitter has followers and if you don't feel like you're popular enough, you can just go buy a few. I always wondered how some folk had 334,678 followers. Well, now I know. Check it out: Buy Twitter Followers or Twitter1k.

Personally, I would much prefer that people find my page on Twitter and like what they see. It means so much more to me to know that what I've written has struck a chord in someone and perhaps produced some fruit in their life. I want them to want to read more. Isn't that so much more meaningful than boosting my ego, or using some bizarre marketing technique that impresses folk (not me) with how many followers I have? I've also noticed that "followers" come and go. When I don't follow them back, they disappear. I guess they weren't truly interested in what I had to say in the first place.

When Jesus breathed our air, He desired followers. One of His most frequent set of words was "Follow Me." The Greek word for follower is mimetes. The King James version of the translation is "to imitate". According to Webster's Dictionary, a follower is one who comes, goes or moves after another, in the same course. One that takes another as his guide in doctrines, opinions or example; one who receives the opinions, and imitates the example of another; an adherent; an imitator. Jesus desired for people to follow Him, to imitate Him, to move along with Him and embrace His thoughts, doctrines and example. But He made no bones about what "following" Him would really mean.

In Matthew 16:24, Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." In Luke 14:26, He said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple."

Jesus started out His earthly ministry with a multitude of followers. Over the course of three years, the numbers got less and less. The harder His sayings got, the more disciples turned back and no longer followed Him. (John 6:66) Near the end of a three year ministry, on a dark night, in an olive grove, you couldn't have paid a human being enough money to follow this Man. But that was okay.

Jesus has always desired committed followers. Desirous followers; not those who stick around in the good times, but turn their back on Him when life takes a hard turn. It is so much more meaningful to Jesus when we follow because we love Him and because we want to. He could buy our allegiance any time He wants. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. But that would be meaningless. He wants us to walk the sod of this earth with Him, up the mountaintops and down into the valleys. Through the rivers and in the storms. When the sun is shining and when the seas of sorrow threaten to drown. He will never bribe you to follow. He leaves it up to you. He doesn't need to increase His numbers to impress a living soul.

Those who choose to follow and stay a follower will never find more abundant life or more love, more power, or more tenderness. He will never bribe you or buy you because He loved you with His life and with His blood. You can never put a price on that.

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