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By Pastor Calvary Callender

I still remember very clearly that hot summer day that I set up my first (and only) lemonade stand. I got the posters made up, put together some cups and napkins, and made some lemonade in a little pitcher. I took the old card table out to the sidewalk and set up shop. I'm pretty sure that I drank more lemonade than I sold that day.

Whose kid actually ends up going into the lemonade stand business? You've seen them before; maybe you or your child have tried it. But there really are professional lemonade stands out there, so logic would dictate that some kid somewhere ended up going into the lemonade stand business full time. He wanted to try it one hot summer afternoon after seeing some of the other kids in his neighborhood doing it, or maybe he saw one set up at a baseball park and thought, "I could make a little on top of my allowance with this."

So he tries it out. Gets his dad to help him set up a rickety little stand. Hand paints a sign- "Lemonade - Fifty Cents." And after one successful day, he tries it again. And again. And again. Then he gets invited to bring his lemonade stand to a middle school baseball game, he ups his price to two dollars a glass, and pretty soon he's got a lot of invitations to bring his lemonade stand to all kinds of events. He's getting really busy, taking his lemonade stand all over town. Sure, he's making a really nice profit. But now things are a lot busier, a lot more professional. It's taking up more time than he expected. He's got to make special orders on lemons, he's having to keep track of all his expenses on a spreadsheet, and what started as a little hobby has become a time consuming commitment. And in that moment, he had to make a choice. Is this going to become a kind of career? Is he going to hire a few employees to share the load? What will he choose? Some of you out there are thinking, "Maybe I should go into the lemonade stand business." Others are thinking, "I wish that was my kid. My son or daughter doesn't even know what a spreadsheet is."

Whatever you're thinking, you understand that moment. There's a moment when we all have to make a decision. Is this a hobby or is this a career? Is this for fun or for something more? Am I trying this out or am I investing in it?

Luke 9:23 says, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me." How do we feel about being a Christian? Are we trying him out, or is it an investment? Are we a fan or a follower? Most of us would immediately say we are follower's of Jesus, but don't jump to an answer too quickly. A fan is defined as "an enthusiastic admirer." My concern is that many of us feel like we are followers of Jesus, but in reality we are only fans ... enthusiastic admirers.

So today we have a question to ask, If we are a follower, are we all in? Are we really completely committed to Jesus? Being a follower requires an absolute commitment. We need to be careful not to customize our commitment, not to say, "I'm going to follow Jesus, but I'm going to kind of pick and choose the areas in which I will follow him." Followers of Christ understand that a commitment to him is an "all-in" commitment.

So, I would ask all of us to begin to search our hearts and ask, "Are we followers of Jesus, or just fans?"

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