Bandwagon believers

I grew up in Bronco nation. My dad is a win-or-lose Denver Bronco fanatic. Every year when football season arrived, we suddenly had plans on Sunday afternoons and orange and blue could be spotted throughout the house. We even took these family photos last year (I do realize three of my siblings are not wearing Broncos jerseys…but still). Seriously. 122813AM_KarrFamily8 122813AM_KarrFamily10

Photo Credit: Alyssa Martin Photo

Side note: this is my family. From left: Mike (my husband), me, Micah, Hosea, Mom, Dad, July, Hannah, Kristen, Josh. More on them another time.

My dad LOVES the Broncos, and while he’s disappointed when they lose, it doesn’t stop him from cheering for his favorite team.

I LOVE the Broncos too…if they are winning.

When the rest of the nation cares about them…suddenly I’m their biggest fan. I realized this a couple years ago when they had a stud of a quarterback (I was convinced I would marry Tebow back in my single days). And then of course last year, they were in the Super Bowl (I’d rather not talk about the outcome).

That, friends, is what you call a bandwagon fan. But isn’t this how we are when it comes to following Jesus sometimes? Take a look at Luke 9:59-62 (NIV).

“He said to another man, ‘Follow me.’ But he replied, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ Still another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.’ Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'” Luke 9:59-62 (NIV)

These men wanted to follow Jesus IF they could do what they wanted FIRST. They placed a stipulation upon following Christ.


IF _____ THEN I will follow Christ.

When ______ happens, THEN I will follow Christ.

As soon as ______ , THEN I will follow Christ.

Just one last thing, God, THEN I will follow you.


IF the Broncos win, THEN I will watch.


But God doesn’t want stipulations. He doesn’t want part of us, He wants ALL of us. If we wait until the perfect time to lay everything at His feet, that time will never come. There is always something else, always a million reasons NOT to follow Jesus.


Artwork Credit: Amanda Weaver Design

The men in the passage had a barrier. They wanted to follow Jesus, but there was a point where their desires became more important than God’s desires. Where is your line in the sand? When are you off ‘team Jesus’? What are your barriers when it comes to laying 100% of your life down for the Lord?

Sometimes barriers can be GOOD things. The barrier for both of the men in the passage was their family. One wanted to tell his family goodbye and one wanted to care for his father until his death. But Jesus wants all of you. He may not ask you to move across the country to be a foreign missionary, but you have to be WILLING to live in a straw hut. As Billy Graham said,

“Salvation is free. But discipleship costs EVERYTHING.”  -Billy Graham


Artwork Credit: Amanda Weaver Design

And friends – it’s well worth it.

My dad was ESTATIC when the Broncos started winning football games a couple seasons ago. Yes, I thought it was neat they were winning, but why was this SUCH a big deal? I thought it through and realized… my dad watches EVERY SINGLE Broncos football game (unless he’s out of the country). Win or lose, my dad is their biggest fan. So when things start to look up, it’s much more exciting for him than it is for me – the bandwagon fan. His excitement makes me wish I followed them all along.

You will go through hard times throughout your walk with Christ. But know that when things turn around – the reward makes it all worth it in the end. And if things never turn around, your rewards in heaven will be awaiting.

Are you really following Jesus or are there barriers, stipulations that you have placed on following Him? If there are then you might be a bandwagon believer, just following Jesus for the good times. I encourage you to get off the bandwagon and start following and trusting Jesus wholeheartedly, in the good times and the bad.

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trials because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 (NIV)


  • Tawni Sattler

    Such a great post! I loved it!

    This part was so convicting: “Where is your line in the sand? When are you off ‘team Jesus’? What are your barriers when it comes to laying 100% of your life down for the Lord?”

    Oh, and, sorry about that Superbowl loss (I’m from Seattle). Even here in Austria, that Seahawks win was a pretty big deal. 😉

    • Alyssa Martin

      Thank you so much, Tawni! So glad you enjoyed it. I think when we are completely honest when ourselves, we all have a “line barrier” when it comes to following Jesus. My goal is to erase parts of that line each day! When we give the Lord 100%, we can’t go wrong!

      The Superbowl loss was just embarrassing! Broncos fell apart! Congrats to your team though! :)

  • Allan Karr

    For clarification, for lots of peeps in the world, college or NFL football is like a religion. Yes, I am a big fan and watch probably too much football in the 5 months of the year when it is on. However, I am a fanatic about Broncos, but my IDENTITY is in Christ. I am known as a football fan, but Jesus is my life. The Broncos often let me down, but God never does. He is my life. By the way, as much as I liked the fantasy idea of Tebow being my son-in-law, I am so glad and thankful Alyssa has the husband she does now. If only Michael liked the Broncos and football a little bit more, then…..oh well, doesn’t really matter that much in the big picture.

    • Alyssa Martin

      Dad – you are right and your actions portray just that. Jesus is your life, and you and mom have taught the rest of us kids what it means to be a follower of Christ. How to break down those barriers that keep us from following Him 100%. Thank you for that. I apologize if that wasn’t clear in the post!

      You make me laugh – we are working on Michael and the Broncos. But in the big picture – who cares! :) Love you!

  • Kathy Karr


    I love this post and actually needed this right now. Thanks so much for the reminder to continually reassess what our barriers are and where we have drawn the line in the sand.

    Go Broncos!

    Love, MOM