Friday, February 18, 2011


Welcome to "Fan the Flame" Friday.

This is a weekly post that will be "short and sweet" (kinda like me...)

Just a word and a phrase, a sentence or a question...just a little something to "fan the flame" of your creativity!

Today's word: popular

What does it mean to be popular?

Do you think Jesus was popular in His day? Do you think He's popular now?

Let me know what you think!!

"This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you…For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. I think popularity is usually misdefined as having the "right" people accepting you or being your fan. That's not popular; that's just cool. Sometimes (most of the time) the people most dubbed "popular" are really not that well liked at all.

    To me, popularity is having folks with whom you come into contact genuinely like you because you genuinely like them.

    I think there was honestly a bit of both where Jesus was concerned as he walked on earth. I think there were some who followed the multitude because it was a multitude. He was, as my daughter puts it, the newest iphone on the market.

    I think there were (ARE) others who followed not because of who He was (IS) but because of what he did (DOES).

    But then there were so many others who just genuinely loved (love) him because He so genuinely loved (loves) them.

    And that's all I have to say about that.

  2. Having demon possessed computer issues, btw. Very frustrated.

  3. everytime I tried to comment the computer clicked goes again. I don't know if Jesus is popular. I hear alot of people say they're Christian but it's sort of like being Jewish (I am). YOu can say you're Jewish, be accepted as Jewish...but not practise.

  4. Good Question today..Popular.
    I think being popular is having influence..and it can be negative or positive or both! Usually the Popular person is viewed as someone who is liked, having influence on the followers of the popular person.
    Jesus was popular to the Jews and Gentiles, and not popular to the Pharisees, however, they were VERY aware of him and did NOT like his influence.
    He is popular to Christians trying to live like Christ, but to others who don't have the same beliefs, I don't think he is.
    I hope that made made me really think about this!
    blessings today, my friend!

  5. Popular...doesn't that just send your thoughts straight back to Jr and Senior High school and I wasn't popular in either group....why, because I was a Christian and walking a life that was guided my His guidelines and not I have never cared if I was popular and have tried to express that to my kids...that is, the definition of what society calls is popular.

    Jesus - popular or is He? According to societies polls I would say "no"...even in his own group of disciples they turned against Him and denied Him. Was He followed with curiosity and wonder...yes! Today is He popular..well is that in numbers or lives changed? In numbers no, most of the world still doesn't see Him as His faithful followers...YES!!

  6. Hi Sharon,

    What does it mean to be popular? To be preferred more, well liked or approved.

    Do you think Jesus was popular in His day? Do you think He's popular now? This is an interesting question because it forces me to look at the motivations of those who followed Christ. I wasn't initially comfortable saying that Jesus was popular; choosing instead to acknowledge that He had a large following. In essence, these terms are not distinct. Many of those who followed Jesus sought to derive something by following Him; Jesus was popular because of what others perceived He could do for them.

    Interesting question to fan the flame Sharon.

    Blessings and peace.


  7. I have to agree completely with Janette.
    Popular reminds me of school when I was
    definitely not in with the in crowd because
    I believed in God and went to church.
    I don't think Jesus was popular when He
    walked the earth nor is He now and that's
    so sad. People need to see that He loves
    them more than they can imagine. As for me,
    I am a loyal friend for life and a lot of
    people missed out in not giving me a chance
    in high school to be their friend.

  8. Jesus was popular only when he was feeding the crowds, healing the sick, etc, but when he started preaching "seriously" about what it took to follow him and made the claims he truly was God, he fell out of "popularity" to those who were looking to be entertained and fed and their earthy needs taken care. I think by the world's standards, Jesus will never be popular. But to those willing to "go the distance" and come to know him, he will indeed change their life! great word this week Sharon!


  9. Whenever I see the word "popular" I think of a poster that I read every day in my high school English class.

    "What's popular isn't always right and what's right isn't always popular."

    Based on that poster (which I am certain is not the be all end all of definitions of "popular"), I think that Jesus is and was *right* and that's what caused him to be unpopular.

    I don't like the word popular. I guess it's because I errantly use it as a synonym for cool. Popularity, to me, means generally accepted and endeared. I don't think Jesus was or is that...except to those who know him and love him personally.

  10. Oh my, you guys gave such wonderful comments this week! I enjoyed reading them so much - truly "fanned my flame!"

    I was so intrigued by the many facets of the word "popular" that you all talked about. Many of you had some of the same feelings about being popular that I did. I was never popular, never one of the "cool" kids - never in the "in crowd." It was painful, but it happened for many of the reasons you have all talked about - being a Christian, and picking a different path than the crowd.

    Was Jesus popular? I like how the distinction was made that many people followed Him for what He did - and in that context, He was able to draw crowds. But not too many winners of popularity contests are crucified.

    Is He popular now? Not in the sense that His true message is widely accepted. The Bible says that Jesus is the Way - and the way to life is through a narrow gate. Popular people walk a broad pathway, and many are content to follow them. Following Jesus requires picking up your cross, and dying to self. Self-sacrifice, surrender, trust, and obedience are not concepts that are going to win over the majority.

    It is sad that Jesus isn't "popular" - in the sense that He is truly followed by many. However, though I want everyone to find saving faith in Him, I must admit that I like the fact that He isn't "popular." To me that means that He isn't a sell-out, He doesn't go along with the crowd, He isn't influenced by fame or fortune, He doesn't compromise His message just to win followers.

    In that sense, He stands alone - not so "popular" maybe - but as the Light of the World - the singular Savior who defines the true meaning of life.

    He may not be a celebrity, or a rock star, or a famous politician - but He's my Lord...and just like you guys, I adore Him.


  11. Awwww blessings Sharon... I showed up to this POPULAR place too late to put in my 2 cents!

    You would not have liked my response anyways to this one! I, on the other hand, really had my "flame fanned" by your great summation! Such great controversy the Jesus than and now and His popularity! All that matters is how POPULAR I am able to make Him to others that do not know Him or believe Him or surrender to Him! I must make Him known to a world that is as much hurting and lost now as than! And He came humbly, not as One in a place to BE popular nor TO the popular. He went out of His way than as He does now! And there have been "waves" to His popularity at different times throughout history.

    According to Merriam Webster, there are 4 definitions of popular :
    does Jesus fit #1? Yes... then and now
    #2 sadly no; *yes to (a) and no to (b) and the general one
    #3 sadly no then and now though we think so now
    and so desperately need to encounter and accept, it isn't happening and then again it is in some places, but again sadly not as much as it should USA way
    #4 and again NO... Jesus was not commonly liked or approved then or now, would people crucify the popular or One they liked (love), were they showing approval... hardly! Though those who DO know Him, like Him(love Him) and He is highly favored and accepted! He came for each and in general, the lowliest to the most high was and is not even close to the popular MOST HIGH that seemingly has never been given the honor He so rightly deserves.

    He does not need to be famous, because to me,
    He is more than enough and I love & adore Him just as He is! His claim to fame as King of kings and Lord of lords gives Him all I need to know to bow to Him and His authority now and forever! He validates all His promises in His Word and lives up to each claim and has fulfilled so many of the prophecies, I guess that alarms or causes Him to be feared or not believed but in my book; He is to be feared and believed of completing 'em all; making Him the MOST POPULAR MAN of HIS~WORD, AUTHORITY and ABILITY! He's got it covered!!!

    OK...I got my 2 cents worth in anyways! I still like yours best and I kinda diverted to stretch
    any disillusion to being popular. I was in the "popular" crowd and it did not do me any good or make my life better or easier or more fulfilled, perhaps it made my life more challenging of never attaining the wealth or wisdom from that popularity, or gaining more treasures but I DO know WHO I treasure above all those popular days
    because of Him, I am and will receive the benefits rightly do only Him! I am blessed to know the One and Only JC!

    Love, peace and JOY,

  12. Hi Sharon -

    Principally, my aim is to be popular with GOD and unpopular with the world and "religious" folks. That is gospel.

    No, our Lord JESUS was not popular with the world or with the religious folks. But Hallelujah, He was/is popular with GOD and that is why He now sits on the right of the Father.

  13. Peggy - Wow! This was a great response. I think you should copy this comment and make it one of your posts - it was great! I like the point that you made, that we need to make Jesus "popular" to other people who do not know Him. I think this is accomplished by being genuine in our walk with the Lord, so that our words about Him match the way we live our lives in Him. Our Savior is the most accessible person, and His love is the most accepting. He is the only person who ever loved the "populous" completely - He was the champion of every man, woman, and child.

    Sandra - Oh amen, sister! If we truly follow Jesus, and conform our thinking to His ways, we will not be popular with the world. A "narrow gate" walk is not widely accepted. And yes, because of Jesus' relationship with the Father, we can now be "popular" with God, too!



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)