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Following Jesus: Privilege Or Burden? - Renovate Church
As I was getting ready to leave our house a couple of weeks ago, I took a quick glance back at our television to see if anything interesting was happening. Of course, the television was on because the Olympics were taking place and our television ran non-stop from August 5-21! Don’t judge. We had to make sure and catch all the handball, water polo, shooting, and rowing competitions that you only see every four years! Well, as I was saying goodbye to April, I noticed an ad come on for an upcoming interview between Joe Buck and legendary golfer Nick Faldo on a show called Undeniable. As I listened to some of Nick Faldo’s excerpts about his early life and winning major golf tournaments, one statement caught my attention. “Everyone looks up to someone,” he said as he shared about some of the people who inspired him as a young golfer. Everyone looks up to someone. Think about that for a moment. It’s a true statement. We’ve all had people who inspired us and who we wanted to emulate. For me, the first person I remember wanting to emulate was a local high school basketball player at Akron Central-Hower High School who led his team to an undefeated season and the 1980 Ohio state basketball championship. I was definitely a follower. I collected all the articles on the team from the local newspaper and grabbed any souvenirs and pennants I could find. I literally had my own little shrine in my bedroom to their season. I watched this player closely and tried to play like him. I tried to do his moves. I tried to pass like him. I tried to lead like him. Maybe for you it was a parent, teacher, sibling, or classmate that you tried to emulate. For Michael Phelps it was watching Tom Dolan in the 1996 Olympics that inspired him to want to be an Olympian. For Steven Spielberg it was seeing his first movie by Cecil B. Demille that originally caught his attention and moved him into film. For legendary dancer and choreographer Martha Graham it was seeing Ruth St. Denis perform at the Mason Opera House in Los Angeles, California, that inspired her to pursue dance. For Tyler Perry his inspiration was decorated playwright August Wilson. “Everyone looks up to someone!” The question is, “is the person’s life worth emulating and can they get you where you want to go?” We follow people and emulate them because we see some outstanding quality in them and we believe they can get us to where we want to go. I am going to submit to you that there is no one greater we can follow and emulate than Jesus. In Jesus, we see someone who’s life, character, and mission is worth following and who has gone where we want to go. Look at what he said to his disciples in John 14:2-3, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare …