Earlier this week the NCAA announced possible sanctions for Baylor because of impermissible phone calls and text messages to recruits. My thought on this is we had become too successful, and people were trying to figure out how “scrubby little Baylor” was bringing home the hardware.
Now, I’m not a D-1 athlete, but I know what goes into being one. Being an athlete does not just guarantee them the easiest classes ever and makes them the cool kids on campus. Y’all, being an athlete is hard work. Free time is something that rarely comes in the off season. They practice, the eat right, the hit the weight room, they build up their endurance, they perfect their skills and then they do all their homework and get an adequate amount of sleep to do it all over again.
While the appearance of being an athlete seems glamourous, it costs them a lot more than it seems. Think about Perry Jones III and Brittney Griner. Both of them are great athletes and have found success at Baylor, but the hate mail and criticism they have to endure is insane. Those two could have easily chosen to forego athletics in college but they knew the cost and determined the outcome was worth it.
Ok, cool story bro. What are you trying to say?
Think about your walk with Christ right now. When you became a believer, you were told that it was a free gift because you did nothing to deserve it, right? Man, if I told you this I apologize. Being a Christian is not about merely believing Jesus is who He said He is (but that is super important). It is also about following Him.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22
Nicodemus in John 3 was a member of the Sanhedrin, an elite group of religious leaders. He went to Jesus at night so that he would not seen by others, and he is faced with a choice: religion or a relationship with Jesus. It takes him a bit to understand that he cannot follow Jesus without receiving some criticism.
“Most of us don’t mind Jesus making some minor change in our lives but Jesus wants to turn our lives upside down.”
You cannot follow Him without it interfering with your life. The Gospel is not something that costs you nothing and promises everything.
“There is no forgiveness without repentance. There is no salvation without surrender. There is no life without death. There is no believing without committing.”
Believing and knowing Jesus are deeper than we see them as. Knowing Jesus is an intimate thing.
In Genesis 4:1 it says, “Adam knew his wife.” Well, we all know what that means. That same word, know, is used in Psalm 139 for how God knows us. He wants an intimate relationship.
It is the difference between knowing of someone and knowing someone.
I can tell you the stats of athletes, but it doesn’t mean that we bro out on a daily basis. There is a difference between knowing about them and truly knowing them.
To express this knowledge will cost you as well. In Luke 7, a Pharisee, Simon, invites Jesus over to dinner. When He enters, Simon does not greet him at the door with a kiss, provide water to wash his feet or oil for his head. That wasn’t an accident; it was intentional. While they were eating a prostitute appears.
And standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Luke 7:38
She is so focused on Jesus that she forgets herself. When we worship God, how concerned are we about our appearance to others? Just let go and praise your Savior.
“When is the last time you had a moment with Jesus like this woman? When’s the last time you’ve poured yourself out before him? When’s the last time the tears streamed down your face as you expressed your love for him? When’s the last time you demonstrated your love for him with reckless abandonment.?”
Following Jesus will cost you your life. But it is worth it.