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Ray Lewis and Inspiration

Ray Lewis and Inspiration

Friday, January 25, 2013

6:53 AM

Romans 8:37 - "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Jesus who loved us."


February 3, 2013 the date of this year's Super Bowl.  The Baltimore Ravens vs.  The San Francisco 49ers.  My dad and one of my close friends are 49ers fans, I'm a Ravens fan, its going to be a lot of fun.  John Harbaugh coaches the Ravens while his brother Jim is the head coach of the 49ers.  What a game its going to be.

A few weeks ago however no one gave it a chance of happening.  The Ravens were in the midst of a 3 game losing streak, which included a blow out loss to the Denver Broncos.  The 49ers were experiencing their own struggles as they tried to break in a new quarterback halfway into a season.  The 49ers however soon got their troubles straightened out and appeared ready to make a run towards the Super Bowl.  That certainly wasn't the case in Baltimore.  Even after the 3 game losing streak was over they still weren't playing well, and the limped into the playoffs looking like a team that might win one game if that and then go home.

It was then however that the team found inspiration from its usual source, linebacker Ray Lewis.  This is Lewis' 17th season and it will be his last.  He suffered a horrific triceps injury earlier in the year, and people wondered aloud whether he would ever play again.  But then as the playoffs began he found his way back to the field after pouring his heart into rehab.  It was obvious that he once again inspired his team, as the defense shut down the Indianapolis Colts.

Still no one gave them much of a chance to win in Denver against the Broncos.  When the victory was won there, everyone said its been fun, there's no way they will defeat the New England Patriots in Boston.  And yet last Sunday night the victory was once again achieved.  And there was Ray Lewis inspiring his team all along the way, in what has been deemed his "last ride".

Lewis has always been a very inspirational player.  Fiery, violent, focused, everything you want in a linebacker and a defensive leader.  On the field he was amazing, off of it early in his career he was also amazing but for all the wrong reasons.  He was indicted on murder charges in 2000.  These charges were later dropped in exchange for his testimony against the two men that he was with.  That was 13 years ago, now Lewis has reportedly cleaned up his life and become a follower of Jesus Christ, even preaching occasionally and inspiring young followers of Jesus around the country.

He inspires his team each week, with his fire, his drive, his passion, his pregame speeches that one reporter said "scorches the ground in the stadiums that he plays in."  He is an inspiration to his team, and since his return they have played much better, much more focused.  People debate whether he is playing at the top of his game, but there is no debating the impact that he has on his team.  He inspires them.

Which leads to the question, what inspires you?  What inspires you on a daily basis, as you go throughout this world with all its problems, difficulties, and challenges.  Where do you find inspiration?  It can only truly be found in one place and that is in the person of Jesus Christ for He is the only person who will not disappoint us.  As much as I like Ray Lewis and the story of him being transformed, he will still disappoint.  Jesus however never will.  He should always be our inspiration.

Our inspiration against temptation, our inspiration in the midst of troubles, our inspiration to always do the right thing, our inspiration to love and forgive other people.  After all that is what He did.  He overcame temptation and never sinned.  He always did the right thing.  He triumphed over troubles.  He loved and forgave others, we see that from His cry on the cross, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

Jesus is our inspiration.  He has to be for He is the only one who truly can be.  Yes we can be touched and moved by other people and their stories.  Yes our families and friends should be an encouragement to us, but Jesus is the one who inspires us because He is the one who will never disappoint.  That is what Paul talks about in Romans 8, that is why he victoriously proclaims (maybe from a prison cell), "we are more than conquerors through Jesus who loves us."  Does that mean life will always be easy? No way.  Paul goes on to talk about the world's difficulties and problems, but then he proclaims that "nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus."  He is our inspiration.  That love that drove Him to the inspires us and transforms us everyday.  We are loved by God through Jesus Christ.  His Gospel changes us.  The cross lets us know we are loved, and that love gives us strength in the midst of troubles.  It helps us overcome sin and temptation.  It inspires us to do the right thing.  It helps us love and forgive others, after all the Bible says, "we love because He first loved us."  Jesus is our inspiration.