We are truly in the middle of March Madness now. Who has already set aside these next few days to sit in front of their TV’s and watch the madness unfold. As teams have to compete with each other to reach the final destination in the Final Four. Who is ready for the Madness?
Today, I want to talk about that road to final four, because in the tournament each team’s path is different, there is only one road that gets them there. Hence the name, Road to the Final Four. In fact it may seem some teams always have a slightly easier path (Duke) and some have the hardest path there (Kentucky). However, each face difficulties along the way, and if you make it to the Final Four, you persevered through your obstacles, kept your head in the game and accomplished the goal you set for your team.
I call this Road in our lives the road to righteousness. It’s the road that I believe God wants each and every one of us to take because of where the road of righteousness leads too. The Road of Righteousness is what I call the process of becoming one with God. Here is the thing with the road of righteousness, for each of us that path is different, the trials and obstacles that life throws at us will be different from each other but we all have a path to follow to make it to where we want to be. That path is Jesus.
The thing about this path is there is no middle road. There is one road that leads to life, one road that leads to righteousness, one road and we are called to follow Jesus to get there. In fact that is the only way any of us well achieve this path. The invitation to the dance has been given through Jesus and there are obstacles that we will face that will try and distract us on this great adventure but there is one road that will get us there, that will renew our minds, that will lead us.
One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is found in John 14. Jesus has told the disciples that he would be leaving them soon and the disciples didn’t know if they would know the way to where Jesus was going. Jesus’s answer in John 14 is the comfort, hope, and answer to the path that leads to life for all who put their faith in Jesus Christ.
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
John 14:5- 7
Jesus is the way. Jesus is the Truth. Jesus is the Life. He told his disciples as he comforted them, you will never get lost if you really know me. If you really know me, if you really believe in me, you will follow me, follow my example, and you will find yourself with the Father.
The path is Jesus. It’s always been Jesus. He is the one who was sent to bring the invitation. He is the one we must get to know, put our faith in and follow. There is no middle road , there is only one path to righteousness.
John 8:12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
Follow the light, Follow Jesus on his terms not your own. I know many of you are looking at me and thinking pastor we know Jesus is the way, we know his is the path to Righteousness? Why do you keep teaching the same thing over and over again? The answer is simple, knowing something and living by something are two different things.
As believers in Christ we must not just know that Jesus is the way, we must have the faith in him to follow him in our lives. To follow his teachings, to follow his example of serving others, helping the sick, the poor, the widows, and orphans. That is the road to righteousness and the road we must be on.
In the same, the teams in this tournament know what they need to do to reach their ultimate goal. They know they must execute the game plan, they know they must put in the work and train at their craft, they understand there are going to be obstacles that they must overcome, and ultimately they can’t get there on their own. Ultimately they need each other.
Michael Jordan said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” Anybody who ever has participated in team sports knows, you can’t do it on your own. The path to where you want to get to, is going to take a team. In the same way, as the body of Christ for us to reach the ultimate of our race in life, we need Jesus. He is our team, he is our champion, and he is the way. There is no middle road, or alternate route, the question is will you pick up your cross and follow him?\
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?