Saturday, July 19, 2008

Giving the glory to Jesus

Look at this picture.


Its one of the most powerful and iconic sporting images I've ever seen. In fact, personally its one of the most amazing pictures I've ever seen.

For those who don't know, this is the Brazilian footballer Kaka, one of the top three footballers in the world, who plays for one of the biggest clubs in the world, Milan, and the current World Footballer of the Year. Also a committed Christian, who consistently thanks God for his career after nearly being crippled as a teenager and publicly said he was going to remain a virgin until his wedding night.

This man is adored and worshipped by many thousands of fans all over the world and said to be worth £80 million on the football transfer market.

This picture was taken at the end of one of the biggest football matches in the world, the Champions League final, watched by millions all over the globe every year. Milan, his club, had just won the match and lifted arguably the biggest trophy in club football.

This is his moment.

This is the height of his fame and popularity. People from all over the world are queuing up to give him praise, worship, honour and congratulate him.

So what does he do?

He takes off his shirt to reveal a white vest with 'I Belong to Jesus' emblazoned on the front, kneels down, closes his eyes, puts his hands out open and looks up.

And worships, thanks, praises and honours God. Gives God the glory. Puts God first.

The temptation at that moment to savour the glory and take all the praise from the fans, players and media alike would have been incredible, especially when caught up in the emotion of a big football match like that.

But no. He gives glory to God, he has what is clearly a very intimate moment with his Saviour. He's clearly experiencing the power of the Spirit and having an amazing time with God.

Its such a powerful witness.

Whenever I see that picture it fires me up, it makes me want to shout from the rooftops about Jesus. It inspires me yet again to try to live a life centred around Jesus, it reminds me of what life is all about.

That despite what the world says, no matter what I do or where I am, that Jesus is Lord of everything, and is more important than anything else.

In a profession where people are worshipped, honoured, praised, showered with money and publicity, where the temptation to take the easy life is more than ever, this man instead uses his fame to glorify God. He chooses to give that glory back to Jesus.

I truly hope that in the hour of my greatest success and triumph, I have the humility to do the same.

That's something we should all praying for.