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March 27, 2015

Two lessons gleaned from watching March Madness

by L Malnes

It’s March Madness time! Being a sports-minded family, our family participates in our own bracket challenge for this college basketball tournament.  We would watch these games anyway, but having the bracket challenge competition makes each of us take a special interest in the outcomes of the games.  As I watch these games, I see a couple life lessons for my Christian walk.

The first lesson I learn is from the fans watching the games.  The fans make their loyalties very apparent – from simply wearing the school colors, to the raising of signs, to face painting, to all-out body painting.   Just about everyone in attendance shows his school loyalty in some way – there is no doubt whose team a person is there to see – to stand behind and cheer – to be counted as one in that school’s “nation”.

2157889318001_4133902820001_college-basketball-fansIn this life here on earth, can others tell which team I’m on?  Do I stand out, whether subtly or loudly, as a part of the “Jesus nation”?  Do my words and actions mark me as one whose loyalty lies with the one and only God?  Am I proud to wear my “colors”?  I sure hope so – I don’t want anyone to have any doubt that I’m a Christian.

The second lesson I learn is from Kentucky’s team.  They are the strong favorite to win the tournament overall and they play with that confidence – not in a cocky way, but with the assurance of their strengths as a team.  They don’t rattle easily and keep pressing on each game.

kentucky-basketball-fansHow about me?  My victory is already sealed because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.  Do I go about my life with the confidence of a heavy favorite?  When I meet challenges and obstacles in my life, do I not rattle but have the assurance that God will work out all for my good and His glory?  What attitude to I show?  Kentucky may lose – in this world even favorites can lose.  But my victory is a done deal – Jesus has already made me perfect and given me eternal life.  Do I live with that confidence?

Romans 1:16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes:  first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

“Dear Jesus, Thank you for choosing me to be on Your team, to be a part of the “Jesus Nation”.  Help me to wear You well – so that anyone who sees me, who talks to me for any length of time, who watches my actions, will know without a doubt that I belong to You.  Help me live my life with the confidence of one who knows she has already won.  Because You live in me, I can do this.  And LORD, just as fans at a basketball game encourage each other in supporting their team, may I encourage other Christians in their loyalty and pride in belonging to You, in their confidence in being victors because of all Jesus has already done.  Together may we be a voice that proclaims our victory won – one that draws and invites others to join us as part of the “Jesus Nation”.  Thank you, Jesus!!  In Your powerful and holy name I pray – AMEN!!”

Thank you for wearing your Jesus colors with me — and for standing with me in prayer!

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