The Madness of March

Today is Bracket Monday, the eve of the month long basketball fest called the NCAA Basketball Tournament or March Madness.

For the college basketball fan this is our favorite time of the year.

Today is Bracket Monday, the eve of the month long basketball fest called the NCAA Basketball Tournament or March Madness.

We fans, including our President, will spend most of today filling bracket sheets.

For most of the month, we fans will be watching games, and enjoying unforgettable moments as the Madness of March unfolds.

However, March is Mad outside the basketball court.

  • March is Mad when 37 people are killed in Ankara, Turkey as a terrorist’s bomb is set off in a busy bus station.
  • March is Mad when 6 people are killed, and thousands more are flooded out of their homes in Arkansas, parts of Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. All of which are secondary to heavy rains and thunderstorms which drenched the South.
  • March is truly Mad when the leading candidate for the Republican Presidential Nomination makes statements and takes positions so inflammatory that political debates are reduced to shouting matches about body parts, and violence breaks out at his political rallies.

Yes, March is truly Mad!

In Isaiah 43:18-19, God proclaims: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!”

Therefore, on this Bracket Monday the message to us is clear:

When we pray, believe and trust in the Lord, regardless of the Madness that March or any other month can bring.

We can be assured that God will do a new thing, and in due time everything will work out to His will.

For as James 5:16 tells us, the prayers of a righteous man or woman has great power and produces wonderful results.

Let the Madness of March begin, and may your brackets survive the first round!

 

Our United States of Fear

Multitudes of people never fulfill the call of God on their lives simply because every time they try to go forward, the devil uses fear to stop them.

Our United States of America is truly a blessed nation

  • Our nation is blessed with the natural resources of clean air, abundant land, and enough solar, oil, natural gas, and wind, if harvested correctly that can supply our energy needs cleanly for generations.
  • Our nation is blessed with great colleges and universities that provide educational opportunities; not only for our citizens but for the world.
  • Our nation is blessed with people from all walks of life; some native born, others not. However, they all bring experience, expertise, and energy to every fabric our country thus making America truly exceptional.

Our United States of America is a nation in fear

  • Today we fear the immigrant, the refugee, and the migrant who, like many before, came to our shores seeking a better life.
  • Today we fear terrorists; the small band of extremist who have an oversized influence in the way we live and how we view the world.
  • Today we fear the Muslim because we have not made the effort to understand their faith. Because of this, we have fallen prey to those extremist who have highjacked this great faith for their radical and evil purposes.

God commands us not to fear

God tells us in Isaiah 41:10:

“Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will give you strength, and for sure I will help you. Yes, I will hold you up with My right hand that is right and good.”

As Christians we should only “fear” The Lord   

Often Christians interpret “the Fear of the LORD” as the fear of the punishment that God could give us for our deeds. Certainly, we will all stand before God’s judgment when we die.

However, if you know that Christ has paid for your sins, you should not have this kind of fear anymore. This is what John preaches against when he says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” (1 John 4:18).

When the Old Testament writers spoke of the “fear of the Lord” they always thought of it in terms of the most positive sense of the word.  They defined fear as awe and reverence for God that motivates us to do His will.

The fear of the Lord is to be highly praised

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”  Proverbs 9:10

“In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and his children will have refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.”  Proverbs 14:26-27

The “fear of the Lord” in these passages is an awe-filled love of God that allows us to grow in intimate knowledge of him. It teaches us how to live and reassures us of God’s power and guidance. It gives us a reverence of His will that helps us avoid the sins that will destroy our relationships and lives.

But In our United States of Fear, Satan uses politicians, the media and yes even the clergy to depict images of fear to deliver trepidation, terror, and torment into our lives.

However, as Christians, we should fear nothing but the Lord.

Fear Not For In the United States of Fear:  God Is With Us

In the United States of Fear, fear is all around us.  Therefore the next time you:

  • Hear that political speech commanding you to fear, or
  • See that commercial convincing you to fear or
  • Sit in that sermon convicting you to fear or
  • Experience that voice in your ear critical of your fears

Remember these most familial words from the 23rd Psalm (KJV)

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

Godly Living Without Fear

Multitudes of people never fulfill the call of God on their lives simply because every time they try to go forward, the devil uses fear to stop them.

God has blessed the United States of America and all of us too much to live a life of fear.

Listen to God’s word. Live a life worthy of Him bringing our fears to Him so that we will not live in the United States of Fear.