March Madness & Living for Christ

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I spent some time doing research for this week’s bulletin article. I went looking into “March Madness”. To be honest, this idea seems like madness to me. But as I was browsing the online Christian Chronicle, I saw a headline that stuck out. Did you know that Lipscomb University Men’s Basketball team went to the NCAA Division I March Madness Tournament this year? They lost in the first round, but to be ranked as one of the top 64 university men’s basketball programs this season is quite an accomplishment!

More College Basketball success for Church of Christ colleges and Universities include: Rochester College’s Men’s 2018 USCAA Division I National Championship, and their Women’s 2018 USCAA Division I National Championship. Freed Hardeman’s Women won the NAIA National Championship and their longtime head coach, Dale Neal, was an inductee to the NAIA’s Hall of Fame this year. And Pepperdine made it to the WCC Quarter Finals this year.

I have yet to watch more than 5 minutes of any basketball game this year. However, I am pleased to see Christian teams performing well; and I hope that their interaction, both on and off the court, inspires others. Sports definitely do not take a priority in my life. I would be happy to never watch another sporting event on television for as long as I live. But for many, sports is a joy and a passion. The New Testament uses sports metaphors multiple times (Galatians 2:2 and 5:7; Philippians 2:16; 1 Timothy 4:7-8; 2 Timothy 2:5 and 4:7-8; Hebrews 12:1). All of these passages remind us that we must train for spiritual things. We are reminded that perseverance and endurance are required for victory. Finally, we are told that being distracted could cost you your prize. As Christians our prize is not a trophy, banner or title—it is eternal life. Let us make sure we are living like Jesus with as much energy and effort as these young men and women are putting into basketball!

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