Monday, March 23, 2015

March Madness

March madness
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."1 John 1:9
Many of us enjoy watching March Madness, the annual NCAA basketball tournament.  This year’s tournament that started with 68 teams last Thursday has seen several favored teams lose in either the first or second rounds. Yesterday a long awaited show down between in-state basketball powers Wichita State and Kansas University with the winner advancing to the Sweet Sixteen round took place with the Shockers topping the Jayhawks.
In the NCAA Tournament it's "do or die" for every team. Win and move on — lose and be done. The season is at stake with no second chances. This inescapable fact loads every game weight and consequence. Everyone gives it all they've got, because it might be their last chance of the season
Thankfully our God is a God of second chances. Because God loves us so much, He gave us a second chance (and third, fourth, fifth…) by sending His own Son. Most Christians I've ever known are obviously thankful for this basic truth. But today I  challenge you to live like your in tournament mode.    Don’t ever take for granted God's grace and mercy. Have you ever faced a temptation and fallen into sin partly because, in your mind, you were thinking something like "Oh, God will forgive me if I mess up just this once … after all, He loves me unconditionally"? Do you ever take second chances for granted?

Don't let God's unconditional love be a mental excuse to slack off. Live life more like March Madness. After all, if we really understand what the cross meant in terms of love, grace and second chances, we'd do nothing less than giving our very best, playing with a passion that will not give up or give in.  

Your pastor and partner in ministry,

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