March 16, 2017
Volume 21, Number 10
As I write this, you only have a couple of hours left to submit your brackets. I’m referring (in case you didn’t know) to an activity that occupies the minds of millions of Americans at this time every year. It’s called “March Madness” for a reason. People who normally have little interest in college basketball become obsessed with it for a few days. And then life returns to normal.
“Madness” is a good term for this season because there will be great losses that occur. Of the 68 teams that begin the NCAA tournament, only one will emerge without a loss. All the others will return home heartbroken. But the losses don’t stop there.
A report issued earlier this week found that 51 million employees will join office pools in betting on their favorite teams. While these workers are distracted by basketball, their companies will lose upwards of 4 billion dollars because employees aren’t doing their jobs. And what about those who wager bets in these office pools? The average wager, the report found, was $29 per bracket. Do the math and you’ll see lots of red ink.
Let’s be honest: We have no idea who will win this championship. Every year, it seems, Cinderella shows up at The Big Dance with her glass slippers. Why do we put ourselves through such losses and frustration?
There’s one bracket you can absolutely fill out with confidence. It’s the biggest confrontation of all with more at stake than any other battle. It’s Christ versus Satan.
Why did Jesus leave heaven to come to earth? John tells us: “… For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Our eternal destiny hangs on the outcome of this contest. Who will win?
It would actually be unfair to start a pool on this one, for the outcome is already known. Here’s the summary we find in Hebrews 2:14,15: “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
Our struggle with Satan is not finished yet. Revelation 12:12 sounds this warning: “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” That wrath of Satan is focused on you and me.
Here’s the good news: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). This is one bracket we can fill in with indelible ink!
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
Copyright, 2017, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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