March madness has officially descended across America. If you ever wondered what a country that has no real faith in God or Jesus looks like, the way America is acting right now is pretty close to as paranoid as we can get. COVID-19, or the coronavirus, has just paralyzed America in fear. And for what? A new respiratory infection that has barely affected a fraction of the people that influenza attacks year after year? My beloved city of Savannah has followed suit with the major cities and cancelled their St. Patrick’s day festivities. The NCAA tournament is going to be played with no fans present. Are we a national that boldly believes in the protection and wisdom of Jesus and God? Or are we a country that is going to let a little bug stop our every way of life? We sing a song to our 4-year-olds in the children’s ministry at my church that I think the adults in this country need to learn: Fear Get Out of Here. Wash your hands, practice good hygiene, take some multivitamins, and live a healthy lifestyle and you’ll be just fine.
This country is so thirsty for the comfort and confidence that comes with understanding and living the Word of Jesus. The sad thing is most of America doesn’t even realize they need to drink from the well. We may say we are Christians, but how many of these Christians are on social media fueling the fear monster by sharing stories of every confirmed case of COVID-19? The more I grow closer to God, the less I fear anything that could end my life. I do not fear death because I know God has a greater purpose for me and my time on this Earth is far from over. My life is just beginning and my mission to make this nation pull their heads out of their fourth point of contact has just begun. I need America to get to my level and stop letting fear define how we operate. It’s time to get right, get clean, and get going. What do I mean by that?
Get right-read the Bible and learn the truth within the Bible, and cut out the sin in your life.
Get clean-this is simple, get baptized.
Get going-get out there and spread the word, live and breath your faith, and bring as many as you can to truly, truly know Jesus.
1In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar-when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene-2during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. (Luke 3:1-2)
I chose to highlight this verse because it’s not one of the more quoted verses of scriptures, but it shows an important aspect of the Book of Luke. Luke is precise in his writings. He lists all the leaders who reigned during the time of John and Jesus’ world changing ministries. Tiberius Caesar began his reign as the second Roman Emperor on 14 AD, so 15 years in would put this reference at 29 AD, which is just one year before most scholars believe Jesus began His three years of preaching. Luke moves his narrative of the life of Jesus along quickly, jumping from Jesus as the boy who “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52)” to this referenced year. Luke gave an eternal time stamp on when John began his message of repentance and salvation through baptism. As much of the life of Jesus as a boy and young man is a mystery, even more of a mystery is the life of John the Baptist. Luke told us more than any other Gospel author about John, but all we learned was that he was six-months older than Jesus and a cousin by maternal blood. The next three decades are a complete mystery. Then in 29 AD, John emerges from the wilderness, dressed with camel hair and eating honey and preaches a message so drastic that hundreds would line the shores of the Jordan for John to baptize them. And he would become the torch bearer who passed the flame of truth and righteousness to Jesus as they met in the waters. Jesus is waiting to meet you in the waters as well. Make 2020 the year you rededicate your life to Jesus, get baptized and let the waters was you clean. As you have seen in the last two months, you may be able to guess the verses we will be looking at for the next three days and the challenge I will put on your heart.
Reading plan: Luke 9
Deeper reading plan: 1 Samuel 11-13
Prayer and meditation: continue to pray for your request from day 1 and pray that God leads you into the water.
Fitness challenge: long distance run day, get out there, get some fresh spring air, and pound the pavement for 21 minutes.