March Madness is here! This is the time of the year where basketball programs around the country get a chance to participate in a win or go home tournament where only one team will be left standing. And us fans are crazy for it!
- What creates such a passion and excitement throughout this tournament?
- How is it possible that 68 teams, with less than 2,000 athletes, are able to stir up millions of people all around the world?
One simple truth: passion is powerful and contagious!
One of the things that makes March Madness so inspiring is that we are seeing passionate young men and women fighting to push pass the limits of what looks humanly possible, training their minds and bodies to be able to compete at a high level.
It’s a win or go home attitude. One game determines it all. Where ranking, popularity and cool outfits all become irrelevant. Only one thing makes a difference: the most passionate team will win it all…
- What are you passionate about?
- What impact does your passion (or lack of passion) have on the lives of the people around you?
- Will your passion live on once you’re gone?
Jesus’ passion was all about changing lives.
One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living.  Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”  And they left their nets at once and followed him.
Mark 1:16-18 (NLT)
Just like the student athletes in the tournament are sold out for basketball, Simon and Andrew were sold out for being fishermen. That was their passion, probably what they worked the hardest at. One interaction with Jesus moved them to give up everything they had. Why? He was calling them to a bigger passion; a greater purpose. They went from simply playing the game to changing the game.
The reason why most people aren’t passionate about Christianity nowadays is because we can easily take God and His purpose out of it and change it into a self-help philosophy.
Jesus didn’t captivate their hearts by promising them they will be famous, have an easier life, or be richer if they came with him. What motivated them to follow was the promise that they could change people’s lives.
The only thing that can last forever is a soul. Being able to save ours and others is the greatest purpose we can ever have. This is what we should be the most passionate about.
I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them  to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.
Acts 26:17-19 (NIV)
God’s passion is opening people’s eyes so they can know how to have a real relationship with Him.
- Are you embracing the vision and purpose that God has for your life?
- What people did God put in your life for you to help?
- What are you more passionate about than saving souls?
To be used by God, we don’t need to be the most talented, smartest or most athletic. A deep passion for changing people’s lives trumps all of those things. And this passion is powerful.
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.  But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.
Acts 4:13-14 (NIV)
- What excuses do you make to not help others?
- How can you change and start being about your purpose?