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JOY (Jesus, Others, then Yourself)

It’s now March, which means it’s almost time for the most exciting month of sports in this country: NCAA March Madness.

Whether you cheer for a specific team or just enjoy trying to fill out the perfect bracket, March Madness is something many Americans take part in. According to the American Gaming Association, roughly 70 million brackets are filled out each year. They estimate that 40 million Americans take part in predicting the NCAA Tournament, with many actually filling out multiple brackets.

Last season’s champions, the Baylor Bears, told a story of the team’s culture which really caught my attention. Their motto was simply “JOY.” A culture of JOY is Jesus, Others and then Yourself. Putting Jesus first and putting the team before yourself is a winning culture in both basketball and the body of Christ. Just as each member of the basketball team has their own talents and role on the team, each member of the church has their own gifts and calling in the body of Christ. Romans 12:4-5 says “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Christ laid the blueprint for imperfect individuals coming together to form the perfect team.

The Baylor coaches and players brought Jesus with them while simply doing what they love and, in doing so, approximately 40 million Americans witnessed joy in Christ. It is estimated that there are 90 to 100 million Americans who consider themselves Evangelical Christians. How many Christians could be encouraged and emboldened in the body of Christ if we had a Jesus first, team second, and yourself third heart posture? How many more unbelievers could receive Christ if 100 million unified Christians implemented that same culture of JOY in their daily lives?

It's also important to remember that Baylor didn’t win every game and didn’t always have championship seasons. Jesus said we will have troubles in this life and the bible is filled with story after story of trials and tribulations. Romans 5:3-4 says “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Let us persevere, knowing we already have victory in Christ. So, whether we’re in a valley or on the mountain, let’s share that joy with others. “I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.”-- Psalms 9:2

Written by Chad Kent, Director - CHANGED in Christ Inc.

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