In which Bible Verse March Madness 2012 continues…

by Craig on March 28, 2012

It's the 2012 March Madness Bible Verse Tournament…source

It’s on to Rome for the West Regionals.

#1 (Jeremiah 20:11) For I know well the plans I have in mind for you…plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.

vs

#16  (John 13:35) This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Oh, and if you’re new to this series I should explain.

I set up the seedings here.
I determined the tournament locations here.

The South Regional first round match-ups happened here, and here.

#1…Israel didn’t much care for Jeremiah. He was always doom and gloom. But, here is a message overflowing with hope for anybody in a tough situation. It’s so brimming with hope that it’s the last word in the verse. I have hearted this verse since I was a baby Christian.

John’s verse is a “love” verse. If I don’t love, I’m not Christian. “Love” is the calling card of our faith. Hope…I heart. But love….I big puffy heart.

At first #16 won on a last second shot. But it was ruled there was time left on the clock. The #1 seed got the ball with 3 seconds left…and won…and moves on in a squeaker.

It's the 2012 March Madness Bible Verse Tournament…

But I feel really bad for #16.

Next…

#8 (1 Corinthians10:13) No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.

vs

#9 (Roman 10:9) …for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

#8…If I believe that there is a God, and he’s the God of the Bible, and what the Bible says is true – and I do believe that. Then there’s no such thing as a Godforsaken town – or a hopeless individual circumstance.

The #9 seed is a super important verse. Like John 3:16 it’s a quick summary of the Gospel. But, outside of a lot of context, it doesn’t stand on its own very well. What exactly is “believing in my heart”?  Does doubt disqualify me? And do I have to actually say words in order to be saved?

#8 defeats #9

Next…

#5 (Joshua 1:9) … be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD, your God, is with you wherever you go.

vs

#12 (James 5:16) Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.

#5…No fear…God is always “with us”. But more special for me are this verse’s connections. First there’s Matthew 1:23, “…they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.’ ”

It's the 2012 March Madness Bible Verse Tournament…source

Also, Joshua pre-echoes the words of Jesus of more than a thousand years later, “I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

God is with us always.
Jesus is with us always.
Jesus…Is…God.

Powerful stuff!

James 5:16…be transparent, pray for each other, and somehow that’s involved with “healing”. Also, a righteous person’s prayer “avails much”. But, like the #9 seed, it needs a lot of scriptural support. What is “healing”? If I don’t confess my sins to people, or pray for them, am I doomed to be “sick”? And what if I don’t pray “fervently” enough?

#5, with its awesome connections trounces #12 and moves on.

And the tournament will continue…

please come back.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Orlando March 28, 2012 at 10:20 am

Simply hearting this for sure, Craig! These are such wonderful scriptures and I love how you have so carefully and lovingly chosen the “winners”.
Blessings to you!

Reply

Craig March 28, 2012 at 11:26 am

thank you Martha, and the thing is – it’s revealing new mysteries – like this connection thing between Joshua, and Isaiah, and Matthew – and Jesus. It really IS amazing how interconnected this book is. Books written only by humans aren’t like this. Some are deeper than others – some more interlaced than others – but there’s nothing at all like these collected works of inspired writings we have – that we call the Bible. Nothing at all! I heart – ABSOLUTELY HEART debating with myself, and with God, in the predawn hours, and coming up with the winners. Now that I’m just writing one post today – alternating between here, and Deep in Love – 7 posts a week – there’s more time to talk to Him – more time to breathe – more time to read blogs I heart – and EVERY day begins with a relaxed mulling things over with the God of the universe. I hope you enjoy the rest of it – I can’t wait to see how it turns out. God bless and keep you my friend!

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