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Beware: Your ‘Ides of March’ is Coming!

March is a month full of madness. We have Pi day, Daylight Savings Time, St. Patrick’s Day, spring breaks, and of course my favorite thing about March—March Madness. I’ve heard it said that the safest bet you can make in the month of March is that people will be distracted. It’s actually reported that American companies will lose $1.9 billion in wages paid to unproductive workers in the month of March. Do I have your attention, or have I already lost you to your bracket?

In spite of all the distractions in March, and might I add any other month, we should never lose sight that our own ‘Ides of March’ moment is coming.

If you’re not familiar with the phrase, tradition has it that a seer warned Caesar that harm would come his way no later than the Ides of March (the middle of March). On his way to the Theater of Pompey, the place of his assassination, Caesar passed the seer and joked, “The Ides of March have come,” to which the seer replied, “Aye, Caesar; but not gone.” In his play, Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare immortalized this event when Caesar was warned by the soothsayer to “beware the Ides of March.”

Beware the Ides of March. A foreboding imperative to say the least. Wouldn’t it be nice, though, if someone told you the exact day on which you would die? I can’t help but relate this thinking to the upsets in the NCAA tournament this past weekend. Would the losing teams have played differently if they’d known they were going to lose? Would they have beaten themselves mentally even before the game had started?

If someone told you, “Beware of June 23, for that is the day of your demise,” would that make you live a better life today? Or would you walk around in despair knowing the date of your death sentence?

Well, let me give you some bad news followed up with some good news. First, the bad news: Your “Ides of March” is coming. At some point, you and I are going to die. We don’t know the day or hour, but that particular day and hour are coming.

What’s important is that we don’t live our lives foreboding, or distracted. We should live our lives forgiving, forgetting, and forgoing.

Forgive those who have wronged you (Matthew 6:12-15). It takes way too much energy to hold on to the wrongs and injustices against you. Free yourself from the control of that anger, bitterness, and revenge. Whether the offender deserves forgiveness or not, when you forgive, you are releasing what is inside of you that holds you back from freedom and new life.

Forget what lies behind (Philippians 3:13). Let go of the past, so that the past will let go of you. I often tell people that you know the end is near when your memories of the past exceed your dreams for the future. It’s hard to move forward if you’re always looking back. God told the children of Israel, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19).

Forgo (Luke 14:33)—surrender, relinquish, renounce—your way and accept God’s way as the key to living a fulfilled life. Give up in order to grow up. Toddlers keep demanding their way. Mature adults are willing to ‘go without’ in order to ‘go with’ God and His plan for your life.

Yes, the bad news is bad: For each of us, our “Ides of March” is coming. But that makes the good news all the better: in Christ, we are going to live (Romans 5:21). Rejoice that through death comes resurrection (Romans 6:5). Death is a moment in time that gives way to a place that has no time. We must be willing to let go of earth in order to embrace heaven.

If you are “in Christ,” He will lead you through that moment in time when you face your “Ides of March.” The reason we fear no evil (or death) is because God is with us (Psalm 23:4). The One who abides with us will bring us past the Ides of March to the place where there will be “no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4). And as the old hymn says, “What a day, glorious day that will be.”

Posted by Rick Grover, Lead Pastor with

Why Should I Trust the Bible?

There is a startling increase in the number of people in America that don’t believe in the authority of the Bible. They wrestle with how to believe the Bible is true when, let’s be honest, there are some pretty bizarre passages like the one about the earth opening up and swallowing people who rebelled against God.

Here’s what Andy Stanley says: “Trying to appeal to post-Christian people on the basis of the authority of Scripture will have essentially the same effect as a Muslim imam appealing to you on the basis of the Quran’s authority. Whether you know what the Quran says doesn’t matter; it carries no weight with you. You don’t view it as authoritative. That’s exactly how almost half of our population views the Bible.”

Over the years, people have come to me and said, “You know, I just can’t accept the creation story or how God wiped out the human race with a flood, and that whole thing about a whale swallowing a man and spitting him out on dry ground. I’m just not feeling it. Nope. The Bible’s not for me.” And what I usually say to people in those situations is, “Well, I hear you. But our faith is in Jesus Christ, so why don’t we start with him?

Here’s one of the things that Jesus said that is included in the Bible: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24-27).

Others might say, “That’s all good, but the Bible is just out of touch. It’s a bunch of stories about goody-two-shoes people who don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t chew and don’t hang out with people who do. It’s not relative to life today.” I think to myself, man what Bible are you reading? The Bible I read ought to be rated R in certain places because of the level of content that’s there—the violence, the raw grit of life, trials, dysfunction and brokenness. The Bible speaks to these real-life problems—our real-life problems—just as it did back then. God’s Word is living and active, and it imparts wisdom and guidance.

Nowhere does it say that if you build your house on the rock the storms won’t come. The storms are going to come to all of us one way or another. But when they do, Jesus says, if you build your life on My word, it will stand the test, and it will give you the strength you need to weather the storm. There is hope. That’s how we should be with the Bible—devouring it. And when you devour it, it will change your life. Then you will be able to share the good news with others.

Author’s note: This post was excerpted from the second message in our sermon series, Why?. The full message will be available online after March 18 at

Posted by Rick Grover, Lead Pastor with

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