Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February 18, 2015

"I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10

In a few days the Big League pitchers and catchers will head to Florida and Arizona to begin Spring training in preparation for the coming Major League season.

What happens during Spring training is actually quite tedious and boring. During Spring training these millionaires and multi-millionaires who are some of the most gifted athletes on the planet spend hours per day doing throwing drills, and fielding drills and game situation drills over and over again. To get to this level of baseball these players have had to do these drills thousands of times but they gather at their respective training sites to do them over again. They will also do conditioning and running drills.

The reason these ballplayers will spend so much time focusing on fundamentals as they get ready for the season is because it is the executing the fundamentals that lead to winning baseball games. Especially, at the Major League level where the talent level is essentially the same it is the level of execution that make the difference between winning and losing. During the heat of competition in a regular season baseball game you don't want the players on your favorite Big League team thinking about what they need to do in a certain situation. Instead, you want your players to be so versed in fielding and throwing fundamentals that they react to the ball. Making plays on the field during a Major League game has to be instinctive.

While the Big Leaguers are heading off for Spring Training, the FredWes team will be heading in to our 40 Day Emphasis to work on the fundamentals of our spiritual walk with God. And this year we will be studying the "Home Run Life" that puts personal spiritual growth in terms of a baseball game:

Home plate is where everything begins and ends in a baseball game. A player steps up to home plate knowing he needs to connect with the ball in order to have a chance to score. For the Christian, everything begins with when you make a spiritual connection with God. So, for the Christian, home plate is where you connect with God to find your purpose and power for life!

First base is the goal of every batter who steps up to the plate. A player cannot score a run without getting to first base. In terms of Christian growth, first base is the place where you form your personal character. No follower of Christ can be successful without developing his personal honesty and integrity. And he can't develop his honesty and integrity until he connects with God.

Second base means a runner is halfway home! When a ball player gets to second base he is in "scoring position". For the believer, second base represents the development of connections with other people. It is essential for a Christian to understand how to live in community with other Christians. Jesus often emphasized that loving others is the evidence of God's love at work in you!

Third base is the base closest to scoring a run. If you can make it to third base your odds of scoring a run increase significantly. From third base you can score on a hit, an error, a passed ball, a walk or even a daring steal of home plate! In the Christian life, third base represents the competency base. It is the production base. It is the base where you can begin to see results. If you can connect with God and build Christ-like character and love others you will begin to see results that honor God! That is what happens at third base!

If a highly skilled professional baseball player needs to brush up on his basics before each season, why shouldn't those who follow Christ want to make sure they have a good connection with Christ and have all their bases covered?

Do you need to brush up on some Bible basics?

Are you ready to report for some spiritual Spring training?