Monday, February 23, 2015

February 24, 2015

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will."  Romans 12:1-2

There are two patterns referred to in this well-known Scripture.

The pattern of the world is mentioned but in contrast to God's pattern.

As I introduced in yesterday's message (listen to it on baseball has a familiar and well-defined pattern as designed by its creator, Abner Doubleday. In order to score a run the batter must connect with the ball and advance around the bases in order and return to home plate.

If you hit the ball and run to across the diamond to second base, you are out!

If you hit the ball and run to first, round the base and head toward third, you are out!

If you hit the ball and run to third base, you are out!

Anything done apart from the pattern demanded by the rules of the game will result in the batter being called out.

If you are going to play baseball you must play according to the pattern prescribed by the rules.

In the same way, if you want to win with God you must play according to his pattern! To play according to God's pattern you must break from the pattern of the world.

The pattern of this world, which is the pattern programmed in the human nature is to run the bases backwards. Another name for the human nature is the “sinful nature”. This nature is sinful precisely because it rebels against God’s pattern.

In the message yesterday, using the story of Joseph, I outlined God’s pattern for spiritual development. Home plate is the connection base. It is at home plate where you connect with God by faith and discover His purpose and power for your life. Like baseball, everything begins and ends at home plate. First base is the character base. After you connect with God’s purpose and power, He will go to work on your personal character. Second base is the community base. Connecting with God at home and developing your character at first prepares you to win with others. Third base is the competency base where you win results. Rounding third base brings you back to home.

The Home Run life is the life that is connected to God and touching all the bases according to His pattern. Everyone can have this life but very few do. Only those who break free from the pattern of this world can experience the Home Run life!

Which pattern runs your life?