Friday, March 13, 2015

March 14, 2015

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." II Corinthians 4:16-18

The late Steven Covey, in his book "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" offers this wise advice, "begin with the end in mind".

How can you have a direction without a destination? How often do you start on a journey without knowing where you are going?

Kevin Myers in the "Home Run" book says "Figure out what counts on the last day so you know what counts every day.

In his counsel to the Corinthians, Paul says to "fix your eyes on what's eternal". Effective Christian lives are lived each day with eternal values in mind. Effective Christians know that only two things are eternal and they prioritize their days around those two things.

What are the two things? They are the Word or God and people! Those two things last forever.

The Word of God and people are home plate to first base to second base issues. They happen on the right side of the ball diamond.

Home plate is where you connect with the Word of God because home plate is where you connect with God! So, to be an effective Christian you must dedicate time every day to connect with God at home plate. Connecting with God at home plate connects God with you as well! And connecting with God allows you to know His purpose and receive his power.

Are you doing that? Are you scheduling home plate time daily?

Making the connection with God at home helps you move down the line to first base. While you received God at home plate, first base is where God gets you! First base is the character development base where God, through the activity of His Word, transforms your heart and your mind to the image of Christ. 

What happens at home plate and first base and in between is what changes your eternity and will transform you for eternity! So first base time is crucial!

Are you making time each day for first base?

Connecting with the Word and allow the Word to correct you by connecting with you will allow you to move toward second base. At second base you connect with others who are also connected with His Word. You learn to live in community with other believers in fellowship and in ministry. You learn how to worship together and serve together. You learn how to humbly serve God by serving one another. You learn how to serve together in spreading God's Word beyond the church into the world.  

Are you spending time and investing time every day at second base? Do you make time daily to serve, minister, and fellowship with people? 

If there are only two things that last for eternity - God's Word and people - doesn't it make sense to spend significant amounts of time daily interacting with these things?

In fact, spending time with God's Word and with people is actually more than spending time - it is investing it! Spending your days on eternal issues trades time for eternity!

So, will you spend time today or will you invest it?

March 13, 2015

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2

Second base is often called “scoring position” because a runner can make it to home plate from second base if a team mate hits a single. A lot of good things happen at second base.

In the Home Run life second base is the community base where you learn to live in love with others.  A lot of good things can happen at second base and second base positions you for more good things to happen.

But you can’t get to second unless you connect with God at home plate and develop His character at first base.  Love is first experienced at home plate when a connection in made with God. Love is expanded at first base as God’s character is developed in you. Love is then expressed at second base giving evidence that what happened at home and first is real.

To win in baseball you must run the bases in order once you have connected with the ball for a hit at home plate. Once you hit the ball you cannot stand at home plate but you must run to first as fast as you can. If you run to third you will be out. If you try to run across the diamond to second base you will be out. If you fail to run or stand in the batter’s box at home plate you will be out. There are no exceptions – ever! You play by the rules or you lose!

The same is true in the Home Run life! There is an order to spiritual growth! Spiritual growth is dynamic and progressive. While spiritual growth begins with connecting to God by faith it cannot end there. You’re not saved to stand you are saved to run! You’re not saved just to know but also to grow. Growth happens in four primary areas – your personal relationship with God, your personal character development, your relationship with other Christians and your spiritual production – home plate, first base, second base and third base.

Once you start running the bases you must continue connection with God and covering the bases. As you continue rounding the bases and touching home the scores add up! As you continue to run according to His pattern you progress spiritually. You will move from Tee Ball level to Little League to Pony League to High School level to College level to Minor Leagues and perhaps to the Big Leagues.

In baseball and in the Christian life everything begins and ends in God! There is a pattern of progress that MUST be followed – connecting with God, character development, learn community and reap results. That is how winning baseball happens and it is also how growth in God happens!

Are you in the game?

Are you connected with God?

What base are you currently occupying?

What’s your plan for getting to the next base?

Are you playing to win?