Devotional: June 17th
In Cooperstown, New York, stands professional baseball's Hall of Fame. Enshrined within those hallowed halls are the immortals of the game of baseball; the best of the best. The all-time home run hitters, runs batted in men, stolen bases champions, strike out champions, most pitching wins all-time; you get the picture. There is something sadly missing. The all-time hits leader is absent.
Pete Rose is not a part of baseball's Hall of Fame. He has more hits than anyone in the history of baseball, yet, there is no place for him in the Hall of Fame. He won multiple batting titles and World Series Championships with two different teams, but you will see no bust honoring him in the Hall of Fame. Why? He messed up in the living portion of baseball; he bet on the game.
I cannot remember anything about the men found in the Hall of Fame that states that they excelled at life. Some did, but most didn't. The players from the first third of the 20th century almost surely bet on the games they were playing, but you'll see shrines to Ty Cobb and Walter Johnson in Cooperstown. But Pete Rose? Nah, he doesn't belong. "Charley Hustle" doesn't belong. The all-time hits leader doesn't belong.
I wonder if God would put Pete in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Let's see. God's hall of fame is found in Hebrews 11. I wonder if those people all deserve to be there. Noah got drunk and was publicly naked in front of his sons. Abraham lied about being married to his wife, Sarah. Jacob fooled his dying father into thinking that he was his brother Esau. Samson flaunted his Nazirite vow. David took another man's wife because he could. Rahab was a prostitute.
So why are these people in God's Hall of Fame? God didn't look at the perfection of their lives. He looked at the impact of their faith in crunch time. When they were needed they delivered. Would we have put these people in the Hall of Fame? Probably not. Hey, if they belong then we belong there. But in God's sight it is service to him that counts. How did they perform in the field? Some day I hope to see Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame. And some day I hope somebody says, "By faith, Tom Kelley served his Lord to the best of his ability."
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