Devotional: December 27th
Back in the 1920s George Herman "Babe" Ruth single handedly transformed our national pastime. Baseball had been a game of get on base and manufacture a run through astute hitting that advanced runners. Occasionally someone would actually hit a ball over the outfield fence. But that was an anomaly. Most player, such as Ty Cobb, were just trying to get on and claw for every base they could get in the hopes of being able to simply cross home plate.
Enter the "Babe". Ruth began his career as a pitcher, and a very good one at that, with the Boston Red Sox. While he made quite a few waves with his pitching, actually holding a record that stood until the late 20th Century, it was his ability with the bat that had baseball people spellbound. He seemed to possess an extra measure of pop in his bat because the ball quite regularly went out of the ballpark when he hit it. He started seeing more and more time in the field to get his licks in at the plate.
Babe Ruth hit more home runs in a season his first full year with the Yankees than many of the teams in baseball hit during that same year. Why? He once asked, "Why not?" Indeed. Why not hit a home run and lay aside all that time consuming base running of advancing a base at a time? Why not just clear the bases if people are on and settle the issue of the runs scoring right there and then. If you have the right tools and the power to do so, why not hit the home run?
Most teams have at least one or two players who can hit homeruns. But how about churches? How many churches feel that the best way to "play the game" is to struggle along with meager results or even no results? The Yankees used to have their infamous "Murderers Row" with such sluggers as Ruth and Lou Gehrig. How many churches have a "Lifegivers Row"; and assembly of men and women who, in Christ, realize that they have the tools and the power to accomplish whatever God wants them to accomplish.
Growing churches have those kind of people. Funny thing is, so do dying churches. The problem is, those who possess the tools and the power to do wonderful things in the name of God and His Son are afraid to do so for fear of striking out. God can't bless if we don't try. It's time for all of us who consider ourselves servants of the Christ of the Cross to step up to the plate and hit one out. We CAN do it! The apostle Paul said so. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
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