Home Run Life

Introduction:
There are 310 players that have been enshrined in the baseball hall of fame. Only 310 out of the millions who have played baseball for the last century. Players are enshrined in Cooperstown for several reasons: First, their contributions to the team(s) on which they played; home runs, RBI’s, batting average, wins, ERA, etc. There are other considerations along with the statistics. For example: Integrity – did they adhere to moral and ethical principles, or in other words the soundness of their moral character. Then there is honesty and sportsmanship including observance of the rules of fair play, respect for others, and their grace in losing. And finally, the general area of character. First base in the Home Run Life is character.

Something To Talk About:
On Sunday, we talked about three ways to get to first base:
Live for the truth: Becoming a Christian, in the sense of entering into a personal relationship with the living Christ, is but the beginning of a journey. It can be a painful process as we learn to open up our lives more and more to the light of His truth. Jesus said that if we obeyed him, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). You will find that as God transforms you from within, then your understanding of truth will grow. Character and spiritual understanding are inextricably linked in the Bible. John says, “This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence:” (1 John 3:19).
Plug into the power: Are we plugged into the power source? Are we connected so that we can grow in our spiritual lives? We read in 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 (TLB): “The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right.” Connecting to the power source for the Christian is the word of God. We must be connected to the word of God if we want to change, grow, straighten our lives out, prepare for life and ministry and to equip us to do what God wants us to do.
Draw the line: Before a baseball game is played, the grounds crew chalks the lines on the field to exact measurements per the rules of the game. These lines are the boundaries in which the game is played. As Christians, we must understand what our boundaries are and their importance to us and our relationship with the Lord. Drawing lines or personal boundaries are like the chalk lines in baseball. This is fair and this is foul. This is me — what I value, am good at, believe, need, or feel — what is fair in my life as a Christian and what is foul. The better your boundaries, the better your walk is with God. On Sunday we talked about the two or three areas that are in foul territory in your life. What do we need to do to bring them into fair territory?

Questions:

  1. Psalms 25:4-5 says, “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” What does this verse mean to you? How does knowing the truth affect your life?
  2. Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…” How do we plug into that power? And how will that power change our lives?
  3. How do we create boundaries, draw the line in the areas of our lives that we want to change?
  4. What can I do to develop my character so God can use me? What is God doing in my life to build the character I need to have in order to serve Him? How can I learn from my successes and failures? How can I learn from the good times and bad times of life?

Take One Thing Home with You
I remember watching a baseball game some time back when the something unusual happened. A batter laced a line drive into the gap in left center that rolled all the way to the wall. Once he knew the ball went by the outfielders, he put his head down and ran as fast as he could hoping to get a triple rather than double. And sure enough, in a bang bang play, he was called safe at third. He was dusting himself off when he noticed the first baseman calling for the ball. The pitcher tossed him the ball, he tagged first base and the umpire called him out. He had failed to tag the base on his way to second.

I thought of this story because it is easy to want to get to second base before we touch first base. It is human nature to want to get to the next base. The next base is the prize. However, first base, character is critical and cannot be missed. Ephesians 2: 10 tells us: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

God has a plan for our lives. In order to get ready for the things that He has in store for us we need a strong foundation. And that foundation is built on character. My hope that our study of a Home Run Life will help you discover the importance of a godly character and how to be a person of strong character through being plugged into the power of God. The power of God, His love and His grace strengthens us and it prepares us for the Home Run Life.

God has a purpose and a plan for your life. Before He can accomplish His purposes in us, He may need to develop our character so that we’re ready when the time is right. Embrace the lessons you need to learn. Learn from the events of your life before you move to second base.