Home Run Life

Introduction:
Our current teaching series is called Home Run Life. In this series, we are using a baseball diamond as an analogy for following God’s plan for life. When we follow God’s pattern and plans for our lives, we have a clear path forward while helping us keep our priorities in order and our eyes on the prize. What is that pattern? Home plate is our connection with God: winning dependence. First base is character, or winning within. Second base is community, or winning with others. And third base is competence, or winning results. This week we are on second base.

Something To Talk About:
On Sunday, we talked about three ways to get to second base:
Keep your word: As a Christian, we should always seek to honor God. We should honor God in everything we do and that includes keeping our word. Without it and the trust it builds, relationships will become strained and fall apart. There was a time when a promise and a handshake were all that was needed. But times have changed. But what has not changed is that honesty and integrity are essential to Christian character. Integrity is required for trust. If people can’t trust your word, they won’t trust you. Trust is necessary for influence. People choose those they let influence them, and this is based largely on trust. Influence is essential for impact. 1 John 2:5 says, “but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:” And numbers 30:1-2 says, “Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes of the people of Israel, saying, “This is what the Lord has commanded. If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.”
Keep your calendar aligned with your relationships: Your calendar, or how you proportion your time, is a barometer of your commitment to relationships or every other aspect of life. If you say you want to do something, but never allot any time to actually do it, than it is just rhetoric. Here is what I know. Relationships take time. I’ve noticed in my life that the first thing to go when I’m in a rush is my time or I temporarily mix up my priorities in relationships. I stop having time to go on a date with my wife. I end up skimming through life. The people closest to us are getting a busy signal. This not only applies to human relationships – it applies to our relationship with God. Many of us are living life too quickly to hear from God. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God;” Look at Jesus for your example. Jesus had thousands of people following him. They wanted to be healed and taught. And yet you never see Jesus in a rush. Rather, you notice a sense of priority, balance, and beauty in His life. Jesus understood how to prioritize. Jesus knew how to build balance in life.
Keep short accounts: 1 Corinthians 13:5 says, “…it keeps no record of wrongs.” It’s just one of the qualities that Paul uses to describe love. The King James Version translates this phrase, “Love thinketh no evil.” And the English Standard Version translates it: “Love is not resentful.” In other words, it does not keep a grudge, or nurse an old wound. It does not seek revenge. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Andy Stanley points out that many people have file cabinets or maybe today servers, full of grievances and can remember each grievance by date. What’s the opposite of record-keeping? Forgiveness. Love forgives. And love “keeps short accounts.” Keeping “short accounts,” means that when a problem surfaces, we quickly move to make it right. Forgiveness is releasing someone from the debt they created by hurting you.

Questions:

  1. Have you had a recent situation where someone did not honor their word? What impact did it have on you?
  2. Often, the person hurt the most by keeping a record of wrongs, is the record-keeper themselves. Do you agree? Why or why not?
  3. Do you struggle to let go of the past? Have you forgiven those who wronged you in the past, or do you still hold them hostage in your mind?
  4. Can you focus on current issues without bringing up past offenses? What are some things you can do to police your thought life when it comes to keeping no record of wrong?
  5. Why is it important to be intentional for Christian community? Why do Christians need each other? What is the goal of Christian community?

Take One Thing Home with You
With all the focus on superstars, it is easy to lose sight of the real value of having a team that compliments each other. The best teams are a group of players where the total is greater than the sum of it’s parts. One baseball player cannot achieve much by himself. When the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, you develop a powerful synergy.

There are just some things we simply can’t do alone and some things we are not meant to do alone. Our walk with God is one of them. We believe at Northstar that the best pathway to spiritual growth is intentionally doing life with a group of people who have similar spiritual values and goals. It is the best way to make progress in our walk with Jesus and each other.

God created all of us to be acceptance magnets. We’re drawn to acceptance. We want to be in an environment where we feel valued, loved and accepted. Once in a while you’ll hear someone say, “I don’t care what people think of me.” But they do, we all do. So much so that we will say and do dumb things and hang around people that aren’t good for us in order to be accepted.

So here is the question: “How do I become intentional about leveraging this principle of wanting acceptance from others to benefit my walk with God?” We believe the answer is Northstar Groups. Because Jesus wants to be with you and knows the best way for that to happen is to do life together with others who want the same thing. One of the bi-products of our groups learning, praying, caring and enjoying each other is that others are going to want to be a part of this. I have seen it and many of you have as well.

Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us: ”And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.“