Accountability as a Christian
June 28, 2015
The construction of a baseball:
- 2 pieces of leather cut in a figure 8. Generally only from a Midwest Holstein
- 369 yards of Wool Yarn and Cotton Yarn
- 108 double stitches (216 single)
- 88” of red waxed thread
- 1 ball is used an average of 5-7 pitches per game
- 600,000 baseballs used per season
- They are only handmade.
How does this relate to us as People of the Christian Faith? Like the creation of a Baseball, there are many facets that must all work together to create an end product, that can be used by many. Christ uses many teachings and people, both past and present, to create His game ball. Like a baseball, Christians cannot be produced from an automated source. We are created from a solid core “our faith” in God, The Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Our faith is wrapped in the teachings of the Old and New Testament of the Bible. Our church and our church family provide an outlying cover so that we may gain strength and seek shelter from the “hits” we take in life. And last the love and forgiveness of Jesus binds us all together so that we are one, molded by the hands of God to do His work, share His love and provide hope to those who have lost all hope.
Over the past five years Ed Durham and I have had the pleasure of coaching a young group of boys as a baseball team. At times I am not sure if we are not the two students actually! Teaching the boys the fundamental aspects of the game is beyond hitting, fielding and running. It is evolved into understanding the different situations, the decision making process, and controlling emotions – the mental element of the game.
Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Tim Tebow story as a quarterback for the Denver Broncos….
Mental sharpness comes from being around good people. A meeting of the minds can help people see their ideas with new clarity, refine them, and shape them into brilliant insights. This requires discussion with partners who can challenge one another and stimulate thoughts. Two friends who bring their ideas together can help each other become sharper.
Story of the Stewardship Committee of 2006
We as congregation need to remain open to new ideas. We can no longer expect to attract new people just like us. Together, not apart, is the way we will grow and become stronger.
In the game of baseball every player wants to hit the ball and reach base. However there are times that the player must make a sacrifice for the betterment of the team. Jesus dying on the Cross for our sins is our sacrifice.
We as a congregation of Christians are no different than a baseball team in our thinking or approach. We, too, need to make sacrifices. An example that may be sensitive but is tangible and real in this very church could be items ranging from visitor cards to music selection. It can be unnerving to hear me use these two examples but that is the intent. Are each of us receptive to be the player who makes the sacrifice play for the betterment of the team? Are we constructive in our criticism? Ridicule should not be tolerated. We will all experience a down time or a “slump”. We will all subject ourselves to sin.
Jeremiah 17:10 – I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.
God makes it clear why we sin – it’s a matter of the heart. It’s human nature all the way back to Adam & Eve/Cain & Abel. We can yield to the temptation or we can ask God to help us resist temptation when it comes. There is a right way and wrong way to do any task. Whether at work, school or play we should strive to be honest in all our dealings. Getting a promotion, passing an exam or gaining prestige unjustly will never bring God’s blessing or lasting happiness.
When a family member, friend or stranger is in their “slump”, one of the primary ways of helping is providing support. As Christians we extend the reinforcement and assurance of God’s grace, love and hope.
Passages of Galatians 6:9-10 & Romans 5:1-5
Imagine in a baseball game with the team down by 5 runs and a coach needs to encourage the kids with positive attitudes to step up. Whether as a teammate or a Christian, your decision to fight or quit is contagious. No one wants to be around a negative person. Be positive, provide encouragement and be constructive in dialogue.
Thessalonians 5:11 – Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
As we near the end of game you are hot, tired, your legs ache, your throat burns and your whole body cries out for you to stop. This is when friends and fans are most valuable. Their encouragement helps you push through the pain to the finish line. In the same way Christians are to encourage one another. A word of encouragement offered at the right moment can be the difference between finishing well and collapsing along the way. Look around you. Be sensitive to other’s needs for encouragement and offer supportive words or actions.
We are a TEAM. We are a Family. We are Believers in Jesus Christ, our LORD & SAVIOR. Let us lead by example. My last thought for you is this…. We constantly coach our players to want the ball hit to you, be in a ready position and to know what you are going to do with the ball. Do you want the ball hit to you? And, if so, are you prepared?
I am thankful for this opportunity this morning and am appreciative of your love and support. There is an old saying that “where there is a will, there is a way”. I believe before you can get to the “will” you have to get to the “want to”. The “want to” is Jesus holding you and I accountable as a player on his Team.God Bless all of us and God Bless America…. Amen!