Monday, December 3, 2012
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While a lot of people were watching the Presidential debates, and there were some who didn't watch them, actually because baseball was still going on. They were just watching men with caps swinging a stick at a speeding white ball.
Now, it came on the last day of the regular baseball season when the first Presidential debate took place, but there were still decisive games being played. One of which gave my Yankees (okay, no booing - I can't hear it anyway), they get the division championship. But in the midst of some of these cliffhanger baseball dramas being played out, there was another baseball story that really captured people's attention about one guy having his one time at-bat.
Seven years ago, in his first Major League at-bat, 24-year-old Adam Greenberg was struck in the head by a 92-mile-per-hour fastball. That left him with these migraine-like symptoms and lots of other complications - the end of a dream. Well, except somebody forgot to tell Adam it was over. He was determined to fight his way back - if only some team would give him a chance.
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Another At-Bat."
Well, filmmaker and fan Matt Liston launched a passionate, online petition. He called it "One At-Bat" to get Adam that chance. And on a Tuesday night near the end of the season, Adam Greenberg stood at home plate in a Major League game at-bat again. See, the Florida Marlins signed him to a one-game contract so he could swing again. Now, he was greeted by a rousing standing ovation in the stadium, even after he struck out, because Adam Greenberg is anything but "out." He's a winner!
Now, his life was changed by one man who did whatever it took to give him another at-bat - another chance. My life was changed by the same kind of person; so were millions of others. Yours could be too. Because I had struck out big time. See, God gave me my life, but I hijacked it from Him. I did what I wanted to do with it; me defying the God who made a hundred billion galaxies, who decides if I take another breath. Ignoring Him. Marginalizing Him. Living my way instead of the way He created me to live.
I knew the Bible was talking about me when it said: "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And I had no chance of ever reaching "home." And then the God of second chances went to bat for me.
The Bible says in Ephesians 2:12 that the very God I didn't care about sent His only Son to erase the sin that had left me "without hope and without God." But the price for me to have a chance at heaven wasn't cheap. In our word for today from the Word of God in Revelation 1:5 it says, "Jesus loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood." Heaven's Prince chose to literally sacrifice His life to pay for my rebellion and yours as He was nailed to a cross.
And then He did what no man has done before or since. He walked out of His grave under His own power, to give the life that He purchased to millions. To me. To you. He did what it took to bring us all Home.
Jesus is the God of another chance...of a new beginning. He fights for you when others have counted you out. He offers restoration when others offer only condemnation. He refuses to give up on you even when you've given up on yourself. With His forgiving, life-giving power, He gives "losers" and sinner, and marriages and families a second chance, because Jesus is all about hope - another at-bat.
A new beginning - that's the gift Jesus has made possible for all of us. By forgiving what only He can forgive, and changing what only He can change. He stands ready to do that for you today, from the moment you reach out to Him to begin your personal love relationship with Him. Listen, if that's what you want, I encourage you to check out our website and see there exactly how to get started with Jesus. It's YoursForLife.net. And let the God of second chances give you a new beginning.