February 7, 2022
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Usually Presidential debates will command quite a viewing audience. Well, unless there's a baseball series going on, especially World Series. And that happened one year. It came on the last day of the regular baseball season; the first Presidential debate that year. And there were still decisive games being played. One of which gave my Yankees (no booing - I can 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.
He was 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.
The Florida Marlins had signed him to a one-game contract so he could swing again. (This is a true story.) He was greeted by a rousing standing ovation in the stadium, even after he struck out, because Adam Greenberg is anything but "out." No, he was 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 100 billion galaxies, who decides if I take my next breath. Ignoring Him. Marginalizing Him. Living my way instead of the way He made 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 (in the Bible's words) "without hope and without God." But the price for me to have a chance at heaven? It 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 for yours as He was nailed to a cross.
And then He did what no one has ever done before or since. He walked out of His grave under His own power, to give the life that He purchased to millions of people. To me. To you. He did what it took to bring us all Home.
He's the God of another chance...of a new beginning. He fights for you when others have counted you out. He offers restoration when others have only got condemnation. He refuses to give up on you even when you've given up on yourself. He gives "losers" and sinners, and marriages and families a second chance, because Jesus is all about hope - another at-bat.
A new beginning - that's the gift He's made possible for you today. He'll forgive what only He can forgive. He'll change what only He can change. He's ready to do that today, from the moment you reach out to Him. And maybe that's what you're ready for and what you want. Tell Him that.
And go to our website. You'll see there how you can be sure you belong to Him. That website is ANewStory.com.
And let the God of second chances give you a brand new beginning.