Tuesday, January 8, 2002
He's a baseball legend. Cal Ripken Jr. played all 21 years of his Major League career with hometown Baltimore Orioles. He holds several defensive records and he is only one of seven players who got 400 home runs and 3,000 hits. But as sportswriters reflected on his career as he retired at the end of the 2001 season, what many considered his most significant achievement was that, for 16 straight years, he played in every single game, setting the all-time record of 2,632 consecutive games played. When the ill will from the 1994 players' strike was still in the air, he tied and passed Lou Gehrig's long-standing record for consecutive games played. The fans cheered loud and long. As one magazine said, "This wasn't Joe DiMaggio hitting in 56 straight games or Hank Aaron's clubbing 755 homers. This was a record that required a talent all mere mortals could display - faithfully showing up for work every day."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "The Simple Secret Of An All-Star."
Interestingly enough, that's exactly what makes someone a star in God's book - faithfully showing up for work every day. For whatever work God has given you to do - at home, at your workplace, at school, in your ministry.
We know that's what God expects, what God honors from 1 Corinthians 4:2, our word for today from the Word of God. God says, "It is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." Not successful - faithful. That means you keep showing up. You can be counted on -- you're consistent -- you do what you said you'd do -- people can believe you, they can depend on you. You're not one of those "grasshopper" types who keeps jumping around, abandoning commitments, always looking for something better.
God talks about those "who have been given a trust." That's you. That's every one of us. God has trusted you with a specific place for you to serve Him -- with talents and gifts, with influence over people close to you, with the responsibility of presenting Jesus to the people in the place where He has assigned you. God has trusted you with the reputation of His Son where you are. Man, has He trusted you!
And what is He expecting of you? Faithfulness. The results are not your business; they're God's business. That's why He doesn't say He's expecting success. The results aren't up to you, but the effort is - the faithful, persevering, won't quit kind of effort.
So keep on being there for your kids each new day. Keep plugging away at that work God gave you to do, even if the results seem discouraging. Hang in there, serving Jesus, even if no one seems to notice and no one says thanks. Remember, God is simply asking you to be faithful. Keep those commitments you made, even if you feel like bailing out. What keeps you going when you don't feel like it anymore? Colossians 3:23-24 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men ... It is the Lord Christ you are serving." It's for Jesus - who didn't quit on you when it was costing Him everything.
Keep faithfully showing up for God's work every day. And when you round the bases for the last time, you can expect to be greeted at home plate by Jesus Himself saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"