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YOU’RE GOING TO PLAY BASEBALL THIS SUMMER
Joshua 14:12, James 2:26
A little boy named Jimmy was about 13 years old. He grew up with his brother in a very poor family not too far from downtown. Their dad was very sick and could not work. They had food to eat every morning and evening, but he and his brother wore jeans with holes in their knees. Both boys had paper routes so that they could have some lunch money at school.
One day in early spring, Jimmy’s dad called him into his room. “Son,” he said, “your mother and I have been saving up money all year so that you can play on a baseball team. I just wanted you to know that you’re going to play baseball this summer.”
Jimmy jumped to his feet and hugged his dad. He could hardly believe it. But, he knew that playing baseball cost a lot of money. He needed baseball shoes and a glove. He knew that his dad couldn’t afford all of that. He couldn’t believe that his dad had the money for the signup fee. But he knew his dad said that he would get to play baseball this summer. It was all too wonderful.
Jimmy immediately ran to the neighbors to see if he could cut their lawns and sweep their driveways. It didn’t take too long for him to have enough money to buy some cleats. So he went to the store and came home with a brand new pair of baseball cleats. He tried them on to show his dad. He was so excited.
Next, he saw a baseball glove at the corner drug store and began to work and save his money for that. It wasn’t long until he had it. Now he could begin practicing.
Every day after school, he threw an old tennis ball he had found against the side of the garage so he could practice being a baseball player. He thought he could be a pitcher so he drew a square on the garage wall out of chalk and began throwing the tennis ball at the square.
Soon he could put the ball in the square every time. Finally, the day came for signups. He and his dad walked down to the park and waited in line. The boy looked at all the coaches and wondered who would pick him to be on their team. He was the happiest boy at the sign ups. He loved his dad.
That was the last time Jimmy’s dad would take him to the park. Right after signups, he got extremely ill. He would lie in bed and wait for Jimmy to get home after every game so he could hear all about it. Right after baseball season ended that summer, Jimmy’s dad died. He never got to see him play in one game. But Jimmy never forgot about the day his dad told him, “This summer you’re going to play baseball.”
Because his dad told him that, Jimmy believed it. He trusted his dad. Then he worked hard toward what his dad had told him. Finally, he received what was promised.
Jimmy played baseball that summer. Later on, he played in high school and college.
Faith and works. James 2:26 in action.
(A man named John came home from work one day and rushing through the door tells his wife of a man who lied to him at work. He said, there was a guy at work who stole my tools and I saw him from a distance. When I confronted him he down and out lied to me. He lied straight through his teeth even after I told him I saw him. I can’t believe it, he lied to me he did.
Later in life John dies and standing before God he gives excuses saying, I never knew anything. I never knew right and wrong, I never even knew the Ten Commandments. God tells an angel play the tape, as if it were, and there replayed on the screen before him he sees himself running through the door shouting and telling his wife about the man who “lied” to him at work.
You see, every person knows "Basic" Right and Wrong.
Just as a child here in America, for the very first time, can experience his conscious telling him it is wrong to steal, so can another child experience the very same thing who lives on the other side of the earth.
It’s not culture. It’s not religious background. It’s not how you were raised. It’s in your conscience.
So God has given us the "Light of Creation" and the "Light of Conscience".
The Book of Judges ends with these words, "In those days there was no king," no law. And because there was no law, "every man did what was right in his own sight." Can you imagine what a world like that would be?
Just look at Los Angeles in 1992, or Miami in the 1980’s, or Watts in the 1960’s. Or how about Montreal, Canada, on Oct. 6, 1969?
On that day the Montreal police force went on strike. For 24 hours, Montreal, one of the larger cities of the world, was without law enforcement. That day was such a chaotic day that Canadians dubbed it "Black Tuesday."
In a 24-hour period, one policeman & one burglar were murdered. Forty-nine people were injured or wounded. There were hold-ups & robberies. In total, over 1,000 store windows were broken as people looted stores, stealing stereos, televisions, radios, & wearing apparel.
One man, dressed in a fine business suit was seen running down the street with a fur coat over each arm. While respectable citizens broke windows & stole merchandise from store fronts, thieves backed up to the back doors with trucks & hauled merchandise away by the truck loads.
Black Tuesday in Montreal, Canada, was a day of anarchy, of freedom from all restraints, because there was no authority, no enforcement of the law.
The Pharisees and teachers of the law competed with one another in strictness. They had atomized God’s law into 613 rules and bolstered these with 1,521 emendations (Yancey 132).
We can see the length to which this went from the following facts. For many generations the Scribal Law was never written down; it was the oral law, and it was handed down in the memory of generations of Scribes. In the middle of the third century A.D. a summary of it was made and codified. That summary is known as the Mishnah; it contains sixty-three tractates on various subjects of the Law, and in English makes a book of almost eight hundred pages. (Barclay 129)
The Law as originally given by God was based on the Ten Commandments. The 1521 emendations from the teachers of the law had reduced the commandments to a legalistic code that completely disregarded the principles intended by God.
A good example of this can be seen in the treatment of the Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath and Keep It Holy. First, one of the things considered to be unholy on the Sabbath was work. Work had to be defined, and one of the things considered to be work was writing; but how much writing constituted work? Here is what the teachers of the law said: He who writes two letters of the alphabet with his right or with his left hand, whether of one kind or of two kinds, if they are written with different inks or in different languages, is guilty. Even if he should write two letters from forgetfulness, he is guilty, whether he has written them with ink or with paint, red chalk,...
Sixty-five percent of America’s high school students say that they would cheat on an important exam. Fifty-three percent of them said that they would lie to protect a friend who vandalizes school property. All this is based on a LOU HARRIS poll of more than 5,000 children between fourth and twelfth grade, in public, private and parochial schools.
Steven Simala Grant
There were 90,556 cases of theft in Alberta in 2000, and 844,265 in Canada, in a population of almost 31 million people. This is obviously a big problem.
THE VALENTINE’S DAY TEN COMMANDMENTS
I. I am thy Main Squeeze; thou shalt have no other squeeze before me.
II. Thou shalt not take the name of thy Squeeze in vain, nor badmouth him/her behind him/her back.
III. Remember our Anniversary, and keep it holy--or else.
IV. Honor MY mother and father. THINE are just too weird.
V. Thou shalt not kill my love by behaving tackily or cause undo embarrassment when I am with thee.
VI. Thou shalt not commit adultery, nor shalt thou even THINK about it least you be smitten from the earth.
VII. Thou shalt not steal from my wallet/purse while I am at my bath, nor use my credit cards.
VIII. Thou shalt not talk about our personal problems to our friends.
IX. Thou shalt not covet the higher market price of thy neighbor’s house without first puttin’ down the remote and learnin’ how to use a paintbrush!
X. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s main Squeeze, nor his son, nor his daughter, nor his stereo, nor his BMW, nor anything else that belongs to thy neighbor.
A businessman well known for his ruthlessness once announced to writer Mark Twain, “Before I die I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the 10 Commandments aloud at the top.”
“I have a better idea,” replied Twain. “You could stay in Bo...
D. It’s like an incident that Benjamin Franklin told about. An English minister was once ordered to read a proclamation issued by King Charles I. After a period in which the country had observed strict blue laws on Sundays, the king issued a decree urging people to return to participating in sports on Sunday. Most church leaders refused to read this proclamation. But to one congregation’s amazement, their minister read the king’s decree. But he followed the pronouncement with these words, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” And he added, “Brethren, I have laid before you the commandment of your king and the commandment of your God. I leave it to you to judge which of the two ought to be observed.
Whilst in Derby recently I read a Church billboard which read, "Man has added 32 million laws yet have not come up with any to match the Ten Commandments.” Psalm 19:7.“The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul.”