Summary: If the Christian life was a game of baseball, then who is at first base will determine how successful you will be in your Christian life. Spiritually, it is important who is on first in your life. It's a matter of priorities.
Who's on First?
Coach Bobby Bowden of Florida State liked to inspire his teams with parables. According to Tennessee Titans center Kevin Long, who played under Bowden, one of Bowden’s favorite stories centered on his playing days in college baseball. Bowden had never hit a home run until one day he hit one down the right-field line, into the corner. Seizing the opportunity he rounds first, and glances over to the third-base coach. He turned at second, was halfway to third, and the coach was still waving him on. Coming down the stretch with the focus and force of an Olympic sprinter, Bowden hits home plate. He had his first home run. There were high fives all round from his fellow teammates. But in the midst of the celebrations, the pitcher took the ball, threw it to the first baseman, and the umpire called him out. Retelling the story Coach Bowden reminds his players: “If you don’t take care of first base, it doesn’t matter what you do.”
Truthfully one of the most important positions on the baseball diamond is that of first base. The athlete who plays this position will quite often determine the outcome of the game. Los Angeles Dodger Manager, Don Mattingly says that the first baseman has the chance to be involved in virtually every defensive play. Defensively if you guard first base and don't let the other team get to first base they can't score. Offensively, if you get enough runners to first base, sooner or later someone has to score. It matters both offensively and defensively who is on first.
If the Christian life was a game of baseball, then who is at first base will determine how successful you will be in your Christian life. Spiritually, it is important who is on first in your life. It's a matter of priorities. Simply stated, who or what is first in your life will decide what kind of Christian you will be.
I. What comes first in your life?
A. Matthew 6:21 " For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
B. For some it is money that is first and foremost.
1. 1 Timothy 6:10 "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
2. The Christian is not to love, be greedy, or covetous of money.
3. Some of the most godly people in the Bible were rich (e.g. Job, Abraham, Joseph, David, Solomon, Barnabas, Philemon, Lydia).
4. But it is a matter of priorities or who's on first?
5. Many Christians don't realize that they are guilty of having the wrong priority when it comes to “the love of money”. If you just ask yourself in looking at how much the Lord blessed you with this past week or month how much have you given back to Him?
6. Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (money).
7. 2 Corinthians 9:7 "Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver"
8. 1 Timothy 6:17 "Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy."
C. For many it is possessions taking priority
1. Matthew 6:25 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing."
2. For some it may be anxiety over having the necessities and yet for others it's about accumulating the most stuff.
3. Luke 12:15 "And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
4. First, for those that are anxious about making ends meet, Christ makes it abundantly clear that God knows what you need. God knows our personal needs as well as our greeds. He will supply your needs but don't count on Him supply your greeds.
5. Again it's a matter of priorities and who is on first.
6. It’s not wrong to own a bicycle, even a nice one, but it’s wrong if your bicycle owns you. It’s not wrong to own a big home, a summerhouse, a motorcycle, nice clothes, fine jewelry, an expensive sound system, a fishing boat, or any of the other marks of success in modern life. None of those things is inherently evil. You can enjoy them as long as you understand that everything you have belongs to God, and the things you have are only temporarily loaned to you by the Lord. It’s not wrong to own nice things, but you are in a dangerous place when those nice things own you. How do you know when something “owns” you?