“One of my neighbors,” Stan began, “is an absolute nut about baseball. He loves everything to do with baseball.”
“Does he have a favorite team?” I asked.
“I’m not sure about that,” Stan replied. “It just seems that he likes to watch whatever teams are playing. And he talks a lot about baseball! He even has a joke about how he once thought the Bible was a book that recorded great events about baseball?”
“How’s that go?” I asked.
“The very first verse in the Bible says, ‘In the beginning.’ My neighbor jokes that he thought it said, ‘In the Big Inning,’ meaning that some records must have been set in that inning!’”
I smiled, didn’t laugh, and said, “That sounds more like a strikeout!”
Stan ignored my comment and went on, saying, “My neighbor even has a good rendition of the comedy routine called ‘Who’s on First’?”
“The one performed by Abbott and Costello?” I replied. “I’ve seen that on the internet. It’s hilarious.”
“That’s the one,” Stan said. “My neighbor is good at it, and he also uses it to make a point about his own faith walk.”
“In what way?” I asked.
“He relates it to what the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Colossae, about how Jesus is to have first place in everything. Jesus is the One who is to be on first!”
“And second, and third,” he added. “The bases are to be loaded with Jesus!”
“Bases loaded with Jesus,” I repeated. “Putting Him first in everything sounds kind of like discipleship.”
“More than ‘kind of like,’ my friend,” Stan replied a bit seriously. “I would say it’s closer to ‘Just like’. If I’m going to be His disciple, I have to deny myself by getting off first base, as well as off all of the bases, putting Him there, and following Him wherever, whenever, and however He wants in the ‘bases’ He has for me to run.”
“All the way home,” I added.
Bible verses to consider:
He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. Colossians 1:18.
And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:22-23.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for giving Jesus as the way to be with you for eternity when my time here is completed. Thank you, too, that you allow me to pursue the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus in an ever-deepening personal relationship before then. I confess that too often I do not place you first in the life you have given me to live. I do that because I choose to place me and other things before you. Please forgive me. And please help me in following every step of your lead so you are always in first place and never in any place other than first. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Can you look forward to spending eternity in God presence because you have placed Him first? If not, why? What’s in the way? If you have placed God first for eternal purposes, how are you doing with placing Him first in every aspect of your life on this side of eternity? If you sense changes are in order, how are those changes going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?