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Setting the Record Straight

July 29, 2015

“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Ecclesiastes 1:14

Baseball fans will always remember the 2007 season—an interesting summer of baseball to say the least! Tom Glavine joined the elite club of pitchers who have won 300 games, the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez hit his 500th home run, and Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s record for most home runs in Major League history.

I’ve been a baseball fan since I was a boy. Growing up near New York City, I was a Yankee fan when Yogi Berra was behind the plate, Whitey Ford was on the mound, Moose Skowron was on first, and my hero Mickey Mantle was in center field. Through the years I’ve taken great delight in telling anyone who would listen that I was at the game when Mickey Mantle wowed all of baseball by hitting the ball out of Yankee Stadium—a hefty swing that hasn’t been repeated to this day!

What I find interesting is that telling that story now has lost some of its impact. Years have passed, and no one seems to care how far Mantle could hit the ball. The passing of time has a way of making what was once significant no longer all that significant. As Barry Bonds will someday find out, the passing of time will crown someone else Home Run King and Bonds’ achievement will be mere history.

In his class-act speech played on the giant screen in center field the night Bonds broke the record, Hank Aaron said, “Throughout the past century, the home run has held a special place in baseball, and I have been privileged to hold this record for 33 of those years. I move over now and offer my best wishes to Barry and his family on this historic achievement.”

So here’s the sobering lesson. No matter how important your accomplishments are now and how much applause they generate, time will eventually erase the headlines of your life. Ultimately, all that will be left is your name and dates on a seldom-visited tombstone.

Unless, that is, you live your life to do something of significance for eternity. Like the preacher says, “Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last!” So here are some suggestions for living a life that counts forever.

  • Give meaningful portions of your time, gifts, talents, and money to advance the eternal cause of Jesus in your town. Remember, that wiggly six-year-old in your Sunday school class may be the next Billy Graham! (See Matthew 25:21.)
  • Encourage your children to consider going somewhere in this world to win people to Christ and to plant churches that will propagate the eternal power of Jesus to save those who otherwise are eternally lost. (See Matthew 9:36.)
  • Raise a godly generation to carry the eternal values and principles of God’s Word into their world. (See Psalm 119:89-90.)
  • Be like Jesus: live to win a lost friend to the eternal joy of heaven. (See Luke 19:10.) Love and obey God with all your heart. Look forward to His appearing and receive a crown of righteousness when you get to heaven. (See 2 Timothy 4:8.)

As Jesus taught us when He told the story of the rich fool, “This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself? . . . Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys” (Luke 12:20,33).

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • Think of a few of your greatest accomplishments. Do they carry any lasting value? Why or why not?
  • Review the points above and evaluate how you are doing in those areas. How are you using your resources for eternal purposes? Your time? Gifts? Talents? Money?
  • Pray through the Scriptures listed in the points above, and ask the Lord to help you develop His perspective regarding your accomplishments for His kingdom.