The Devil’s Changeup

I felt a little sorry for the Students’ Team as I stepped up to the plate. This game, one of the culminating events of that year’s Bible Encampment, pitted the Faculty against the Students and I was determined to try not injure anyone too badly when I slammed the ball into the pine trees some three hundred feet away. I would have to be especially careful not to hit the Skinny kid who was pitching. I needn’t have worried about the first pitch because it had blurred past and thudded into the catcher’s mitt before I knew what had happened. Not so with the second. The blow I aimed at—where it had been— would have won the game if it had connected. But the important word here for the Students is “it” His curve ball had moved into a safe area beyond reach of the bat.

I was really geared up for number three. I figured it was time for another fastball and I had my whole being focused for it. It came down the middle and I gave a mighty swing. The main trouble in that—was that after I had swung, the ball was miraculously still hanging about two feet in front of the plate and plopped harmlessly to the ground. I did almost win the game for the Faculty because the Skinny Kid almost died laughing and would lose his composure frequently all the rest of the game, spluttering and shaking every time he thought about the changeup. To this day I think someone should have warned me that he had already taken his high school team to the Wisconsin state playoffs twice and still had one more year to play! I probably couldn’t have batted any better, but I could have called in sick or something.

If the Devil threw only fastballs, getting to Heaven would be easier, but while we are gearing up for all the “Thou shalt nots,” we whiff it on some of the most important positive commands like “follow after peace with all men, and holiness without which no man shall see God.” This makes holiness as important as faith without which no man can please God. See Hebrews 12:14 and Hebrews 11:6.

The rule for holy things was that they be dedicated to God. A common knife became a holy knife if it was set apart for God’s use. A common vessel became a holy vessel, if set aside for temple use. In the same way, a common man or a common woman becomes a holy man or a holy woman when cleansed by the blood of the lamb and set aside for God’s use. What changes would occur if all the members of our congregation determined that they would live holy lives? How would it affect our attendance, our liberality in giving, our worship of our God, and our service to our Lord, each other and the community?

I fear that in the Judgment Day when we finish bragging about what we did with the fastballs, the changeups may get us. Read Matthew 7:21-23

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