We were able to talk with Major League Baseball shortstop, Jeff Bianchi, to talk about how he is living in the increase of Christ, his faith journey and the mentors that have been in his life. Here’s what he had to say.
What effect does your faith have on your lifestyle?
My faith in Christ has a significant impact on how I try to live my life. While I still fall short many times from the standard that was set by Jesus, my goal is just that, to live as He commands. It can be difficult in the world we live in today, but Christ calls us to a higher standard than those of the world who do not know Jesus as their Savior. I cannot do it by my own strength, but only with the help of Jesus.
Describe how your Journey with Christ began.
My journey with Christ has been ongoing since childhood. As I child, I grew up going to church but it wasn’t till truly understanding the Gospel that I surrendered my life to Christ. Growing up, I went to church and thought I was a good person. I didn’t get in much trouble, I got good grades, and I was usually kind and considerate to others. Adding all these things up, I thought was good enough to earn my way into heaven. Still, I often thought that there was something missing. So I started reading my Bible and learning more about who Jesus is. When I realized I was actually sinful and wicked at heart, and that I needed a savior to save me of my sins, that is when Jesus transformed me and made me new. I confessed my sins, believed in my heart that Jesus died for me, and trusted Him as my Lord and Savior.
Who have been the mentors in your life? How did God bring these people into your life?
I have been very blessed to have been around so many wonderful men who have poured into my life, beginning with my father. He has taught and instilled in me many wonderful characteristics of who I am today. My father in law has also shown me what a godly man looks like and how to live each day for the Lord. Through my baseball travels Milwaukee Brewers Chaplin Steve Sonderman has mentored me along the way. He has poured into me and discipled me to follow Jesus. Finally, four of my really good friends from early childhood have been a huge part of where I am in my faith today. Having accountability with these men have played a large role in knowing Jesus and living for Him each day.
What does the Increase of Christ mean to you?
The increase of Christ to me means two things. One, to continue my pursuit in knowing Christ. This means reading my Bible and having time alone where I can really connect with God each day. It also is a reminder to me to submit all to Christ. Submitting my life to Jesus puts all my dependence on the Him and not myself; when this happens He increases and I decrease. When I try to take control of certain situations that I think I can handle on my own, I am often reminded that my ways are not best. Rather, Gods ways are.
What is your life verse?
I currently have two passages that I hold close to my heart. The first is Philippians 3:8-11 “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” The second passages is from James 1:2-4. This speaks to me as it has helped me through many difficult times. It says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Check out Jeff’s full profile on The Increase: https://theincrease.com/author/jeffbianchi/
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