Back in 1997 I was in my fourth year with the Cincinnati Reds and was platooning with Joe Oliver who was on the 1990 World Series team. Joe was an established catcher and I was simply trying to do whatever I could to play and make a name for myself. In my career, I was known more as an offensive catcher than a defensive one, and during this year I found myself losing confidence in my throwing ability during the games. I didn’t want to tell the coaches because I wanted to keep playing. Neither did I want to tell close friends on the team who were pitchers because I knew they wouldn’t want to throw to a catcher who couldn’t control the running game.
The more I struggled, the more it became evident to our manager, Ray Knight, that I needed help. One morning I was told to come early to the park and when I did, I saw that the person they brought in to help me was NOT the person I wanted to see. That person happened to be the greatest catcher, not only in Reds’ history, but, I would say, in all of baseball history—Johnny Bench. Johnny usually only showed up on opening days and special occasions and here he was. But despite my reluctance to see him, I soon found out that because Johnny had played the game for so long, he understood my situation. So I hung on every word he said that day and grew excited to put everything I was learning into practice, because after all, my instruction came from the lips of Johnny Bench.
As a follower of Christ I need to hang on every word that comes from the lips of Jesus and the totality of God’s Word. Here are 3 Things We Do With God’s Word that we can put into practice right away in our lives.
- LISTEN to the Word of God
The Word came in the form of a Person, Jesus Christ (John 1:1-3, 14) and with Power (Heb. 4:12).
- LEARN from the Word of God
God’s Word Impacts every area of our lives (Psalm 119:160) and we need to make a personal Choice to allow God’s Word to change you (Col. 3:16).
- LIVE out the Word of God
We need to live out God’s Word as Individuals (James 1:22) and follow God as a Community (John 10:4).
When Johnny Bench helped me with my throwing, I saw great improvement. It was good to know that I could go to him for wise counsel and instruction, but in the end, I was still no Johnny Bench, nor will I ever be. No one ever confused me with him.
As Christians we live a life of integrity, living out what we say we believe through the help of the Holy Spirit, letting God’s Word impact us. And when we do, something incredible will happen: People will see a change in us that will certainly have an effect on them as well. They will start to see Jesus in us. Though no one will ever confuse us with Him, they can say we look like Him in the way we live our lives. Will you commit to do these three things with God’s Word so God can do a good work in you?
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 1:6
—Eddie Taubensee, Director of Baseball Ministry for The Increase
If you enjoyed this article, please share: