This devotional by former American baseball player Mike Hessman is featured in The Increase’s 21-Day YouVersion Devotional. Start this plan to hear more articles by Pro Athletes.
I’ve been playing baseball professionally for 18 years, but that doesn’t mean you’ve heard of me. I hold the Minor League home runs record, but I’m not a name that fills your local newspapers or ends up on ESPN every night.
And I’m good with that.
But I haven’t always been good with it. Not by a long shot.
The longer I’ve lived this life with Jesus, the more sacrificial my life has become. And it hasn’t been easy – far from it. But it’s been very, very good.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” —Romans 12:1-3
I think when the church in Rome read those verses, they were probably confused. No one willingly offers themselves as a LIVING sacrifice. I don’t know about you, but I’m someone who wants to keep crawling off the altar! Continually placing myself back on the altar of sacrifice is not something that comes naturally to me, or to anyone else I know.
It’s easy to offer to God those parts of our lives that we want to get rid of. But make no mistake – God also calls us to offer the areas of our lives that we LOVE. That’s a true sacrifice. A true living sacrifice, I think.
For me, I had to offer God the thing I loved the most. I had to offer Him my baseball career. So on a night in Rochester, I did just that. And I didn’t just offer Him baseball. I offered Him my expectations for baseball. Truly, that was the most difficult part.
Every since that moment in Rochester, things have changed. Maybe not in the way I would have written the script, but in ways that can only be explained as something being written by the hand of God.
I share my full story on The Increase website in more detail. You’ll also meet my wife Sabrina, and hear first-hand what it’s like to be married to a professional baseball player. I invite you to head to that site now, and experience how God worked in the middle of my Big League expectations, and at times, in spite of them.
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