by Pastor Tim Burt
One morning, at my discipleship breakfast, one of the guys in my group told us a great story about an encounter with his young son. As I listened to this story, God spoke to my heart and believe He will speak to yours also. I thought I would share it with you!
My friend Lee came home from work one night after a very long day. He was bushed. All he could think about was lying down on the couch and taking a nap. But, just about that time, his four-year old son came up to him and said, Dad, can we go outside and play catch? Lee is a great dad and did what any good dad would do. He said Yes, let’s do it, and headed outside with Logan. Logan didn’t really know how to use his baseball mitt and catch a ball yet but was eager to learn. Lee helped him get all the fingers in the right holes in the mitt and then strategically placed Logan just a few feet away. Logan, called Lee, Lift your glove just like this, as Lee showed him what to do. Okay dad, I’m ready, replied Logan with great anticipation. With Logan standing just a short distance away, Lee, with great precision, tossed the ball right into the center of Logan’s glove.
The look on Logan’s face told the story when he saw the ball in his glove. I caught it! I caught it dad! Suddenly Logan took off into the house. Mom! Mom! he yelled searching for his mother. When he found her he said, I am playing catch with dad and I CAUGHT THE BALL! They high-fived each other and Logan ripped back outside to catch another. His dad was waiting and again with great precision, laced another one right into the center of Logan’s glove. Logan beamed and Lee enjoyed the joy of his son experiencing his great new accomplishment.
When Lee told me this story, I couldn’t help but think about all the times the Lord helps us with something in our life as Lee helped his son Logan. The Lord leads us to do something and then helps us accomplish it. It was really all God’s doing but we are quick to run off and tell someone how great our accomplishment was. He helps us because He loves us AND because He does not want us to get so discouraged that we give up and quit. And yet when He puts the ball in the center of our glove, we want to take credit for how great we are. We are funny that way.
Jesus really cut to the chase on this matter when He said in John 15:5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. FOR APART FROM ME, YOU CAN DO NOTHING.”
The Apostle Paul had figured this out along the way. He came to understand that yes God did deposit gifts and talents in each of us, but they are a gift of His grace (His divine help.) If they are a gift of His grace, then why should we try to take credit for what we accomplish? Why don’t we just give credit where credit is due—to the Lord?! The Apostle Paul had a work ethic that was beyond normal. It was a gift of grace from God but Paul knew where it came from. He said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10) Paul knew his strong work ethic was the grace of God. Therefore, he glorified God, not himself in regards to it.
Like Logan, we receive our Heavenly Father’s help. He will help us do things that make us feel proud. It will feel good and it will make us what to tell someone. But let’s always give God the glory for His love and grace that puts the ball in the center of our glove.
2 Corinthians 1:12 (NLT) “… We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom…”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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