Sun, Mar 18, 2018 04:55 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
The Pastor's Pen
by Pastor Jack Ward | Tomahawk Missionary Baptist Church

There is an old story about a happy little boy who went out into the field wearing a baseball cap. In one hand, he carried a baseball and in the other a baseball bat. His face bore a look of tremendous confidence.

Cocking his bat, he tossed the ball into the air, saying, "I'm the greatest batter in the world!" Then he swung and missed. "Strike one," he said.

He picked up the ball, examined it, and then threw it into the air again. As he swung, he repeated, "I'm the greatest batter in the world." Once again, he missed. "Strike two," he said.

This time he stopped to examine his bat to make sure there wasn't a hole in it. Then he picked up the ball, adjusted his cap, and tossed the ball into the air for a third time.

He repeated again, "I'm the greatest batter in the world." He swung with all his might and missed for the third time. "Wow," he cried, "What a pitcher. I'm the greatest pitcher in the world!"

What do you anticipate for this year? Are you full of enthusiasm, looking forward eagerly to what each day will bring? Or are you filled with dread, worried that 2004 will be worse than 2003 for you?

Like the little boy with the bat, may I suggest that your attitude, your frame of mind, your reaction to its events will largely determine whether it is a year of victory or a year of defeat.

The Apostle Paul's attitude, dedication, determination shine through in these words found in Philippians 3:12-14.

"I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

With Paul's words fresh in our minds, here are some suggestions to help us be all that we can be in 2004.

I. Recognize the value of time. Time is like a valuable commodity in a very precious and delicate vessel. It might break at any moment and we might lose it all. The Bible says, "Now is the accepted time. Now is the day of salvation." Because life is uncertain, we must take advantage of the time we have.

II. Don't be in bondage to the past. Paul said," I forget what lies behind." We all make mistakes. The Apostle Paul made plenty of them. Ask God to forgive you and then move on. The devil's greatest tool is to discourage you through bringing up the past.

III. Establish a priority in your life. Paul says it this way, "This one thing I do." Paul obviously did more than one thing. He made tents. He preached sermons and established churches. He healed the sick. He wrote books. he did a lot of different things. But Paul said, "The top priority in my life is to press on toward the goal for the prize for which God has called me." Is Jesus first in your life? He must be Lord of all or He is not Lord at all! Make time for the Lord Jesus this year. Make serving Him the priority of your life and I guarantee 2004 will be a year of victory for you.

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