When Jesus came down, He said, “You know what? I’m God! I can tell people how to live.” But He knew He needed to do more than that. He knew that when it comes to human beings, it’s not enough to tell us how to live. We need to be shown.
The first time God told us how to live, the result was chaos. That was Old Testament. He gave the people the Ten Commandments, and those commandments said, “This is how you’re supposed to live.” The law said, “These things are sins,” and God included instructions for giving offerings to atone for sin. And what happened? God ended up saying, “Man! You guys give offerings on these days for these sins, and then once you give that offering, you go out and do the same thing again! And I know why you do that. It’s because later, all you’re going to do is give another offering, and you’ll be fine.” Continue reading
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16
You might wonder why I think it’s so important for Christians to lead the cause of abolition. Some might think that we should just wait for Jesus to come again. Continue reading
So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:16-21
I finished my recruiting talk for the Free2Play team by telling the players and their wives a little bit about the different scenarios. “We need to join together,” I said. Continue reading
A big part of recruiting players and their wives to the Free2Play team involved giving them some awareness about the situation. When Dave Batstone and I visited Bible studies for players during spring training, I shared some of my ideas about why slavery is a Jesus situation. I explained that Jesus would not support human trafficking. And since Jesus wouldn’t support it, neither should we.
Then I told them about slave labor. They were really amazed. “Wow,” they said, “slavery is in the things we buy!” And I said “Yeah, it’s in the things you buy.” But I also explained how slave labor is a really tough thing to fight, because it’s so hard to detect. For example, every one of us has a cell phone. Continue reading
During Spring Training we jumped on a great opportunity to visit Bible studies around the Phoenix area to talk to players and their wives and recruit the Free2Play team. What did I tell them when I sat with them? I said, “Look, not only is this a political situation, but I truly believe this is a Jesus situation.”
I know there are so many worthy charities coming to ballplayers and asking us for donations. And I understand that everybody probably already has a charity or a foundation they support. It could be autism, it could be diabetes, it could be cancer, and it could even be all those things. And they’re all good causes! I would not want to take away from any of them.
However, combating human trafficking is not the same kind of charity. When you fight human trafficking, you don’t tackle a situation that you have no control over. Continue reading
Again, [the kingdom of heaven] will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. (Matthew 25:14-18)
Have you read this parable? When the master returned he generously rewarded the two servants who doubled their bags of gold. But it wasn’t a happy ending for the one that buried his gold in the ground. The master said, “You have done evil! I’m taking your one bag of gold and I’m going to give it to the guy with ten bags, because he’s multiplied his giftings.”
The very next thing Jesus talks about here is the sheep and the goats. He talks about those who saw Him hungry and fed Him or saw Him naked and gave Him clothes to wear. So to me, the parables of the bags of gold and the sheep and goats go hand in hand. We should invest the gold we’ve been given in order to feed Jesus and give Him clothes. The servants who invested the gold are the sheep and the one who buried his gold is the goat.
There’s a reason why we need to strive to make a quality investment with our life! Continue reading
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)
If you actually look at what’s going on in the world, it’s hard to feel encouraged. Given the standards of the United States of America and what it costs to live here, we’re in economic turmoil. We have a crisis going on. And in so many other places in the world, things are a lot worse. At least here in the US you can go to a drinking fountain and get fresh water. And just drink. If you needed to, you could probably go into some restaurant bathroom and take toilet water in a cup and drink it. It would still be good. It would take care of you. It wouldn’t give you a disease.
It’s so discouraging to realize that there are so many people in the world that can’t even get good drinking water. You know? I definitely see that there are real issues with poverty in America. I definitely see that, and I want to help. Continue reading