We’re a big baseball family. My husband grew up playing baseball for a local community league and I did the same with softball. Our five year old daughter just finished her second season with the local booster club baseball league, and she proudly wears #10 for Chipper Jones (go Braves!). Naturally, my husband volunteers to coach and I’m that embarrassing team mom – climbing the fence, cheering on the kids as they round first, and sporting a jersey with my kid’s last name and number on it. Yep, you know my kind.
As team mom, I helped order trophies last week for the kiddos and started talking with the coaches about awarding team superlatives. You know those fun awards coaches give out each season: Most Improved, Most Hits, Best Attitude, Most Likely to Slide, etc. My daughter would probably get Most Likely to Dance Her Way Up to Bat (but hey, she looks adorable doing it).
Parenting has taught me more about God than anything else. I finally get a glimpse at understanding a fraction of how He views me, feels about me, and pours into me (just a fraction though because His love is unfathomable). Everything I do with my kids leads me to wonder does God feels this way about me? As we decide which baseball award to give to each of the players, I am led to wonder does God give out awards? Does He have a Most Improved? Most Likely to Slide in the Dirt? Most Likely to Dance Through Life?
Now, I’m not smart enough to dive into the crowns of life and righteousness or rewards in heaven from works and deeds. You’ll have to ask a bible scholar or your minister about that one. But, I do know that at the end of our lives – our seasons–, God has an accolade waiting for you and me. He actually gives us some of those titles NOW. I’m often tempted to think the only award I’ll receive is Most Stubborn, Most Anxious, or Most Likely to Repeat the Same Mistakes. Thankfully the Bible and its truths tell me otherwise.
Titles We are Awarded
We are called His children.
“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”
– 1 John 3:2
We are called valuable.
“Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
– Matthew 10:31
We are called loved.
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
– Romans 5:8
We are called forgiven.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
– 1 John 1:9
We are called free.
“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
– Romans 8:2
End of Season Gifts Awaiting Us
We have a place in Heaven.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
– John 14:3
We will dwell with God.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
– Revelation 21:3-4
I don’t know that God will be handing out Most Improved awards like we will on my daughter’s baseball team. Instead, He gave us the most amazing gift – the gift of Jesus Christ. This gift comes with redemption and reconciliation. It comes with all of the titles listed above: child of God, forgiven, free, etc. It’s an all-inclusive package with an irrevocable, one way ticket to the most spectacular place imaginable. Whether I’ve hit home runs for Jesus on the mission field or I’ve struck out more times than I care to admit, we all get that same award.
This gift also comes with responsibility – the responsibility to share it with others. We take that responsibility seriously here at Sharing Love Through Sports. If you haven’t accepted your gift from God yet or if you want to help share it with others, let’s chat. You can contact us here.