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practice

Grover Cleveland Alexander is recognized as one of the greatest baseball pitchers of all time. His record of ninety shutouts still stands and his 373 recorded victories has been achieved by only one other pitcher. In 1938 he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
From his earliest days on the farm his only desire was to play baseball and be a pitcher. He actually began his career by throwing apples and stones at fence posts between chores to sharpen his throwing skills.
One day he bought a few baseballs and nailed an old catcher’s mitt to the chicken coop. He would spend every available moment throwing baseballs at the mitt and finally became successful at hitting the mitt nine times out of ten.
During his pitching career reporters piled heaps of praise on him as his record grew and fame spread. But none of them were ever aware of the many hours he practiced with no one watching or helping him develop the skills that would eventually bring him world recognition.
Fame never comes unless one is willing to pay the price it requires. Hard work is God’s plan for all of us. Those who work diligently are the recipients of many benefits in their own lives and the lives of others. God blesses those who develop the skills He gives them.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to take the gifts You give us with great humility and work with all of our might to develop them to bring honor and glory to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
A young salesman saw a farmer sitting on his porch. He sat down next to him and began to talk excitedly.

“This book,” said the salesman, “will tell you everything you need to know about farming. It tells you when to plant and when to harvest.”

“Young man,” interrupted the farmer, “those aren’t my problems. I know all there is to know about farming. My problem is in the doing.”

Most of us know more than is necessary to begin serving our Lord with enthusiasm. We sit comfortably and quietly Sunday after Sunday listening and learning. But when it comes to doing, we begin to wonder if we can do what God wants us to do.

Whatever God calls us to do comes with the resources to do it. When we trust in Him, believe in His power and understand His presence within us, all that remains for us is “the doing.”

As in farming, so in living a Christ-exalting life. God’s Guidebook, the Bible, tells us what to believe and how to behave, when to reach out and when to reach up.

If there are times when we feel unable or unworthy, inadequate or incomplete it may be His Spirit suggesting that we have gone beyond what He would have us to do. He does not expect us to do everything. But He does expect us to do something!

God has a purpose and plan for each of us. Jesus said, “If you know what to do, blessed and happy are you if you practice them!”

Prayer: Lord, all around me are people who are hurting and hopeless, in danger and distress. Open my eyes to see them and my ears to hear their cry. Amen.

Scripture: John 13:17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.