Living Church of God: Commentary

The Game

One warm, humid summer evening we were watching our town’s minor league baseball team play under the lights. The stands were full of folks enjoying America’s favorite pastime, in the vintage Baseball Park built in the 1920s. Various vendors worked the stands hawking popcorn, peanuts, hotdogs, soda pop and cold beer. One of the beer vendors, a colorful character, was carrying a full tray through the stands crying out, “Cold beer, I got cold beer!” but he was not getting much attention. In the midst of a crowd he stopped and loudly proclaimed, with mock seriousness…

“Hold it you people… you ain’t gonna get nothing out of this game unless you put something into it! Now, I got cold beer!” With that pronouncement, his potential customers bought all that he had.

Later, as I thought about this humorous incident and the ingenious way the vendor generated interest in his wares, I realized that there was a kernel of truth in what he had to say. We can be mildly interested in something, even information of great value that could change our lives for the better, and yet, if we never put forth the effort to learn more about it or if we fail to put the information to good use, it is of no real value to us. It seems that the colorful vendor was right, “If you don’t put something into it, you won’t get anything out of it.” Lack of involvement can mean missed opportunities for personal growth and spiritual awareness.

Actually, the Bible validates this principle in several places. For example, Paul explained that we have our part to do when he wrote, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). In the story of “the sower” Jesus told of a farmer who sowed seed in his field and how the seed fell in different places with different results. Privately, Jesus explained the story to this disciples in Matthew 13:18–23: “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word (the seed) of the kingdom…” then Jesus described the seed that fell by the way side, then the seed that fell in stony places, and that which fell among thorns. None of these seeds lasted long enough to produce a crop. It describes people who hear the message, but for various reasons don’t commit and it doesn’t take root.

Happily there is one other category: “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (v. 23).

The message proclaimed by Tomorrow’s World on television, on this Web site and in all of our publications is viewed and read by hundreds of thousands, even millions of people around the world. Yet most of them, even though intrigued or curious about the biblically based information we provide, simply go back to their busy lives without acting upon it. Most of our viewers and readers never invest the effort and time to digest the message and realize the profound, positive impact it can have now, in this physical life, and in the spiritual age to come. Happily, some do respond and become involved in the work of spreading the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. Their involvement makes it possible for us to bring you the Tomorrow’s World television program and magazine, our booklets and Bible Study Course, all without charge. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:8,“Freely you have received, freely give,” and we follow that instruction.

How about you? Will you become involved? Will you put some of your time, talent and resources into this important game of life that will bring you great benefits now and in the age to come? You can start by ordering our free literature, like the booklet Christian Baptism: Its Real Meaning. You will be glad you did. If you would like to know more, you can contact us through this website or through one of our regional offices.

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