And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all
he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know
God’s will for you, which is god and pleasing and perfect.
– Romans 12:1-2 (New Living Translation)
I love baseball! As a child, I remember urging my Dad to hurry home from church every Sunday so I could watch Home Run Derby on television. Each week, two home run sluggers of that era were matched against each other in a home run hitting contest. In an empty stadium, players like Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Matthews and Ernie Banks took turns “going deep” off the soft tosses of a batting practice pitcher. Anything but a home run was an out and it was exciting to watch my heroes swing for the fences. The Major League All-Star game has recaptured some of this drama and each July we’re mesmerized as today’s stars hit mammoth shots deep into the bleachers and even out of the stadium.
While we love to see our baseball heroes “go deep”, too often we fail to “go deep” in our walk with the Lord. We find excuses not to attend worship. We fail to tithe. We don’t discipline ourselves to pray. We use bad language and spend more time thinking about ourselves than we do others. What the Apostle Paul is attempting to get us to understand is the concept of total commitment. Jesus Christ sacrificed himself on a cross for each one of us. He was “all in”. If he was willing to die for you and me, then the least we can do is live for him completely. We need to be “all in” too. Every day we should look more like Christ and less like the world. With every pitch, the Home Run Derby contestant was swinging for the fence and looking to “go deep”. Our challenge is to take an honest look at our commitment to Jesus Christ and ask ourselves, “Am I going deep?”
Heavenly Father, thank you for being a God that is willing to go deep for your children. Help me to understand the significance of Jesus’ death on the cross. Give me the desire and strength to go deep for You every day. Amen.