July 27, 2020

“For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God,
not the result of works, so that no one may boast.”
– Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)

Perfection in the sports arena is rare. In 2010, Detroit Tiger pitcher Armando Galarraga and Major League umpire Jim Joyce met on center stage and the world witnessed a remarkable example of good sportsmanship. Galarraga needed one more out to complete a perfect game. On a ground ball fielded by the first baseman, Galarraga sprinted from the mound to cover first base and stepped on the bag a fraction of a second before the runner made contact. Time stood still as players and fans began to celebrate. What happened next changed the lives of both Galarraga and Joyce. Jim Joyce called the runner safe! Galarraga looked at the umpire with a smile, went back to the mound and recorded the final out. Following the game, Joyce watched the tape and realized he had missed the call. He faced reporters and admitted his mistake. He asked to speak with Galarraga. Upset and in tears, Joyce hugged the pitcher and said, “You were perfect; I was not.” Galarraga and Joyce chose to focus on humility and grace rather than the mistake. Galarraga responded, “He was wrong and apologized; what can I do about that?”

It’s refreshing to see someone take responsibility for a mistake, apologize and be forgiven. God wants that to happen in our lives too. Only God is perfect! Our imperfection separates us from God, but because He loves us, God has provided a solution to the problem. Jesus Christ, God’ only Son, died on a cross as a substitute for our imperfections or sin. When we apologize or confess our sins to God and accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are forgiven and become His children for eternity. God is a God of grace and He is our only true hope. You may find it ironic that in 2010, Major League players ranked Jim Joyce as baseball’s #1 umpire.

Lord Jesus, I need You. I am not perfect and I need Your forgiveness. You love me so much that You died on a cross so that I don’t get what I deserve. Lord, I confess my sins and put my complete trust in You. Amen.

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