Walking With Christ: Mark Appel
By: Mark Appel
February 29, 2016
Mark Appel is a regular contributor of The Increase and will be providing monthly articles and opinions.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” —1 Corinthians 10:31
God uses whatever we’re doing to teach us lessons and to share His truths with others. I’ve been given the platform of baseball. Recognizing that I’m in a position where people are interested in the things that happen in my life and career, I want to use this platform to encourage others and show them Christ in my life. There are tons of baseball fans who have never even heard of Jesus or seen that a relationship with Jesus can be life-changing. This is the most important message I can share.
I became a Christian at the age of ten, through the teaching and witness of my parents. They really showed me what it meant to live a life for Jesus. It was easy to be a Christian in the southern Bible belt, growing up in a Christian family, going to a Christian school and church. But when we moved to California and I started to go to a public school, it was quite a culture-shock. Finding a good Christian community was really important to me and my family.
It wasn’t always a popular decision to live for Christ but it was one that I am committed to. Though I fail time and time again, I’m constantly reminded of God’s faithfulness, love and forgiveness in my life. His grace changes people’s lives, as it did mine. I want to live the abundant life that Jesus talks about in John 10:10 when Jesus says, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Walking With Christ
I see many parallels in the game of baseball and the Christian life. Baseball is a game that is built around failure—it’s just part of the game. As much as you want to do everything perfectly, you won’t. It’s the same way as we live life with Christ. We want to live a perfect life as He did, doing everything for the Lord. But when we fail to be perfect we need to stop ourselves from running away from Him and instead run to Him so that we can understand His grace better and rely on His love for us. His grace was poured out on a cross for us, and He continues to pour out that same grace on us daily.
I’ve had seasons of great success in baseball and seasons of complete failure, but one thing that I’m always reminded of is how constant and faithful God is. My faith in God is truly a rock that I can always go back to and stand firm on. Christ gives me courage and strength to fight—to never quit nor ever give up. After all, from the world’s perspective, things didn’t go well for Jesus during His walk on earth but He had a plan and He did not give up on us. He had leaders that were plotting to kill him—people that He loved so much He was willing to die for them. Jesus is the perfect example of completing something that is hard—seeing it through until it is right.
Right now I’m in a place in my career where I have to learn a hundred new names and how a new organization does things. I need to compete at my highest level everyday, going out each day to prove that I can play in the big leagues. I find myself becoming filled with worry and fear but whenever I go to the Word I’m reminded how sovereign our God is. I shouldn’t worry about the big picture, He has that in His hands. I’m simply called to do my best and wait on Him.
“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” —Isaiah 40:31
View Mark’s Increase profile here: http://theincreasebaseball.com/author/markappel/
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