He tried to make it as simple as possible. If you work hard at the game, it will reward you. If you do what I ask you to do, I will reward you. He didn’t ask his players to have more pure talent. He didn’t ask them to do what he knew they could not possibly do. He just asked them to have discipline in their work and respect for those leading them. Anyone can do that.

Proverbs 27:18–“He who tends the fig treat will eat its fruit, and he who cares for his master will be honored.”

This verse makes a comparison between what a person gets from the fig tree and from his boss.

Fig trees were common in the Bible. They would supply their fruit with just a little discipline by the caretaker. It was something anyone could do. Likewise, life and baseball provide rewards if a little hard work and discipline are applied. Anyone can do that.

In the same way, the one working for another could receive honor if he respected his master and was about his business all the time. Clearly, there is an application for players and coaches…if we respect the position and desires of those above us, we put ourselves in line to be honored by them. Anyone can do that.

In a far greater way than on the baseball field, this verse points to an important truth. God intends to grow the fruit of the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5:22) in the lives of believers in Jesus. However, this does not happen automatically. Pruning away anything that hinders that growth is necessary, but it’s possible for any believer to see it happen.

And, the ultimate meaning of this verse is shown as we look at the reward offered to those who surrender their lives to the true Master, the Lord Jesus. “Whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.”

Lord Jesus, help me to be disciplined, on and off the field, and to live for you, my true master. Amen.