He is a former Major League Baseball outfielder. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he was one of the most feared sluggers in the game. He was known primarily for his intimidating presence in the batter’s box and his long, looping swing. During his 17-year career, he helped lead the New York Mets to a World Series championship in 1986 and the New York Yankees to three World Series championships in 1996, 1998 and 1999. He was voted to the All-Star Game eight straight times from 1984–1991.
Throughout his difficult childhood, he often saw the rage from his father’s drinking and wild behaviour at nightclubs. While he was a young boy, his father threatened to kill the entire family. It was at that point that the police arrested him and he never came back to his family. As he became a star player in high school and was drafted in the first round by the New York Mets, his life was on a downward spiral. He began to smoke crack, drink heavily, do drugs, and was abusive to himself and to his family. In 1992, at the suggestion of a relative, he visited a Morris Cerullo crusade, and gave his life to Jesus Christ. He thought then that everything for him would change overnight, but that was not the case. Soon after he dislocated his shoulder and then reverted back to his old life of drinking and drugs.
In the years following, his Christian walk was anything but easy. He ruptured a disk in his lower spine, divorced and remarried, got into several fights and was arrested, put under investigation for tax fraud, went back and forth between teams, checked into a rehab clinic, tested positive for cocaine, went to jail for felony tax evasion and later for other charges; was diagnosed with cancer and had to endure the long painful process of chemotherapy. After failing a mandatory drug test in 2000, he ended his career with major league baseball. While still recovering from colon cancer and the removal of a stomach tumor, he became addicted to prescription pain medication. Later that same year after taking heavy doses of his prescription pain medication, he got into his car, and blacked out. He was arrested and this time was sentenced to jail.
During the 18 months he was in prison, he cleaned himself up and was a model prisoner. Afterwards he went back to California, and spent another six months living with his sister. She encouraged him to surrender His life to Christ, to trust Him completely, and to read and study the Bible. Since 2006, his life has completely transformed. He has found God’s purpose for his life, remarried, and served as a special instructor for the Mets, telling young players how to watch out for the things he encountered during his career. He also works with autistic children and at-risk kids, and he tells them about his struggles and how, through God, he finally managed to overcome them. When he tells them this, he says he finally realizes why God put him in this world, and why God kept him around for so long. He says, for the first time in his life, he has true joy.
Now as an ordained minister, he said of his new role, “I love the game [of baseball], don’t get me wrong, but I love the Bible more. I want to help people save their lives, and have the responsibility of leading people into following Christ. It’s so hard to describe what that feels like, but I’ve never been happier in my life. It’s so much fun being a pastor.” He and his wife run The Darryl and Tracy Strawberry Christian Recovery Program in Longview, Texas as well as Strawberry Ministries and the Darryl Strawberry Adult Day Program for Autism. He said of his work, ‘I’m not a hero, nor a savior. I’m on a mission. We’re not into this for publicity. We’re into it because God called us into ministry. We became who God wanted us to be. We’re trying to bring purpose into people’s lives, why they’re created, so they can fulfill their real purpose and destiny.”
His name is Darryl Strawberry.
This is the “Chief of Sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me. Just as Darryl Strawberry gave his life to Christ, may I encourage you to do the same. Here is how:
First, please understand that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.
But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.
The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.
Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.
Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.
And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer:
Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour!
Remember, friend, Believe by faith. Share the faith. and Keep the faith!