David Ortiz played his final game for the Boston Red Sox earlier this week, ending a legendary career with three World Series victories, 10 All-Star Games, and considered one of the best designated hitters of all time.

Displaying While embracing his farewell tour, even his final season as a 40-year-old proved memorable and productive. Ortiz is one of the most beloved players to ever wear a Red Sox uniform, and the respect for him goes beyond the field.

In 2005, the David Ortiz Children’s Fund was founded with the sole purpose of saving children with heart problems. Ortiz told ESPNDeportes.com, “I want to be remembered not as someone who just looked after himself, but as someone who tried to do his bit to make a difference. There’s no hit, achievement, title or award that can compare with the enormous satisfaction of giving a child their smile back.”

He also said, “God has given me much more than I deserve and the most logical way of thanking Him is by helping others. Acting as a channel to help save lives and bring joy to children and their families. There can be no greater happiness.”

Looking back at the amazing performances of an athlete’s career is significant, but when you can point to a player’s heart and service in people’s lives it is even more meaningful.

We as fans sometimes expect athletes to “give back” because of the amount of money they make and the wonderful opportunity they have to play a sport. But the reality is, giving isn’t exclusive to athletes with millions of dollars.

They may have a great impact because of their platform, but we also have many ways to share our time, talents, and treasures with others. Instead of relying on someone else to do what we are capable of doing, we need to dive right in to make a difference.

As followers of Jesus, we are called to display a giving spirit with our service and money – it’s non-negotiable. If we desire to obey Jesus in how we live our lives, we should want to give freely to others. It’s not about the amount of time or money we give, or the level of talent that we share, but more about the heart behind it.

In Proverbs (the Bible’s book of wisdom), we are told in chapter 19, verse 17: He who is gracious and lends a hand to the poor lends to the Lord, And the Lord will repay him for his good deed.”

Proverbs 11:24-25 (ESV) says this: “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”

Today, let’s be encouraged by the impact David Ortiz has had beyond the plate…to do our part in giving and serving like Jesus. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I admit I easily get caught up in my own life and miss out on opportunities to serve others in need. I pray you would give me a heart that desires to sacrifice my time, talent, and treasures for the benefit of others. I pray I would remember what You’ve done for me, so that it will compel me to serve. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.