THE Complete Game

The Complete Game

  • December 18-Follower

    December 18-Follower 

    Scripture Lesson: Matthew 9:9 

    Today is the birthday of Bill “Moose” Skowron who had a 16 year Major League career. Skowron is primarily known as a major cog in the New York Yankees amazing World Championship run in the mid 1950’s through the early 1960’s. Skowron was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers before the 1963 season and he helped the Dodgers to the National League pennant and a defeat of the Yankees in the 1963 World Series. When asked if it was his revenge against the Yankees for trading him Skowron said, “I take no pleasure in it because I am first and foremost a Yankee.” 

    Today’s Scripture lesson is the call of Matthew the tax collector. Jesus simply said to Matthew “Follow Me” and Matthew simply got up from his tax collectors booth and followed Jesus. He became a disciple and wrote the Gospel which bears his name. First and foremost Matthew was a Christ follower!

    1.      How is Jesus calling you to follow Him today?
    2.      Are you willing to follow Him no matter what that brings and where that takes you? Why or why not?
    3.      What does it mean to you to be a Christ follower?

    Matthew gave up everything to follow Jesus. Let’s make sure we are not holding anything back from Him!!

     

  • December 17-The Right Way

    December 17-The Right Way 

    Scripture Lesson: Matthew 5:6 

    Today is the birthday of Cal Ripken Sr, longtime Minor League and Major League manager and coach in the Baltimore Orioles organization. Some of his prize pupils were his sons Cal and Billy, along with Hall of Famers Eddie Murray and Jim Palmer. Ripken was a proponent of the Orioles Way which consisted of hard work, professionalism, and a strong understanding of the fundamentals of the game. Ripken said, “The game of baseball is made up of many little things. If we do the little things right we will never have a big thing to worry about.” Since his death in 1999, no Orioles player has worn his number 7, although the number has not been officially retired. 

    Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount reminds us if we hunger and thirst for righteousness we will be filled with righteousness. We will be blessed when we strive to live our lives the right way. We have to want to live the right way as much as we want to eat and drink. It must be as important as anything we do to sustain our lives. What a wonderful promise from our Lord!

    1.      How do we live the right way?
    2.      How important is righteousness in our lives today?
    3.      How much do we desire to live our lives with righteousness?

    Blessings come our way when we desire to live God’s way with all of our being? Just how hungry and thirsty are we for right living today?

     

  • December 16-Brothers in Harmony

    December 16-Brothers in Harmony 

    Scripture Lesson: Colossians 3:14 

    Today is the birthday of Billy Ripken the younger brother of Cal Ripken, Jr. In his 12 year career, Billy was able to play with his brother in Baltimore for seven of those seasons, often playing second base while Cal was at shortstop. Today the brothers host a weekly radio program on the MLB Radio Network. 

    Unity comes for believers when we bind everything we do in love. Paul took time to list virtues for each of us to strive to have in our lives in the preceding verses. But without the binding together of each of these virtues with love there can be no unity and harmony in living with others. We can possess every virtue listed but they are useless without love holding them together in our lives!

    1.      Why is love so important to have in our lives?
    2.      Why can we not be successful without love in our lives?
    3.      Describe God’s love for us.

    When we have love in our hearts for God and our fellow man, we will be able to live lives that bring honor and glory to God. Without love we are nothing!

     

  • December 15-Reaping What One Sows

    December 15-Reaping What One Sows 

    Scripture Lesson: Proverbs 11:18b 

    On this date in 2006, Buck O’Neil who passed away in October is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously by President George W. Bush for his “excellence and determination both on and off the field.” Accepting the country’s highest civilian honor on behalf of the Negro League Baseball Legend is his 91 year old brother Warren. 

    The writer of Proverbs reminds us all to be sure we are sowing right living into our lives. When we have righteous in our lives we will reap a sure reward. When we live our lives by God’s standards God’s way, we will indeed receive the greatest of all rewards. When we get to heaven having lived a life pleasing to God we will hear the words, “well done good and faithful servant”. For a Christian there can be no better reward!

    1.      How do we sow righteousness in our lives?
    2.      What is the evidence that we are living right lives?
    3.      Why is it important to live a righteous life in our world today?

    If we live our lives to serve God and by His standards great things will be accomplished for His Kingdom!

     

  • December 14-Share

    December 14-Share 

    Scripture Lesson: Colossians 1:12-14 

    On this date in 1911 Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss proposes that each team in the World Series be required to turn over one fourth of its shares of the gate to the league to be divided among the other teams. Until now ten percent went to baseball, 60 percent to the players, and the rest to the two pennant winning clubs. 

    Paul in writing to the Church at Colosse, reminds them that they share in the inheritance of the saints. Paul is grateful that the Colossians can share in salvation. He is thankful that God has delivered them from the dominion of darkness and brought them into the kingdom of light where there is redemption and the forgiveness of sins. There can be no better sharing than to share eternal life!

    1.      How can you show gratitude to God for salvation?
    2.      What does it mean to you to share in the “kingdom of light”?
    3.      How does God expect us to live in light of His Kingdom?

    God has given us the greatest of all gifts in salvation….He expects us to witness to its power by the way we live and what we say!!

     

  • December 13-Written Records

    December 13-Written Records 

    Scripture Lesson: Psalm 130:1-4 

    On this date in 2007 with a winning bid of $100,000.00, a collection of rare written documents including personal letters and cancelled checks concerning the Chicago Black Sox scandal is procured by the Chicago History Museum. The historical papers offer new details about the White Sox allegedly fixing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. 

    Aren’t we glad that God does not keep records of our sins as the Psalmist reminds us. For when we confess our sins to God, he erases the record of that sin as if it never existed! None of us could stand up to having all our sins kept up with in a written record. Praise be to God that He gave the life of His Son for the payment for our sins and keeps no record of sins we have confessed to Him. Forgiveness is indeed wonderful, may we never forget the cost!

    1.      What are the sins we need to confess to Him today?
    2.      What did it cost God for us to receive forgiveness?
    3.      How does it make you feel that God keeps no record of our confessed sins? Why?

    Take a few moments right now to thank God for paying the price for our sins and for not keeping a record of our sins!

     

  • December 12-Compete by the Rules

    December 12-Compete by the Rules 

    Scripture Lesson: 2Timothy 2:4-6 

    On this date in 1949 by a vote of 7-1, the American League rejects a proposal to bring back the legal spitball. The Rules Committee also alters the strike zone to the space below the armpits and to the top of the knees. The new rule eliminates the batter’s shoulders being within the strike zone. 

    Paul is writing to his young friend Timothy in our Scripture lesson today. Paul wants Timothy to understand the importance of pleasing God and living for him each day. The rules we are to live by in life are all found in God’s Word, the Bible. The only way for us to know how God wants us to live is to spend time each day in His Word! We can’t know the rules without reading the Rule Book….the Bible.

    1.      How much time do you spend daily reading God’s Word?
    2.      Why is it important to be in an organized Bible Study?
    3.      What is the prize we receive by living for God?

    We spend a lot of time trying to please others. Today and everyday let’s all spend time pleasing God by living for Him and living by his rules for life!

     

  • December 11-Hope for the Future

    December 11-Hope for the Future 

    Scripture Lesson: Proverbs 23:17-18 

    On this date in 1928 in an effort to speed up the game and add more offense, National League President John Heydler proposes the concept of a designated hitter for the pitcher. He contends fans are tired of seeing weak hitting pitchers come to bat. The American League opposes the idea and the National League withdraws the proposal before Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis is asked to break the tie. Some 45 years later the American League would adopt the DH in 1973. 

    The writer of Proverbs reminds us today not to envy sinners but to always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. We are to be zealous in living for God and remembering just who God is. The fear of God is a Holy Awe of God! When God is in the right place in our lives and we have the holy awe of seeing His greatness that gives us a great hope for the future.

    1.      How can we have a Holy Awe of God?
    2.      Where is God in your life?
    3.      Why does having God in His rightful place in our lives give us a hope for the future?

    Take a moment and just look around you and see all God has done! Praise Him for His greatness and majesty!

     

  • December 10-Advantage in Life

    December 10-Advantage in Life 

    Scripture Lesson: Proverbs 16:3 

    On this date in 1924 the American and National Leagues agree to a permanent rotation system for the World Series. The 2-3-2 format will be in effect with the leagues rotating yearly the home field advantage until 2003 when the league that wins the All-Star Game now gets home field advantage. 

    The writer of Proverbs gives us today the words that can give us an advantage in life. When we commit to the Lord whatever we do our plans will succeed. It is important for us as Christians to commit everything we do to the lord with our families, school, and careers. For when we are living our lives for God, then we will be making a difference for His Kingdom. What a difference we can make for god when we commit to live for Him daily!

    1.      How can we live our lives daily for God?
    2.      Why is it important to commit to God our day each day?
    3.      How can we impact the world for God when we live for Him daily?

    Our greatest advantage in living life each day comes when each day is committed to God! Let’s all make a difference for God by committing to live for Him daily!

     

  • December 9-Getting in the Way

    December 9-Getting in the Way 

    Scripture Lesson: Acts 5:1-10 

    Today is the birthday of former Major League outfielder Tony Tarasco. Tarasco is probably best known for being the Orioles right fielder in the 1996 Playoffs when 12 year old Jeffrey Maier reached over the fence and brought a Derek Jeter ball into the stands for a home run. Tarasco claims and rightly so that the ball was interfered with to no avail as umpire Rich Garcia rules the ball to be a home run. The Yankees defeat the Orioles in extra innings that day and go on to win not only that series but the World Series as well. 

    In today’s Scripture lesson the early church had a major problem to deal with…greed. Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property and decided not to give the money to the church as was the custom of the early church. Peter confronted Ananias first by telling him what he had done. Ananias when confronted died on the spot. When he did not return home his wife came looking for him. Sapphira when confronted about their lie also died and was buried by her husband. They not only stole money from God they also lied about their greed. We can think we will fool everyone with our secret sins, but we never fool God!

    1.      Are we hiding sins from others without confessing them to God? Why?
    2.      Why were the sins of Ananias and Sapphira such a problem for the early church?
    3.      Why does sin separate us from God?

    So many times we think we can hide sins. The outcome is never good for us for God always knows our sins and our hearts!

     

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