THE Complete Game

The Complete Game

  • May 26-A Bad Day

    May 26: A Bad Day

     

    Scripture Lesson: Lamentations 3:13-26

     

    Have you ever had a bad day? On this date in 1993 Carlos Martinez hit a fly ball to Jose Canseco that caromed off the Rangers’ outfielder’s head and over the fence for a home run. The fourth inning solo home run was the difference in the game as the Indians defeated the Rangers 7-6.

     

    The writer of Lamentations was really having a bad day in our Scripture lesson today. He described it by saying that his heart had been pierced, he had become a laughingstock, he had been mocked, and he had endured injustice by the court, leaving his soul downcast. I would say that would classify as a bad day! In verse 21, though, the author found hope. He recalled God’s love and faithfulness, and the promise that those who put their hope in Him would be blessed. He decided to just wait for the Lord, believing that God would be there for Him. That is indeed a great assurance for us that when we have a bad day: God will be there for us!

    1. What happened on your last bad day?

    2. Why can we always rely upon God in our bad days?

    3. What does God’s faithfulness and love mean to you?

    Bad days are going to come: just ask Canseco. The key to getting through tough times is relying upon God and His faithfulness and love for us!

  • May 25-See

    May 25: See

     

    Scripture Lesson: Isaiah 9:2-3

     

    In 1979, on this date, the fog was so thick in Shea Stadium that Pirates left fielder Bill Robinson lost Joel Youngblood’s ball in the outfield mist, and the umpires stopped play. Due to the fog, the 11-inning contest ended in a 3-3 tie after a 73-minute delay.

     

    In a prophecy about the coming Messiah, Isaiah spoke of a great light that would pierce the darkness of the world. Jesus late referred to Himself, in John’s Gospel, as the “Light of the World.” Throughout the writings of John, images of light and darkness are used. Jesus came to this world to bring the light of God’s love that will take away the darkness sin had brought. It is much easier to see in the light and much harder to see in the darkness that sin brings around us. Jesus also calls us to be light reflecting Him to the world around us. We are to be light bearers bringing His live to the world around us!

    1. Have you ever been in total darkness? How did it feel?

    2. How has Jesus been light in your life?

    3. How can you be light in the lives of others?

    Baseball is an impossible game to play when one can’t see. Getting through the game of life without the light of Jesus’ love showing the way is also impossible if we want to live a happy and productive life.  


  • May 24-Shutout

    May 24: Shutout

     

    Scripture Lesson: John 20:30-31

     

    On this date in 1964, the Major League record for shutouts in one day was broken. Seven of the twenty Major League teams failed to cross home plate. The Twins, White Sox, Yankees, Mets, Phillies, Cardinals, and Pirates were all shut out.

     

    Today’s Scripture lesson deals with the worst shutout of all – being shut out of the Kingdom of Heaven. John reminds us that, in addition to what had been written, many of Jesus’ teachings and miracles were not recorded. What was written in the Gospel was written for one purpose, that the readers might believe that Jesus is the Christ, and by believing in Him, that one has eternal life. The worst shutout in history comes when one does not believe in Jesus as God’s Son who came to die for our sins and mistakes.  All one has to do is believe that and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, repenting of one’s sins. Then we score one for the Lord and avoid being shut out of an eternal home with Him in heaven.

    1. What is the worst shutout loss you have endured in baseball?

    2. Have you taken the necessary steps not to be shut out of heaven?

    3. Thank God today for what Jesus did for us dying for our sins and mistakes.

    In today’s game, with all the offense in the big leagues, shutouts are rare. Let’s do our part by living and sharing our faith to make sure that people being shut out of heaven becomes just as rare!

  • May 23-Enduring Hardships

    May 23: Enduring Hardships

     

    Scripture Lesson: Revelation 2:1-7

     

    On this date in 2008, six weeks after successful surgery for thyroid cancer, Diamondback pitcher Doug Davis allowed just one run over seven innings in an 11-1 win over the Braves at Turner Field. The 32-year-old southpaw joined Red Sox starter Jon Lester, who had thrown a no-hitter earlier in the week, to serve as an inspiration for cancer patients and their families.

     

    Today’s Scripture lesson is the first of the seven letters to the seven churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation. The letter is addressed to the church at Ephesus. The church had endured hardships, but had persevered. The author of Revelation complained, though, that the church had forgotten its first love, Jesus Christ. What an indictment – and what an important reminder for us. Hardships will come to us in life, and the only way to endure the tough times and keep on going is to remember that Jesus is always there for us. He loves us, and with His abiding presence in our lives, we can endure anything. Baseball is a game of ups and downs: the only way to get through those tough times is with Christ firmly with us each day.

    1. What is the toughest hardship you have had to endure?

    2. How did Jesus help you through that tough time?

    3. Why is it important to never forget about Jesus’ love for us and our love for Him?

    Hardships will come to each of us: the key to overcoming them is our relationship with Jesus!

     

  • May 22-A Second Chance

    May 22: A Second Chance

     

    Scripture Lesson: Jeremiah 24:1-10

     

    Today is the birthday of Tommy John. In his 26-year career, John won 288 games with a career ERA of 3.34 and 162 complete games. John was the first pitcher to have elbow ligament replacement surgery, and he was so well known that the operation became known as “Tommy John surgery.” After his surgery, John went from being a hard throwing left-hander to pitching more strategically. When asked about the operation, John said, “When they operated on my arm, I asked them to put in a Koufax fastball and they did, but it turned out to be Mrs. Koufax.”

     

    In today’s Scripture lesson, Jeremiah is shown two baskets of figs. One basket is filled with good figs, while the other basket has figs that are rotten. In the vision, the basket of good figs represented the exiles who were carried to Babylon, and the assurance that God would take care of them and watch over them. He would give them a heart to know Him and they would be His people. God knew they would return to Him with their whole hearts and he would give them a second chance to be His people. God is the God of the second chance, waiting for us to return to Him.

    1. What basket of figs would best describe us today?

    2. Do you need a second chance with God today? Why or why not?

    3. What kind of heart must we have to be God’s people?

    May each of us be in the basket of good figs following the God of the second chance.

  • May 21-Forgiveness

    May 21: Forgiveness

     

    Scripture Lesson: Colossians 1:13-15

     

    Today is the birthday of Texas Rangers outfielder, Josh Hamilton. In his autobiography, Hamilton chronicles his battle with drug and alcohol addiction that cost him several years of His baseball career. Hamilton credits his turnaround in life to accepting Jesus as His Lord and Savior. The forgiveness he received helped him turn from harmful habits and begin a new life. Today Hamilton is an All-Star. In 2010, he was the American League’s Most Valuable Player.

     

    Our Scripture lesson for today speaks of how God can rescue us from the darkness of sin and bring us into His Kingdom. It is through Jesus we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins. In some way beyond our understanding, Jesus’ death and resurrection atoned for our sins. God’s forgiveness is so complete; it is as if the sin never existed. God forgives and forgets! No matter what you may be struggling with today, God is waiting for you to come home to Him. His forgiveness is only a prayer away.

    1. What do we need to ask God to forgive us from today?

    2. What is your biggest struggle with sin?

    3. When is the last time you asked God to forgive you?

    Forgiveness is only a prayer away. If you are struggling today and need someone to talk to, feel free to call me, David Daly at 828-310-5425. I will pray with you and for you!

  • May 20-Crown of Glory

    May 20: Crown of Glory

     

    Scripture Lesson: 1 Peter 5:1-4

     

    On this date in 1962, during a Cubs doubleheader sweep of the Phillies, Ken Hobbs stroked eight singles in eight trips to the plate at Connie Mack Stadium. The Chicago second baseman would be crowned the National League Rookie of the Year in 1962.

     

    In today’s Scripture lesson from 1 Peter, we read of a “living hope” and an inheritance that will never “perish, spoil, or fade.” We should praise God, for this inheritance comes from our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we receive an inheritance that culminates in us going to heaven. Nothing can diminish or take away from what God has done for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Earthly awards and honors will pass away, but nothing can take away from the great love and mercy God has shown for us through the inheritance He freely gives to all who believe.

    1. How should we live our lives to reflect what God has done for us?

    2. What is the most important award you have ever received? How does it compare to what God gives us when we believe in His Son?

    3. Thank God and praise Him for the mercy and love He has shown us through Jesus.

    The things of this world will all someday pass away, but our inheritance in heaven is eternal.

  • May 19-Forgetting

    May 19: Forgetting

     

    Scripture Lesson: Jeremiah 18:13-17

     

    On this date in 1984, after joining the club in St. Louis, Eric Davis made his major league debut by grounding out in the fifth inning of the Reds’ 9-1 loss to the Cardinals. The 22-year-old rookie was forced to wear a numberless jersey because the Cincinnati staff forgot to pack extra road uniforms.

     

    God’s words in Jeremiah 18 are spoken through the prophet, and against His own chosen people, Israel. In verse 15, we find that Israel had forgotten God and had begun to worship false idols. Jeremiah announced that the people would pay for their forgetfulness by what would happen to them and their land, describing it as a “most horrible thing.” When we place anything before God in our lives, we are just as guilty of forgetting God as were the people in Jeremiah’s day. When something is more important to us than God, it becomes our god. God could not understand why a people that He had created and done so much for could ever forget Him. God does not understand today when we “forget” Him, either.

    1. How can we forget God today?

    2. What is more important in our lives than God?

    3. How can we make things right with God today?

    When we don’t give what God deserves in our daily living, then we forget God. Let’s make sure God is the most important in our lives!

     

  • May 18-Defense

    May 18: Defense

     

    Scripture Lesson: Philippians 1:12-18

     

    Today is the birthday of Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson. During his 23-year career, all as a Baltimore Oriole, Robinson was known for his tremendous defensive ability. He very well may be the greatest defensive third baseman of all time. Teammate Frank Robinson said: “He was the best defensive player at any position. I used to stand in the outfield like a fan and watch him make every play. I used to think, ‘Wow, I can’t believe this!’”

     

    Our Scripture lesson today provides an insight to Paul’s state of mind when he wrote to the church at Philippi. Paul was a prisoner in Rome, and some scholars believe he wrote this letter while chained to a Roman soldier, perhaps under house arrest. His imprisonment helped other believers to be bold in their proclaiming of the Gospel. In verse 16, Paul said he was in prison for the “defense of the Gospel.” Paul was not only standing up for the Gospel, but inspiring others to do the same. Sometimes, in the culture of baseball, it is not easy to stand up for the Gospel. It is not easy to defend the Gospel by living daily for Christ. But, every single Roman soldier in the guard detail knew where Paul stood with God.

    1. Why is it hard sometimes to defend the Gospel by living for Jesus?

    2. Does your team know where you stand with Christ? Why or why not?

    3. What does it take to be a Hall of Fame defender of the Gospel?

    There was no better defender at third in baseball history than Brooks Robinson and no better defender of the Gospel than the apostle Paul. May we all be defensive wizards when it comes to the Gospel.

  • May 17-Rainouts

    May 17: Rainouts

     

    Scripture Lesson: Genesis 7:1-12, 9:12-17

     

    On this date in 1945, every game on the American League schedule was rained out – for the fourth consecutive day! Wow, can you imagine the doubleheaders that had to be played to make up for all those rainouts?

     

    The biggest rainout ever is described in our Scripture lesson today. The world had become so wicked that God decided to destroy both humans and animals with rain that would last for 40 days and 40 nights. Noah and his family were spared and survived the flood in an ark (directions on how to build it came from God) with two from every species of living creatures. Noah’s faith must have been put to the test while the ark was being constructed. After the flood, God’s promise to never destroy the world again was cemented by the rainbow. Even today, when we see a rainbow we can be reminded of God’s love for us.

    1. Why was the time building the ark a time of testing for Noah?

    2. What kind of faith did it take for Noah to follow through for God?

    3. How can we stand up for God even when no one else seems to do so?

    Noah did not let public opinion keep him from following God. May we be willing to stand up for Him no matter where we are and who we are with.

     

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