Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Devotionals from Fall 2015 print issue (Week 9)

Monday: “And His soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel.” Judges 10:16b

Still Loved

In the 1990 Major League Baseball season, the St. Louis Cardinals were 70-92. They finished last for the first time in 72 years. The pitching staff wasn’t very good, nor the offense. The morale was even worse. It got so bad that future Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog resigned in mid-year.

It was a miserable season for Cardinals fans. However, with the addition of young players like Ray Lankford and Bernard Gilkey, St. Louis improved in 1991, and since then.

In Judges 10, the Israelites turned away from God and began worshipping a plethora of false gods. God allowed them to be oppressed for 18 years. Finally, they repented and God soon sent them a deliverer. In a poignant look at the heart of God, it says that “…His soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel.” Even when they ignored Him, He still loved them.

Have you ever experienced misery in your life…because you’ve ignored God? He has the same compassion toward us. Romans 5:10 says “…for if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God…much more…we shall be saved by His life.”

An old Philip Bliss hymn has a verse that says, “Guilty, vile, and helpless we, spotless Lamb of God was He; full atonement, can it be? Hallelujah, what a Savior!”

I say “amen” to that. How about you?

By Stanley A. Tucker, Reader Submitted


 

Tuesday: “So when Paul’s sister’s son heard of the ambush, he went and entered the barracks and told Paul.” Acts 23:16

Any Light Will Do

Tommy Herr, the St. Louis Cardinals second baseman from 1979 through 1988, had his All-Star season in 1985, hitting .302 with eight home runs and 110 RBIs.He had a knack for hitting fly balls, and that year he led the National League with 13 sacrifice flies.

With teammates Vince Coleman and Ozzie Smith hitting in front of him, and slugger Jack Clark hitting behind him, Herr had many opportunities to drive in runs. Several times, Coleman would draw a walk, steal second and be bunted over to third by Smith. Herr would follow with a sacrifice fly. The Cards manufactured a run without a hit…OR…an official at-bat.

Herr didn’t do much. He just hit a fly ball, but it drove in a run and helped the Cardinals score.

In Acts 23, Paul’s nephew didn’t do much either. He just overheard a conversation and told his uncle. But it spared Paul’s life, and granted him at least four more years of ministry.
What about you? Do you feel you’re not doing much that’s important in a spiritual sense?

Be encouraged. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” It doesn’t have to be a huge light. It doesn’t have to be a bright light. It just needs to be a light in the darkness, and Jesus will receive the credit.

By Stanley A. Tucker, Reader Submitted


 

Wednesday: “Indeed we count them blessed who endure.” James 5:11

Enduring Humbleness

When he was 19 years old, “Red” Schoendienst and a friend hitchhiked on a dairy truck to St. Louis for a tryout with the Cardinals. Asked to return the next day, he had no place to stay. He was kicked out of Union Station. He slept on a park bench…until it began raining. He spent his last 15 cents on a cheap hotel room.

After a week with no contract, he returned home disappointed. A short time later, though, St. Louis offered him a chance for 75 dollars a month.

In just three years, he was a starter in the majors. The Cardinals won the World Series with him as a player (1946), as a manager (1967), and as a coach (1982). In 1989, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. On Aug. 14, 2015, he was honored by the team for 70 years (and counting!) of service. All he went through as a teen at that tryout bore fruit.

Job, mentioned in James 5:12, was noted for his perseverance. He lost his health, his family and his herds. He endured discouraging words from friends, was humbled by the LORD’s questions, and eventually repented. God restored his health, his family, and doubled his herds. All he went through certainly bore fruit. Are you going through tough times? Like “Red” and Job, keep after it and stay humble. The blessing of the Lord will come.

By Stanley A. Tucker, Reader Submitted


 

Thursday: “Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” Psalm 105:1

Thanking God

The St. Louis Cardinals have had a remarkable knack for coming from way behind to make the playoffs.

For example, they were 12 games out in early August, 1930. They were 10 games back in early August, 1942. They were 11 games out in early September of 1964. They were 10 1/2 games out in late August of 2011. They went to the playoffs each time.

Other teams have done likewise, the 1914 Boston Braves and the 1951 New York Giants. Their spirit and determination led them to victory.

In the Bible, God led Abram to the Promised Land, Moses back to Egypt, and Paul to Macedonia.

I can see how God led me at various life stages. He led me to Pastor Elbert Elliott, and I became a Christian. When I sorely needed income, He led me to a vending company manager. Later, He led me to a high school teaching position. Still later, He led me to a career as a UPS driver, and gratefully, He led me to my wife at a Bible study.

There is a fascinating story with each of these life-changing events.

What about you? Can you see how God has led you through events, people or decisions that altered the course of your life?

Thank God for His watchful care. Thank God for His provision. Thank God for His loving guidance.

By Stanley A. Tucker, Reader Submitted


 

Friday: “So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” Romans 14:12

Responsible Life

Is it our responsibility to make wise choices or someone else’s responsibility?

A lot of people in our society would like you to think that it’s someone else’s fault or responsibility when we make wrong decisions or when something happens. It’s the trend of today. “I did that because he made me do it.” Or, “If she would not have done that, I would not have reacted that way.”

How about coaches? Should they be fired because of the actions of their players? When too many players get into trouble on teams today, “fire the coach” is too often the solution by naïve college or professional administrators. He “didn’t do enough” is too often the cry, although it’s a cry of ignorance that should be dealt with more than anything.

When did other people’s responsibility shift to the responsibility of others? Did Jesus not do enough for Judas or Peter (when he cursed and denied he even knew Jesus)?

Jesus understood He could teach them and build into their lives, but at some point they would have to make their own decisions to follow Him or not follow Him.

As Romans 14:12 says, we all “will give an account of ourselves to God.”  We won’t give an account for others.

By Brett Honeycutt, Sports Spectrum


 

Weekender: “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” Ephesians 6:17 (KJV)

Going Long

The helmet of salvation (what we based our faith on and the knowledge that you know you’re saved) and the sword of the spirit (God’s Word is the sword) are combined because you can’t have salvation without God’s Word. Reflect on the importance of God’s Word in your life in light of this.