Links Daily Devotional

‘Now What?’

And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25, NASB)

I just returned from a marvelous golf vacation at the Prairie Club in Valentine, Nebraska. Christian men and women from around the country attended this three-day event led by Jim Barker, a PGA pro and wonderful Bible teacher, and Jason Bryan, operator of Avalon Journeys, which frequently combines golf and God in trips around the world.

These trips always are full of real-life stories from the participants. Elie Wiesel, the recipient of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize, once said, “Maybe we are here because God loves stories.” We live in God’s story (His-Story, you might say). I never tire of hearing stories of God’s salvation and anointing in the lives of people we meet along the way.

I will briefly share two stories with you that would never have come about had it not been for the “assembling together” of believers in Nebraska. There is no richer way to grow in our faith than by sharing stories and life experiences with each other. It spurs us on when we realize that we are not alone with our issues in this life, and that God is always the answer to those issues.

Russ is a Links Fellowship leader in Fort Collins, Colorado. Ten years ago he was diagnosed with cancer and the outlook was not good. “Time to get your affairs in order,” the doctor said. It was also a time for Russ to find God in the process of recovery. Well, Russ did recover and also accepted Christ as his Savior. Now what? Russ went to the nearest Bible superstore and asked for a Bible. The clerk asked, “What translation would you like to have?” Russ seemed puzzled and said, “English.” Then the clerk asked, “What are you going to do with your Bible?” Russ was even more puzzled and exclaimed, “I am going to read it!”

Russ now not only reads his Bible, but studies it well and leads a Links Fellowship. Soon he will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of his salvation, and he loves Jesus more today than he did yesterday. He proclaims to all the difference that Jesus has made in his life. His story continues.

I also played golf for two days with a new lifelong friend from deep East Texas. Frank and I shared stories of about life, God, and the challenges we face. We laughed together and cried together—and that was just on the back nine! Solomon wrote in Proverbs that iron sharpens iron. That only happens when you get in close contact with each other. It only happens when you are honest and vulnerable with each other. Frank has intentions now to go back to Texas and start a Links Fellowship with the guys with whom he does life. Frank’s story is also a story of God’s marvelous redemption from difficult circumstances. Aren’t all salvation stories similar in that they reveal a redemption from death unto life? They are stories with this common ground: the sacrifice Christ has made for all of us.

As I left the Prairie Club, I asked myself the question, “Now what?” What am I going to do about these stories and the lessons learned in Nebraska? The start is sharing this with you now. The next step is finding others to assemble together in the future. It’s not just a good idea. We need it!

Randy Wolff

November 2, 2011

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