Links Daily Devotional

Number 1

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8, NIV)

The white hat has ridden into town. His name is Rory McIlroy.

Since last year’s romping win at the US Open, golf’s eyes have been glancing over at the young Irishman, leaving Tiger and Phil and any other previously shining star, wondering if McIlroy—not Westwood or Donald—was destined to be next. Guess what? Those eyes are now fairly well fixed.

You can’t be blamed, though, if you have your doubts. After all, Woods made a throwback run of his own Sunday afternoon. Donald has not strayed so very far away. And Westwood lurks, too. A bad month by McIlory and a win by one of these chargers—not to mention Hunter Mahan and Keegan Bradley and Martin Kaymer—could send the sure thing back into the fog of uncertainty.

And that’s the difference between our heroes and our King.

Jesus, the writer of Hebrews so flatly declared, never changes. He is the same, enduring in nature and character and purpose and action. Interestingly, the Greek word autos, which we find rendered in this verse as the same means more basically “oneself.” That is, Jesus is Jesus is Jesus. Again and again and again.

Also interesting is the context in which the writer cast this line. In verses 5 and 6, he referenced two Old Testament passages about the constancy of God in our lives:

Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6,7)

But in between this consideration of the Lord’s faithfulness, the writer inserted a charge to his readers that they remember the outcome of their leaders’ lives. These were elders whose faith was recognizably authentic. They were not fly-by-nights, nor even like athletes whose aging bodies give way to a younger generation. They were, by the power of the faithful God in them, made faithful themselves.

The beauty of a sure God is this: his loving grace, his attracting grace, his saving grace, his forgiving grace, his freeing grace, his empowering grace—not one of these ever wanes. So when we put our trust in him, we can be assured that he will always be Number 1. He will always be the one we can rely on. And in our reliance on him, we become reliable ourselves—his life poured into us for the benefit of his people.

Jeff Hopper

March 6, 2012

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