Links Daily Devotional

Word Up!

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12, NIV 1984)

One of the basics in golf is alignment. I try to check it often in my own game because I know how little adjustments can creep in and how they can soon develop into swing faults. The problem is that sometimes my body prefers being comfortable to being rightly aligned. I like using alignment sticks, because without an absolute and defined way of checking where I am aiming, I could easily rationalize any error by how it “feels.”

Through the years, my golf teachers have pointed out to me often that I am out of alignment, but in my stubbornness I rarely believe them. Then they usually lay down a club by my feet to show me the truth. My typical reaction is almost always the same: disbelief and shock. It never “feels” like I am misaligned. I imagine it can be like that for someone who first hears God’s word deeply, as it rightly judges the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts. And when God begins his work in us, this process of repentance can be painful, for the old self and pride never seem to like this type of alignment work.

We need God’s word. Just like with our body in golf, our hearts can deceive us in life. Because we are human, we lack God’s perfect perspective. Jeremiah 17:9 states this problem: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

His word reminds us of God’s goodness and faithfulness when we are in dark places. His word humbles us when we are in high places. It challenges us when we are in lukewarm places. Sometimes it feels like a painful rebuke, and other times a gentle restoring. It is indeed living and active! It is also sharp; the Bible keeps us accountable to God and each other. It reveals the thoughts of God. We can read his words and our eyes are opened to our own iniquities.

God’s word also protects us. Sometimes following him seems painful and difficult, but he tells us that his commands are not burdensome. Sin is burdensome. God’s word is an ever-present comfort and help. It gives us accounts of other flawed people who lived by faith, so that we are never left alone in fighting the good fight. It gives us light when we cannot see.

His Word brings fulfillment. The Bible is a source of wisdom that never ends. It is forever true. It has the answers to every problem we will ever have.

But most of all, His word is life. The Bible tells the great love story between God and mankind. It is a covenant. It testifies to Christ resurrected, our Savior. It tells us we are reconciled with God through him. That eternal life awaits. There is no going back—it is written.

The good news is that Jesus aligns us perfectly with the Father in the heavenly realms. Praise be to God for such a gift and for the assurance of our hope!

Isabelle Beisiegel

March 15, 2012

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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday through Friday at www.linksplayers.com.