Links Daily Devotional

A Change in the Rules

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:19, NIV)

One of my pals showed up on the course recently with a long-handled putter, the kind you anchor to your chest with one hand while swinging it with the other.

I told him not to get too comfortable with it, because “the word on the street is that anchoring a club during a swing will soon be against the rules.” He said he didn’t know about that, but it didn’t matter to him because he wasn’t anchoring. And sure enough, he wasn’t. Instead he held it like a broom and “swept” the ball toward the hole. I wonder how many variations we’ll see if anchoring does become a no-no.

And it might, because the Rules of Golf do change. There were 13 rules in the first written set. Today there are 34. In 1744 those first rules were put on the last two pages of the Minute Book of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Today I have the Rules of Golf on my iPhone.

How does that compare with God’s law? The rules of righteousness, some would say, were first written on tablets of stone, but today they are written on our minds and hearts (see Hebrews 8:10). Moses came down the mountain with ten chief commandments and a few hundred more regulations, while Jesus said the two greatest commandments were to love God and love others, and then he said that, “All the law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (see Matthew 22:36-40).

This is fascinating, because in virtually all of human experience laws and rules get more detailed and greater in number over time, not simpler. Think U.S. tax code, rules of the road, and even the Rules of Golf. Righteousness, on the other hand, has become simpler. That was always God’s plan, which he fulfilled in Jesus.

Here is how the writer of Hebrews put it: “Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf” (Hebrews (6:17-20a).

Anchoring your putter may one day be against the rules, but anchoring your life to Christ will be good forever.

Lewis Greer

November 8, 2012

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