Links Daily Devotional

Turning to God

Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:2-3, NIV)

Bubba Watson, Boo Weekley, and Heath Slocum have done a very nice job of putting little Bagdad, Florida, on the map. All three played their high school golf at the same school—a rather remarkable odds-busting factoid.

We’re growing similarly proud here in Fresno, California. Multi-time Tour winner Nick Watney played his college golf at Fresno State. Kevin Chappel has made a nice early career of it out there. Michael Weaver was runner-up in last summer’s U.S. Amateur. And now, like a lizard in a king’s palace (Proverbs 30:28), rookie Derek Ernst has a Tour trophy in his possession. All hail from “right around the corner” here, and the local headlines this week are sure hailing Ernst’s Wells Fargo win.

Headlines are a funny thing. They tell tales good and bad. Winners over here, losers over there, rolled up as one and dropped on your doorstep.

This week’s headlines also include the horrifying. Three women held captive for a decade in a run-of-the-mill neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio. Nine dead after a cargo ship wiped out a control tower in the Port of Genoa, Italy.

Derek Ernst said after his win that God was there. But when we read of Cleveland and Genoa, we are tempted to ask, “Where’s God?”

There has never been a shortage of such haunting headlines. In Jesus’ time, some asked him about the horror of Pilate mixing the blood of human beings with the Jewish sacrifices. Jesus spoke to this tragedy and that of a collapsing tower that killed 18.

The people wondered, “Why does this happen? Surely God would not do this unless the dead were notably wicked.”

Jesus explained that this was not the case. In fact, he made certain that those asking were not distracted by the nature or number of physical deaths. All die, those righteous and those unrighteous. Jesus posed a greater question. Have you, he wanted to know, turned in God’s direction? Are you walking his way when your day comes?

You see, how you die may have little to do with how you have lived. But how you enter the next life has everything to do with whether you have acted in faith, whether you have repented, turning to God for your salvation. Believing in Jesus, you will not perish but have eternal life.

Jeff Hopper

May 9, 2013

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