Links Daily Devotional

He Has Changed Us

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16, NIV)

Jim Barker is a golf professional in San Antonio. He is a good friend and mentor to one of my own dearest friends, former British Open champion Bill Rogers, who also lives in San Antonio.

I recently played in a golf tournament in Texas and while waiting to hit on the first tee, I casually asked to my playing partners if they knew Bill Rogers and Jim Barker. “Oh yes, what great men!” one of them replied enthusiastically. “We just heard Bill give his testimony at a gathering in San Antonio. What a great man of faith!”

Then the other golfer said this of Jim Barker: “Jim is the type of guy who asks how you are doing and really cares about your answer. He listens and cares about what you have to say.” I told Jim this story and he remarked, “If there is anything good about my life, it is God’s fault. Anything bad, I’ll take the credit.”

I like being around men like that. More importantly, I want to be a man like that. You know why? Not because others will like me more or think more of me, but because I want others to love and follow my Lord and Savior. If they see some of that in me and want to follow Jesus it excites me, because this is my calling. I want God to get the credit—after all, the good is his fault!

Isn’t it part of God’s plan that others see the difference that God has made in our lives? This is not done by a conscious effort to show others that we have changed; we demonstrate change by simply living in response to what Christ has done for us. When others see this, they will want to know why, and we are instructed to give them the reason for this changed life (1 Peter 3:15).

Here’s another case in point. Jim Langley, the renowned golf pro at Cypress Point Club at Pebble Beach for more than 30 years, displayed Jesus to so many simply by the way he lived his life. I had the privilege of knowing Jim and played golf with him years ago. I honestly saw something different in him. His faith made the difference, and I saw the light though I did not fully understand yet. Jim went Home to be with his Lord recently, and the affirmations of a live well lived have flooded in from around the country. John Steinbreder from the Global Golf Post wrote the following: “His calm and caring manner touched those who played Cypress as deeply as the club and course did. He was a soulful man at a spiritual place.”

Jim never charged members for lessons, and he secretly helped caddies buy clothes and deal with all kinds of addictions. He always had a smile of his face. He would stroll those hallowed fairways alone late in the afternoons as he prayed for his friends. Sam Reeves, a long-time member who knew him well, told Steinbreder this about Jim Langley: “He was a man of faith and courage and he valued the people with whom he came in contact in ways that made them feel special.”

Hanging out with Jesus will change us; that is the plan. If we just soak up Jesus in our lives, God will use this to nourish others. Others will want to know why, and we have the answer—“If there is anything good about my life, it is God’s fault!”

Randy Wolff

September 9, 2013

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