Links Daily Devotional

Approach Shot

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16, NASB)

The picturesque phrase “draw near” appears 26 times in the New American Standard Bible. If you read the New International Version (NIV) instead, you will only find that particular phrase eight times, and the verse quoted above is not one of them. More about that in a moment, but first to the movies.

Of all the golf movies ever made, one of the most enduring is Tin Cup. The most remembered scene among golfers in that flick is driving range pro Roy McAvoy trying shot after shot to successfully reach the final par-5, over water, in two. Or four, or six, or eight, but after a while, who’s counting? The thing with Roy is that only the impossible shots are any fun and worth the effort. First place? Second fiddle.

How do you play your second shot on par-5s? Do you always hit as much club as you can? How about approach shots? Do you aim at the pin, no matter where it is on the green? Does a little bit of Roy McAvoy live in your golfing soul?

Some days when I play, it looks like I’m trying to avoid the green rather than reach it. I hit it left, I hit it right, I hit it short. And some days it looks like I’m trying to avoid God rather than approach him. In Hebrews 4:16, the NIV renders the phrase “draw near” as “approach.” Perhaps one of the NIV translators was a golfer.

In either translation you will note that we are to come to the throne of grace with confidence. Roy had that part right, but our confidence is not in our ability to hit an impossible shot; it is in God’s love, which makes this approach possible for every one of us. At the throne of grace we will receive mercy, and there we will find grace to help us in times of need. As the writer of Hebrews says, let us approach boldly!

Lewis Greer
November 7, 2013
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