Links Daily Devotional

Living in Forgiveness

With you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. (Psalm 130:4, NIV)

The way some of the columns and message boards are discussing it, you might think Phil Mickelson is holed up in a dark room today, crying his “idiot” eyes out.

It you missed the news from this weekend’s HSBC Championship in Abu Dhabi, Mickelson was right in the chase when he decided to risk a right-handed shot with his arms stretched far in front of him to reach his ball under the low hanging branches of a desert shrub. The result was no good. Mickelson double-hit the ball and incurred the pursuant penalty without much improving his position. The result was a triple-bogey and a second-place tie with Rory McIlroy, one shot back of winner Pablo Larrazábal.

McIlroy was no innocent himself. He did not take complete relief in a drop during Saturday’s round, costing him two penalty shots and a victory.

There is something about the likes of Mickelson and McIlroy, however, that tells me they’re not too busy ruing the troubles they brought upon themselves. For one, they are world class competitors who have come back from adversity before. Moreover, they are heavily sponsored multiple major championship winners whose pocketbooks are overflowing. Mickelson already belongs to the World Golf Hall of Fame, and by all indications McIlroy is setting himself up to join Lefty one day.

All of these facts add up to one commonality between Mickelson and McIlroy that will carry them into their next tournaments as if nothing much happened: security.

As men and women who follow Jesus, we too will find ourselves on the back end of our own stupidities—what we call sin. We make faithless decisions, commit immoral actions, trample precious relationships with hurtful words, and pursue idols and pleasures that in no way promote the glory of God. For any of these, the consequences can be great. And when they are, we may well sink into one of those dark holes, declare ourselves “chief among sinners,” and be done with any real effort at serving the King.

But for security.

You see, when we maintain that we are children of the King, and forgiven by his shed blood, we maintain the only defense we have against our own sin. We are idiots in our choices, fools in our actions, bullies with our words, and reprobates in our pursuits—and we are forgiven.

It’s a stunning reality. But when we lay hold of the secure position we have in Christ, we find ourselves getting up from our sin to do the very thing our souls tell us is best: “with reverence, serve God.”

Jeff Hopper
January 21, 2014
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