Links Daily Devotional

Following Along

As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him. (Matthew 9:9, NASB)

Walking on the path from the green of number eleven to the tee of number twelve at my home course, you cross a street. After watching for cars, you step off of one sidewalk, go across the neighborhood street, and step onto another sidewalk. There you encounter a small sign that is quite official, and it says:

GOLFERS ONLY
No walking or jogging, bicycles or skating
Thank You
AZ Statute 13-1502

As three of us approached that sign the other day I stopped, pointed at it, and asked my playing companions if they thought it was all right for me to keep going. “The way I’m playing today,” I said, “I’m not sure I qualify as a golfer.”

Being the good friends they are they agreed, but since I had my own clubs they allowed that I might pass for a golfer if any official happened to wander by and see me on the course. Unless the official saw me swing, in which case I was on my own to explain what I was doing there. Friends—you can’t live with them and you can’t give them a shove as you walk by the lake on 18.

Since I wasn’t playing much golf that day, I spent the next couple holes wondering what my response would be if I came up to a sign that said:

JESUS FOLLOWERS ONLY
No slackers, skaters, backsliders or hypocrites
Thank You
Heaven Statute 10-7777

In spite of getting harassment rather than sympathy from my friends, the Golfers Only sign didn’t slow me down. I had paid my membership fee and I accepted the terms and conditions, so I belonged. That sign was not there to stop me or judge me, it was there to allow me in. The fact that on occasion I may not look or even act much like a golfer does not mean that I am not one. Whether I play better than my handicap or far worse, I am a golfer. I am not defined by my pals, by my scorecard, or even by my ability to hit a shot.

The same would be true with a Jesus Follower sign, except in that case I didn’t even have to pay. I got in for free because Jesus paid the price, and all I did was accept that and the grace that constitutes much of the terms and conditions of being his follower. The fact that on occasion I may not look or even act much like a follower of Jesus doesn’t mean that I am not one. My status is not defined by my failings, by my good works, or even by my ability to quote Scripture or pray in public. I simply am a Jesus follower, and the sign invites me in.

May you follow the path to the next tee with a sense of belonging, and may you follow Jesus—wherever he leads you—with confident steps.

Lewis Greer
July 15, 2014
Copyright 2014 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.