Links Daily Devotional

Links Daily Devotional editor Jeff Hopper talks with Links Players president Jeffrey Cranford about finding patterns for pursuing perfection.

A Bible study for today’s devotion is available for printout as a pdf file. Click here.

The Process of Perfection, Part 2

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2, NIV)

For some years now, a popular teaching method for golfers trying to strengthen their game employs the use of video. First, a player’s swing is videographed from a couple of different angles. Then the teacher will look at the video with the student and point out various positions and moves that are good or that need adjusting. But this process can be taken a step further with the addition of side-by-side shots, where a player’s swing is matched up against the swing of a tour player. Now we’re getting to the upper level of development!

When we first say yes to Jesus, we are much like the beginning golfer. The help we need is basic: here are the fundamentals, work this new practice into your life. All the while the Holy Spirit is there, bringing us along at the perfect pace. But because it is the Holy Spirit, he has an end goal in mind: that our character would look more and more like the character of God. So in keeping with that progression, what he most desires to reveal to us are the very elements of who God is, so that we might imitate God.

What a challenge! We know that in our sinful natures we are so far from God’s character. And yet the calling is set before us: “Be imitators of God.” We should not shrink from this any more than we shrink from layering a professional’s excellent golf motion into our swing. Will we attain that professional’s success? Unlikely. But we make an honest push in that direction.

You might want to know, then, where you should start. On your knees is a good place, asking the Lord specifically, “Please make me as you are.”

But this does not mean we progress blindly, for our Ephesians passage today provides some real help. We are to live a life of love—certainly that is godly. So we look to learn of love from God’s own Word. We find directions in places like 1 Corinthians 13 or John’s first epistle. Then we live that love. Of course, we also see examples of love, most powerfully the example of our Savior, whose love was not limited even by the prospect of death on a cross.

The call to perfection is surely great, but the idea that we can bring a fragrant offering to God presses us forward.

(PART 1 IN THIS SERIES: The Process of Perfection 1)

Jeff Hopper
May 1, 2015
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