Links Daily Devotional

The Legacy of Calvin Peete

It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. (1 Timothy 1:15, NASB)

Calvin Peete died on April 29 at the age of 71. He won 12 PGA Tour events, including the Players Championship 30 years ago this year. His life was an extraordinary example of perseverance through many of life’s challenges, but most importantly, he was an example of God’s amazing grace. God had Calvin under construction for 71 years, and we all can learn a lot from this remarkable man.

His story started in a sharecropper’s field in Florida where he picked vegetables at a very young age. This eventually gave way to selling jewelry out of the back of his station wagon in parking lots. He took up golf at the age of 23 and earned his PGA Tour card nine years later.

In addition to his PGA Tour wins, Calvin won the 1984 Vardon Trophy for the lowest stroke average for the year, as well as leading the Tour in driving accuracy for 10 years in a row. Tiger Woods remarked on the Golf Channel that the most astounding statistic that he knows about Calvin is that for over three consecutive Memorial Tournaments at Muirfield Village, he never missed a fairway. Imagine that! Twelve rounds of golf without missing a single fairway!

But Calvin’s story is really God’s story. He was a humble man who was embarrassed when people would remind him of his remarkable accomplishments. He told Steve Eubanks of the Global Golf Post, “I just did what I did.” When Steve asked Calvin how he was doing, he simply remarked, “I am a saved sinner fighting the devil everyday.”

Isn’t that the message for all of us who are still under construction? We fight everyday to stay the course and follow God. Ruth Graham, Billy Graham’s wife of 64 years, died in 2007. The marker on her gravesite memorial testifies to the truth of this message. Ruth got this idea from a highway sign that she had seen. The memorial reads: “End of construction. Thank you for your patience.”

John Newton penned the classic hymn Amazing Grace in 1779 after years of running from God. At the end of his life, Newton told his audience this: “All I know is that I am a great sinner, and he is a great Savior.”

Dr. Jim Denison’s son, Craig Denison, from Dallas, recently stated in a blog: “God doesn’t want you to reveal perfection; he wants you to reveal the fact that in your imperfection he has loved you from the beginning with an everlasting love.” Calvin’s legacy is that he was a great sinner like all of us and that Jesus is a greater Savior. It has never been about how good we have been or how many tournaments we have won or how many accomplishments we have earned. It has always been about how a magnificent God continues to save sinners like you and me and Calvin. That is a legacy worth living for, and that is the reason Jesus came in the first place.

Randy Wolff
June 2, 2015
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