Links Daily Devotional

MISTAKES: Lessons learned in 50 years of disciple-making (Part 7)

Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38, KJV)

I confess I was rooting for Jordan Spieth to win both The Open at St. Andrews and also the PGA Championship. Yet I rejoiced with Zach Johnson’s win in Scotland and Jason Day’s at Whistling Straits.

And with what Jordan called “the greatest loss of my life,” becoming the number one player in the world with his strong second.

I observed something both Johnson and Day possess that we as followers of Jesus would be wise to emulate.

Their capacity to focus only on the shot-at-hand.

It was laser-like.

If you watched any of the PGA Championship, it would have been difficult not to notice how Jason Day stared down the fairway, visualizing the shot he was about to hit. He did this shot by shot until he holed the final putt of four inches to win his first major.

Zach Johnson was similar. He won The Open because he did what he does better than anyone else… superb wedge play at the final hole and in the playoff. And, of course, his spectacular putt on the 72nd hole.

Both were gutty performances. Which afforded us who watched a good example of how to perform at one’s peak.

Last month I wrote about the mistake I made of losing focus on my ultimate purpose of life. As a good friend wrote me this month, “We get caught up in the good and miss the greater.”

My mistake has been to put service for Jesus above intimate fellowship with Jesus. Like Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration, I want to start building something for Jesus before listening, seeking his mind for what I am to do. It took a voice from heaven saying. “Peter, this is my beloved son, listen to him,” before he settled down and paid attention to what Jesus wanted him to hear.

Can you imagine what the United States or any nation of the world would be like if all of us reading this—all pastors, all leaders in church and para-church organizations, all followers of Jesus in Congress or important positions in business, the media, education and elsewhere—possessed a laser-sharp focus on Jesus like Zach Johnson and Jason Day possessed on each shot of their final holes?

And let this focus stem from a submissive spirit like that of Saul of Tarsus when he asked Jesus on the road to Damascus, “Lord, what would you have me do?”

It’s a great question for us all today. Let’s ask it to regain our own focus.

Jim Hiskey
August 25, 2015
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