Links Daily Devotional

Abundance

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30, NIV)

Last Saturday’s assignment was not a difficult one. Having driven the three hours to the Monterey Peninsula the day before to catch a couple of rounds of the Champions Tour’s Nature Valley First Tee Open, the sun rose without interfering overcast on Saturday and the wind was just right for cooling. The golf course: Pebble Beach.

I don’t know what you know of Pebble Beach other than what you have seen on TV, but that is good primer. The coastal holes, the boats in the water, the characteristic cypress trees, the shimmering green of the well-kempt grasses—it’s all authentically beautiful.

But for the average golfer, the trouble looms in proportion to the glorious wonders. Your ball can find that water, those trees, the thickest of the grass, and the deepest of the bunkers.

Pebble Beach, like so many other great golf courses, provides a lesson in abundance.

Most of us are familiar with Jesus’ words about the life he offered. “I have come,” he told the disciples, “that they may have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). And perhaps because Jesus spoke these words set against the idea of life stolen by thieves, or because we are Westerners who equate abundance with a hearty holiday meal, our minds assume that what Jesus meant was that many material blessings would be ours. Even when we shun the happy-go-healthy notion of a prosperity gospel, it’s hard not to take Jesus’ words about abundant life as a promise of something more comfortable than the life we’re living now.

And then we encounter Mark 10. Here Jesus has told the rich young man that he must sell his possessions to gain eternity and added for the disciples’ sake that it no easy thing to enter the kingdom of heaven. Peter made sure that Jesus had taken note of the disciples’ own sacrifice: “We have left everything to follow you!”

It was here that Jesus replied that those who gave their lives for him and for the gospel would receive abundance. More specifically, they would receive a hundred times what they had given up—including trouble!

Isn’t it interesting that a rich life in Christ is like one of those grand golf venues, serving up abundance of all kinds? This may make you nervous, maybe even send you on your way like it did the rich young man. But for those who foresee in faith the final result—“in the age to come, eternal life”—the trade-off is worth every risk. The good may not outnumber or outweigh the bad, but it far outdistances it!

Jeff Hopper
September 30, 2015
Copyright 2015 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.