Links Daily Devotional

Links Daily Devotional editor Jeff Hopper talks with Links Players president Jeffrey Cranford about falling into unhelpful remembrances.

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

Backward Thinking, Part 3

If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. (Hebrews 11:15-16a, NIV)

A friend hit the proverbial nail on the head the other day when he observed that, having grown used to golf on a well-manicured course, it really is no fun to return to the muni, with its burned-out fairways and pitted greens. No one considers it a treat to go back to what’s ugly, inferior, sad.

Amazingly, we can be captivated by memories of our former life—a life of sin!—remembering the pleasures and not the consequences.What we will allow ourselves, however, is a yearning for what we remember to be good—even when that means conveniently erasing everything negative surrounding our past experience. A golfer, for instance, might fondly think back on a birdie made at a particular hole that has otherwise been a real nuisance for him. A business owner can make the mistake of eying one good quarter to the exclusion of three weak ones and never make the adjustments necessary for long-term success. Such singular references can cloud our perspective and do damage to our decision making.

If we do not look back with honesty and balance, we risk becoming like the common Israelites, whose struggles in the wilderness sparked a nostalgia lacking true references. There was meat in Egypt, and tasty veggies. And surrendering to the complaint of their palates, the people began to grumble that even Egypt would be better than manna. Egypt, with its generations of slavery and oppression. This Egypt somehow looked good for the sake of a burger.

Among these people of old, however, were a handful who saw things differently. By not even bothering to think of the life behind them, they were not tempted to seize the opportunity to return. Rather, they set their eyes on what God had in store for them—even as Christ “for the joy set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2). In looking forward like this, they escaped the grip of unhealthy nostalgia and saw instead the fullness of God’s promises.

Amazingly, we can be captivated by memories of our former life—a life of sin!—remembering the pleasures and not the consequences. But God would have our eyes trained on heaven. He knows that those who really are heavenly-minded have much to offer in the way of earthly good, for they are not caught up in trivialities, pride quests, or selfish worries. Their eternity is assured, making their present a close walk with the Lord.

Jeff Hopper
October 30, 2015
Copyright 2015 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at

Backward Thinking, Part 8
Backward Thinking, Part 7
Backward Thinking, Part 6
Backward Thinking, Part 5
Backward Thinking, Part 4
Backward Thinking, Part 2
Backward Thinking, Part 1