Links Daily Devotional

Present with Christ

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NLT)

How much do you love golf?

I know some Links Players who would play seven days a week, except their clubs are closed on Mondays! When you post more than 280 scores a year, that’s loving golf!

I sat next to the body of my aunt just hours after she passed. And while her earthly body was alongside me, her soul was not there.I love playing golf a lot, too, but not like I love my family. I have a wife, two children, a son-in-law, and a daughter-in-law-to-be. I am also blessed with three grandsons. If someone were to ask me to give up one of them, you know what I’d say: NO!

What struck me in the New Living Translation of today’s well-known verse are the first eight words: “This is how God loved the world.” That’s not just a few people we’re talking about. It’s you, me, our friends, our loved ones, our non-loved ones, and everyone else.

One person I know that Christ died for was my aunt. She was like my second mom and last week she went home to be with the Lord. How do I know this—that she is with Jesus? First, there is her commitment. My aunt accepted Jesus as her Savior and lived with him as her Lord. Second, there is this promise of life after death with Christ: “For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:7-8).

I sat next to the body of my aunt just hours after she passed. And while her earthly body was alongside me, her soul was not there. How was this possible? Only through the love of God. Only by his sending his Son to die for us that we might receive him and be saved, living into eternity with him rather than perishing without him.

I told you earlier that I could not imagine giving up my loved ones. And yet here was God giving up his Son Jesus to die for us. And he did it for no reason of our own. Look at Romans 5:6-8: “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners… But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”

I must confess: I can’t match God’s love. I can’t even understand it! All I can do is latch on to a few words that try to capture it: Unconditional. Undeserved. Amazing! If I can get hold of that much, I can believe him. I can have eternal life because he died and because he lives. So can you.

Dereck Wong
November 16, 2015
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