Links Daily Devotional

The Wonderful Word

I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. (Psalm 119:16, NIV)

“Oh, sure, twist my arm and make me go to the golf course. I can’t imagine a worse fate.”

Those, my friends, are words you will never hear from me.

Yes, I’ve had my ugly days out there. I’ve both made a fool of myself and been made a fool of. I’ve maybe even uttered those infamous words, “I’m never playing this stupid game again,” but if so, it’s been a long, long time. I love golf, and it’s just so easy to get me out on the course.

We simply can’t let the reading and study of Scripture rest as an incidental or extra-curricular part of our lives.Certainly, though, there are circumstances that make it easier yet: I’ve completed my work for the week, you’re inviting me to play somewhere new, the weather is warm and breezeless. Ask me under these conditions and I just might hug you on the first tee!

I hope all this picture-painting is resonating with you. I hope you too delight in the game and find it even more appealing during certain little seasons. And I hope by now you’ve begun to forge a parallel between this love for golf and today’s little line from Psalm 119.

As it turns out, Psalm 119 is full of such appreciative statements for God’s Word—for his statutes, his precepts, his decrees. The author of this psalm was unabashed in his love for the Torah (the law and teachings of God). If nothing else, it should put our enjoyment of lesser things, golf included, to the test.

Wycliffe Bible Translators recently shared this quote from a Ugandan pastor whose church received more of the Scriptures in their own language: “We have been like half-blind taxi drivers who don’t see potholes… Now that we have the Bible, errors will be avoided.” There is so much conviction in that statement—the kind of conviction that leads to dedication (on the pastor’s part) and the kind of conviction that should lead to repentance (on our part). We simply can’t let the reading and study of Scripture rest as an incidental or extra-curricular part of our lives. It must be central, saving us from errors, leading us into a full measure of seeing God for who he is in us and through us.

I’m sure I’ll go on desiring an enjoyable round of golf. It’s one of the enduring pleasures of my life. But I pray that I never see it as valuable, or even as desirable, as the investigation and knowledge of the Word of the Lord.

Jeff Hopper
January 27, 2016
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