Links Daily Devotional

The Ultimate Apprenticeship: Build on a Solid Foundation

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” (Matthew 7:24, NLT)

After Henrik Stenson’s incredible record-setting performance at the Open Championship last month, I had someone ask me if I liked Stenson’s golf swing. My response was that it would be hard to teach most people to swing like him, but I love what he does. He is a big, strong man that has built a very efficient golf swing around what appears to be a very solid and stable lower body. Next time you watch him on television, take notice of how solid his legs are and how well balanced he stays throughout his swing.

What mattered more to Jesus than equipping his disciples with knowledge of all the scriptures and the ability to beat the Pharisees in a theological debate was submitted obedience to him as Lord.You are probably not going to be able to hit your 3-woods 300 yards like Henrik does, but we would all benefit from making sure we have stability and balance throughout our golf swings.

So if the lower body is the foundation of the golf swing, have you ever considered what might be a solid foundation for your faith?

It will probably be a surprise to most of you that it is not any piece of knowledge, theology, or doctrine. Though those things may be of great value, when we look to the recorded teachings of Jesus in the Bible we find a different emphasis in his apprenticeship of the disciples. When he was teaching them about a solid foundation early in his time with them he said, “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?… anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation.” (Luke 6:46,49a)

What mattered more to Jesus than equipping his disciples with knowledge of all the scriptures and the ability to beat the Pharisees in a theological debate was submitted obedience to him as Lord. Many Christians today can quote passages of Scripture, argue areas of their faith, check all the boxes at church, and refer to Jesus as “Lord,” but never really put into practice what he actually taught. Many Christians never truly get apprenticed (the word disciple simply means student or apprentice) by Jesus. We never learn to obey and actually put into practice what he taught.

If I asked you, “How good of a golfer will you become if you watch Golf Channel Academy for an hour every weekend and read a couple magazine articles on the golf swing but never actually hit a golf ball?” The answer is obvious. You won’t get any better, you just might become more obnoxious to your friends!

So why do many of us fool ourselves to believe we are becoming better Christians by going to church for an hour every Sunday and reading the occasional devotion or passage of scripture if we don’t actually follow Jesus in practice? If you want to become more like Jesus, you are going to have to learn to imitate him and actually do what he says. That is the only way to build your spiritual house on solid rock.

Josh Nelson
August 23, 2016
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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.