Links Daily Devotional

The ‘Glories’ of Men

What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14, NIV)

Regularly I follow the work of three young golf writers via their Twitter accounts. All are Christian men and sometimes quite open about this on their social media platforms, but their real job is to report on the events of each PGA Tour golf week. That is, they proclaim the glories of men.

The past several days they have been particularly busy, with the names of three men leaping forward for special attention. Rory McIlroy. Patrick Reed. Arnold Palmer.

We want the praises for any good we do to be passed on to the one who made us to do them.These aren’t The Big Three as we grew up to know them, but they are quite big indeed, and this week they have caused the crowds to roar and the congregations to weep. Their exploits will be remembered, their legacies enshrined.

And yet if these are the mountains of golf this week—the pinnacles, the peaks—I wonder whether we hear the echoes of God’s voice reverberating among them. Only with a trepidation accompanying respect would we dare in this hour to speak the words Jesus told a potential disciple: “Let the dead bury their own dead” (Luke 9:60).

Yet the glories of men pass quickly. Even men of glory die. The singing of their praises fades to a whisper, replaced by the anthem of another. “The rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business,” wrote James.

It is an uncomfortable way to consider our lives, this notion that we are only a mist. But in the stretches of time, it is true. If our glory days have not already come and gone, they will have done so soon enough.

How then do we go best about this life, if not in the seeking and satisfaction of our own glory?

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that those who follow him should let our light shine before others that they may see our good deeds and praise—give glory to—our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

If you are a “good person” doing “good things,” people will notice. This is the very reason so many words of love and appreciation have been spoken in recent days about Arnold Palmer, and he is deserving of these many accolades. But the difference for us who live under the reign of the ultimate King is that we never want the praises to feed our hearts or end with the etching of our gravestones. We want the praises for any good we do to be passed on to the one who made us to do them. This is what we mean when we say, “All glory to God.”

Jeff Hopper
October 5, 2016
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