Links Daily Devotional

Never-Ending Basics

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3, ESV)

A good golf swing starts with the fundamentals. Let the acronym PGA serve as a friendly reminder to remember them: Posture. Grip. Alignment. You don’t have to be an athlete to have a good setup, but a good setup can make you look athletic!

Each day my awareness of my sin increases, but I also have learned that God’s grace is greater than my sin.Golfers at almost any level can recognize a quality setup when they see one. There is something different about their whole presence. Their posture is crisp, not rounded or with a big swale in their lower back, they look balanced on their feet; there is a slight flex in their knees, legs are in a strong position ready to use the ground as leverage; hands are on the club in a neutral fashion, with both hands evenly placed on the club; and feet, hips, shoulders are all matched up on the same line. I’d be remiss if I didn’t check these aspects on a player I am coaching or review them in my own practice.

There are a lot of moving parts in the golf swing past posture, grip and alignment. But when things go awry, a good teacher will go back to the fundamentals before diagnosing any other swing flaws. Fundamentals help keep our games in check and when we forget them, we are far more likely to stray from the course.

While PGA is often thought of as being the foundation of the golf swing, the gospel is the foundation of Christianity. I naively once thought that the gospel was merely the ABC’s of Christianity and that once I knew it I would move past it into more in-depth theology. I could not have been more wrong. Tim Keller says it well, “The gospel is not just the ABC of the Christian life but the A to Z.” My pride had kept me from seeing my daily need for the “good news.” Each day my awareness of my sin increases, but I also have learned that God’s grace is greater than my sin. There is forgiveness of sins because of Christ’s work on the cross. Hallelujah!

Every day is a day to celebrate the gospel and all the more as we are in Advent season. While the commercialization of Christmas can take our attention off Jesus, let us be reminded that we never outgrow the gospel message. God’s grace saves us, keeps us, and holds us fast. Our verse today upholds this message, reminding us that it is by God’s mercy that we have hope through his Son. Let us praise God for these double blessings—grace and salvation, mercy and hope!

We will struggle with our golf swings without consistency in the fundamentals of posture, grip, and alignment; more importantly, without the gospel central in our daily lives, we will struggle as we miss the opportunity to experience the surpassing peace, enduring love, and unspeakable joy that come from a personal walk with our heavenly Father.

Aimee Neff
December 15, 2016
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