Links Daily Devotional

Known for the Right Things

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35, NIV)

It remains to be seen just how far Hideki Matsuyama will go. After his repeat win at the Waste Management Open, the 24-year-old sensation has reached the fifth-ranked position in the men’s world rankings. This was also the fourth PGA Tour win for Matsuyama, the most ever by an Asian player.

We must, owing one another a debt of love, seize upon the defining traits of love as we find them in 1 Corinthians 13.What Matsuyama will be finally known for is out ahead of him, but what he is known for right now is his ability to repeatedly hit the ball close to hole and give himself chance after chance at birdie. His putting needs some sharpening and his short game is still progressing, but his total driving is top five on Tour and his ball striking is top ten. This man is known for knowing where the ball is going.

What we are known for is of no small importance. Solomon observed that “even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright” (Proverbs 20:11, ESV). Our lives are on display from the earliest age.

This idea that we are being watched continued deep into the New Testament, when both Paul and Peter wrote of the way outsiders (unbelievers) would come to respect us by the way we live our lives (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, 1 Peter 2:12 & 3:1-2).

And thus we are led both to the question of what we should be known for and the answer found in today’s central passage. We should, as followers of Christ, be known by our love. Notice, too, the aim and context of this love: one another. If we as believers love one another with the fullness of love’s expression as we find it in Scripture, the world will take notice.

A young man revealed to me days ago that he cannot always speak his mind among the men of a small group we both attend. The reason is that his politics are not the politics he finds prevailing in the conversations he hears among church members, and thus he is afraid to say what he thinks, even when he is confident Scripture is on his side. How can this be, brothers and sisters? “Perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). This young man cannot even utter his thoughts to test them before other believers—and perhaps receive a right correction—because he fears he will be chastised and even ostracized. Simply, that is not a love that will woo the world.

Rather, we must, owing one another a debt of love (Romans 13:8), seize upon the defining traits of love as we find them in 1 Corinthians 13: patience, kindness, unselfishness, humility, forgiveness, protection, trust, hope, perseverance. If these things mark the way we love one another, if these evidences of love are what we are known by, then we are Christ’s disciples and his light to the world.

Jeff Hopper
February 7, 2017
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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.