Links Daily Devotional

Links Daily Devotional editor Jeff Hopper talks with family court judge Tim Philpot about his role in administering justice.

A Bible study for today’s devotion is available for printout as a pdf file. Click here.

A Life Lived in Fellowship, Part 6

Mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13b, NIV)

I wonder if we might be aided today by a lesson in the obvious. Here goes: It’s not your best plan of action to hit a putter off the tee. We won’t dig too deeply here, because the reasons are plain, but a putter is designed with a very small face and a much different swing weight for a reason. It is meant for hitting shorter, softer shots than the blasts you wind up to hit with your driver. In fact, we might put it this way: your clubs are designed to be played in a particular order, with a strong relationship to your distance from the hole. That is, generally speaking, you’ll hit the lower lofted clubs from farther away.

It is in idealism that we often find the nearer truth to who God is.In our accompanying video today, Judge Tim Philpot suggests that there is a similar order to our understanding of God, to our theology. This does not mean that God changes but that the way we come to see him becomes more rounded and more intimate as our life with him goes on.

Tim suggests that first we see God as Judge, an arbiter of right and wrong. Then we come to know him as Father, the one whose care for us is good, both in its discipline and its mercy. Finally, we land in a place of deep connection—God is the one whom we “marry,” our Bridegroom. All of these titles have biblical support, and while we may progress through them in our understanding, each maintains a merit throughout our lives.

This is not a novel suggestion. Children often see their parents in the same way. As wee ones, we find in our parents the code of conduct that is acceptable and modeled; our parents are the key prescribers of right and wrong in our early lives. As we move into our teen and young adult years, though, we begin to recognize the sacrifices behind the provision of our parents and also the wisdom of their instruction on various (if not all) matters. Eventually, though we will still always love them as Mom and Dad, we do so with something much more akin to devoted friendship; there is an endearment.

Now you may think that this is an idealistic view of the child-parent relationship. And you are right. But it is in idealism that we often find the nearer truth to who God is. It’s a reasonable approach because God is the ultimate ideal!

Lives lived in healthy fellowship never halt at judge-accused. Instead, they move to family, friends, and covenanted lovers. This is true with people and with God.

Jeff Hopper
February 10, 2017
Copyright 2017 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at

Other devotions in this series:
A Life Lived in Fellowship, Part 1
A Life Lived in Fellowship, Part 2
A Life Lived in Fellowship, Part 3
A Life Lived in Fellowship, Part 4
A Life Lived in Fellowship, Part 5
A Life Lived in Fellowship, Part 7