Links Daily Devotional

Our Heart’s Course

“Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever.” (Deuteronomy 5:29, NIV)

One of the most enjoyable things in life may be this: sharing something you love with someone new to the venture.

I love it because even I can make a birdie now and then.I can see how this would be true in any arena—cooking, finance, gardening, art, music—and it is certainly true of sports. This time of year I am working with my high school golf team, and a fresh face on our squad turned to me not long ago and said, “Coach, what do you love about the game?”

Perhaps you can hear in the way I’ve written the inflection that this is a young man who has been lovestruck himself. And he was looking to see if the romance still dwelt in the old coach walking beside him.

Well, of course it does. I love the game because I am able to share it with friends, because it provides a fresh challenge every day, because no two courses are the same and nearly all of them possess a good bit of beauty. And I love it because even I can make a birdie now and then.

What do you love about the game? I ask the question, because if our heart is in something we are far more likely to enjoy it and infinitely more likely to stick it out when the going isn’t easy.

When it comes to following the ways of the Lord, to clinging to the hard words of Jesus, our heart had better be in it, or we’re just not going to get very far. Not when the world offers so many alternate enticements. Not when there is an enemy who wants our affections for himself. Not when it’s a whole lot easier to be uncommitted and self-serving.

God knew all about these worldly offerings. He knew his people would be lured and they would lust after those allurements. But his own heart was with them, and he wanted their hearts to be with him: “Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me…”

That Old Testament plea hasn’t faded. It was renewed in the gospels when Jesus identified the greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…” It was advanced all the more when Paul wrote to the Romans, “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance” (Romans 6:17).

It’s a simple concept, really, and it endures. Indeed, it sparks a most penetrating question before you move on today: “Friend, what do you love about the Lord of your life?”

Jeff Hopper
March 1, 2017
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