Links Daily Devotional

Diligence and Discipline

For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:8, NASB)

I started playing golf at the age of six. My dad would pour out a plethora of practice balls and tell me that if I hit them all, he would buy me a red soda water. That was quite an incentive for me. By the age of ten, this game of golf had become my passion and my life. I wanted to spend hours hitting those balls, even if I didn’t get a red soda water.

I became so devoted to this game that I tried to play golf for a living for five years. After playing for 66 years now, I wonder how many hours I have spent at a golf course and how many balls I have hit. Yet through all that devotion and time, I still hit some that we can’t find, and now they don’t even go that far.

Our responsibility is making ourselves available to be filled. Jesus then uses this filled vessel for his purposes.Malcolm Gladwell illustrates the necessity of discipline and devotion in his book Outliers. He explores success stories like the Beatles and Bill Gates and attributes their success to what he calls the 10,000-hour rule—working at something for roughly 20 hours a week for 10 years. The Beatles played more than 1,200 concerts in Germany prior to becoming famous. Bill Gates spent 10 years in the family garage studying a computer before launching the computer revolution.

At our recent Links Players staff meeting, Jeff Cranford explored a passage in Exodus that really impacted me. The context of his message concerned the grand opportunity we all have at Links Players to make a difference and change the conversation. Jeff gently reminded us (Links staff as well as leaders in Fellowships) that we cannot give out what we do not possess. Paul told Timothy in our verse for today that time with God is profitable for all things.

Jeff cited this passage from Exodus 33:11: “Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.”

The tent was the holy place where Moses and Joshua would go to find the presence of God. When Moses would enter the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend over the tent and the Lord would speak to Moses. We all need a place (a tent) to hear from God and be filled with his message. Often. And here is the key point: it is not just for our own edification and filling; it is for ministry to those around us. When we are filled with Jesus, we have a unique opportunity to spill Jesus on others. The filling and time in the tent takes devotion to our goal. The filling comes before the spilling. Our responsibility is making ourselves available to be filled. Jesus then uses this filled vessel for his purposes. Joshua would not depart from the tent until he was filled. He wanted to hear from God.

The filling takes time, diligence, and discipline. It is not just a good idea, it is a necessity. Do you have a tent or a place to meet and hear from God daily? It can change your life and the lives of those around you. God used Joshua mightily after this time in the tent to minister to the children of Israel at a critical time in their history. Our time is now.

Randy Wolff
March 2, 2017
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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.