Links Daily Devotional

Links Players president and teaching professional Jeffrey Cranford tells us what he'd say to someone new to golf and someone new to the faith.

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

From the Beginning 1: Getting Started

“If you obey my commands, you remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” (John 15:10, NIV)

The texts are still coming. My high school golf season as a coach ended three months ago, but I have a nut on my hands (you know like I do that when it comes to golf, being a nut is a good thing!). This young man has been playing just about a year now, and he’s seeing enough success and enjoying it so much that’s he’s even undaunted by our 100-degree days. I’ll find him on the range in the hottest part of the afternoon.

A lot of people will concede Jesus’ place in history. Many like him.It’s in the evening, though, that his texts arrive. He reports his birdies—at this stage, they’re still a really special occurrence. And he’s got questions. The latest: Where exactly is the grip supposed to rest in my left hand? You see, he’s moving beyond the beginning stages of getting the ball airborne and avoiding the three- and four-putts. Now he’s refining.

The process of faith is much like this. Though “the hour I first believed” is beautiful and life-changing, there are so many hours after that to be lived. What am I supposed to do with them?

As we get started, however, the impetus of faith is quite different than the impetus of one’s golf development—or that of any other hobby or game. The introductory questions about a hobby might be these: What do I enjoy about this, and what do I want to get out of it? You don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer or a master painter to enjoy, and even discipline, yourself with regard to swimming or painting.

With our faith, the questions come from a different direction. They come from Jesus. “Do you believe in me and what I am offering you? Do you love me? Are you willing to follow me?”

A lot of people will concede Jesus’ place in history. Many like him. But this is like saying, “Yes, we have a PGA professional at our club. He’s a good guy and seems to help a lot of people.” You can hear the stop sign in those words when they are left like that. Go on. Do you believe this pro is the one who will change your game? Do you love the way he goes about his business? Will you do what he tells you to do in order to get better? These are questions of faith and discipleship. They are the questions Jesus is asking you. If you’ve never thought through the answers before, today may be the most important of your life.

Jeff Hopper
August 18, 2017
Copyright 2017 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at

Other devotions in this series:
From the Beginning 2: Be Encouraged
From the Beginning 3: A Dry Season