Links Daily Devotional

The Worst Golf and the Best Score

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21, NASB)

I love my former pastor from Houston. A few years ago, I asked Dave to be our speaker at our annual fundraiser and also join us for the golf. I had no idea how frightened he was of the golf. He stressed over the golf a lot more than his talk.

He used this experience in a sermon illustration. This is a paraphrase of his remarks.

I had clubs that were made 25 years ago. A friend loaned me his new high-tech set for the occasion, and I intended to practice before we played. It had been seven years since I was on the golf course. But that did not happen. I stepped on the first tee and took the cover off the driver. Wow. Are you kidding me? I had never seen anything that large. It looked like a toy or a joke. And the ball; did the ball get smaller? How can I hit this small ball with this large club? Well, I didn’t. The ball scurried off into the trees, but not to worry. In this format, we only play the best shot and that was never my shot. On the third hole, one of my playing partners was telling us of a bone fishing trip he had recently taken with Jack Nicklaus. I thought,What am I doing out here?

On the fourth hole I missed the ball completely with that big driver. It was the worst golf I ever played in my life, and yet it was the best score I ever had. After my whiff, we went 300 yards down the middle of the fairway to hit our next shot! We birdied the hole! And then I had the thought of the day. Jesus does this for us. He takes our worst shot and experience and says, “Come up here and play my shot. It is easier from here. It is more exhilarating when you are yoked with me.”

God redeems our worst character and then pours his goodness into us.I have always loved today’s verse from 2 Corinthians 5:21. Some refer to this verse as “the great exchange.” It says that Jesus takes our sin upon himself to deliver us from the awful consequences, and then Jesus gives us his attributes. We love the fact that we get rid of our sin because Jesus has taken that upon himself, and, on top of that, we get his righteousness as a gift. We get what we don’t deserve. And on top of all this, God also adopts us into his family and bequeaths to us his immeasurable riches. Amazing but true.

We get to play his best shot. He takes our failure and sets us on the right path. He redeems our worst character and then pours his goodness into us. That is the reason he came. God knew we needed him. And that is the message of the Good News. He takes our worst and gives us his best in return. God knows our worst and yet still loves us the best. How is that possible? Only a loving God could do that.

If we could ever really understand this exchange, it would continue to change the directory of our lives forever. He desires so much to take our worst and give us his best! Let’s allow him to give us this precious gift too wonderful for words.

Randy Wolff
September 5, 2017
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