Devotional: September 5th
I pride myself on being a golfer. I am not just someone who plays golf or who owns a set of clubs and maybe gets out on the course once or twice a year. I truly feel that there is a difference between those who are golfers and those who play golf. I feel that the difference is a marked one that shows up in a number of areas. Those of you who are golfers probably feel much the same as I do. Those of you who just play golf may get a rude awakening.
First of all, the golfer knows the game. He may watch it on television, but his way of playing the game is not based on what he sees the pros do. His way of playing the game arises from his joy for the game. He knows when to be silent. He knows when to be ready to hit and when to take his time. He may not be the best player in the world, but he works hard to play ready golf so that he is not keeping others from enjoying the sport. He adheres to the golf adage that his place on the course is "right behind the group in front of him rather than right in front of the group behind him."
The golfer will rent a cart, but he refuses to ride back and forth to balls choosing instead to be dropped off at his ball while his cart partner goes on to their ball to be ready to play. The golfer knows the rules of golf within reason. When he tees off, unless there is an agreement how many tee shots are permissible at the outset, he takes his tee shot. Mulligans are not the prevailing practice of a golfer unless there are extenuating circumstances.
There is also a difference between Christians and those who "play church." The Christian knows the Lord Jesus Christ having been baptized into Christ that He might identify with His death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:2-6) and "put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27) having fulfilled all righteousness as Christ did (Matthew 3:15). The Christian knows to be prepared for opportunity and to seize it (2 Timothy 4:2). The Christian may not be the best person in the world but they are working on it (Philippians 3:12-14).
The Christian does not draw their strength from themselves, they rely on God for their strength (Philippians 4:6-8). As such they never miss an opportunity to gather with others of like precious faith (Hebrews 10:19-25). The Christian lives by one truth. "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20 By the grace of God, I pride myself that I am a Christian.
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