Links Daily Devotional editor Jeff Hopper talks with contributor Tracy Hanson about the fact that God looks at our heart.

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

SEPTEMBER 18, 2015

MATTERS OF THE HEART, PART 6

“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 11:19, NIV)

Here is a small parable. In a large city blessed with many opportunities for recreation, a rundown municipal course was oddly juxtapositioned against a high-end country club. Driving through the area, you knew you were coming up on the muni because you could see its dirt-lined fairways through a chain-link fence. But the country club was surrounded by a high wall, crafted of beautiful stone.

An old golfer had spent his whole life playing the muni. It was all he could afford, but it was also what he had grown used to. He was comfortable there. But one day, as he emerged from his dinged-up sedan in the muni parking lot, a stranger approached him and said, “Wait a moment, my friend. Let’s not take your clubs out of the car here. Let me instead lead you across the way. I want you to play at my course today. In fact, I want you to play there everyday.”

You know where this story is headed, don’t you? It’s headed right through the gates of that fine country club. That old golfer was graciously given unmerited privilege to play where the grass was green and the greens rolled pure.

The old man was delighted, of course. But he also had memories. And it was not long before the fellow took to doing the most curious thing. When he came to the point on the course nearest the muni, he would sidle over to the wall, climb up on an old tree stump, stand on his tiptoes, and peer over the wall. He wondered what good things were happening where he used to “live.” He knew in his heart of hearts that not one bit of it was better than where he was now, but he turned his back on all the present wonder to snatch glimpses of the old.

The words of God through the prophet Ezekiel reveal that those who have come into saving contact with the Lord of glory have gone from death to life. Our old hearts were made of stone—inanimate and incapable. Our new hearts are made of flesh—alive and productive. From the day this happens, however, resistance comes from the old guard. This was our will, our command, and we have given our affections to another. The tug is strong. We must fight the urge to spend our days gazing back over the fence. The beauty of salvation is before us, not behind. The joy of eternity is yet to come. Thank God for your new heart. Then let it beat. Live in the life it gives.

** Special announcement: With great pleasure and excitement, we announce today the addition of Tracy Hanson to our Links Players staff as Director of Ladies Ministry. Tracy will continue to write bi-weekly devotions, as well as helping us create new resources for women’s Fellowships and coaching leaders in those Fellowships. As with all our regional staff, Tracy is supported by donations of those who share her vision for ministry. You may donate any time at our web site, indicating in the “Note to Links Players” that you would like your donation to go to the Ladies Ministry.

Jeff Hopper
September 18, 2015
Copyright 2015 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at Links Players.

Tracy Hanson spent 15 seasons on the LPGA Tour. She continues to enjoy athletic activity, along with travel, reading, and writing. For more information about Tracy, visit her website.

The Matheny Manifesto
Mike Matheny was just forty-one, without professional managerial experience and looking for a next step after a successful career as a Major League catcher, when he succeeded the legendary Tony La Russa as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012. Read more ».

2017 Links Player Magazine
Order your FREE copy of the 2017 issue of Links Players Magazine. See details ».

Current Newsletter
To sign up to receive the Face to Face Newsletter by postal mail, please use this form, or contact our office at (812) 372-0096 or (812) 390-7949, and we will see that you are added to our mail list.

Donate
If you would like to donate to the ongoing ministry of Face to Face by making a tax-deductible contribution, click here. For more information about Face to Face, please email us here, or contact our office at (812) 372-0096 or (812) 390-7949, and one of our staff will be happy to assist you.

Amazon Smile
Support Face to Face by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com.

Calling for Christ
Calling for Christ is a ministry for professional baseball umpires. Our focus is to love, encourage, and disciple umpires in their relationships with Jesus. Learn More »»