Our verse for today comes from John 5:14, ” Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‘See, you have been made well. Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.’
Recently I watched the final round of the British Open golf championship. At the conclusion of Saturday’s third round, two golfers had set themselves apart as clear favorites to win. Those two leaders had opened up leads of 6 and 5 shots over the third place golfer, and nothing sort of some ridiculously great play by a challenger would make the final round more than a two- man race. And what occurred on Sunday was ridiculous, except that it wasn’t performed by one of the golfers chasing the leaders. No, the other-worldly play was exhibited by the two leaders themselves. Hole after hole, these two men played some of the greatest golf ever played in the final round of a major tournament. And when it was all said and done, the runner-up had distanced himself from the third place golfer by a staggering 11 shots, and the winner had set a new scoring record while besting second place by an additional three strokes. Sometime later, as the sports talking heads began to fill the airwaves, a debate arose as to whether one would prefer to play magnificently and lose, or to play mediocre and win. Evidently, some were saying that it was actually worse to play decently yet good enough to beat all others and win the greatest golf tournament in the world than it was to play exceptionally and lose.
Now, I don’t know if they would really prefer playing well to winning, or if they merely took that stance for the cause of having something to talk about. But for the lame man whom Jesus healed, there was a real decision to be made. Sin no more, or have something worse than 38 years of being crippled befall you. What that might be, I’m not sure I want to know. And I hope he didn’t, either. And for us, that’s partly the problem. We aren’t convinced that our compromises and lukewarm allegiance will have any effect at all on the days ahead. And for the ills and troubles that we do encounter, we don’t seem to connect them with anything that might have gone before. But there is a worse, and a better. And your nearness to Christ affects it all.
As we seek Him today, see how today can impact tomorrow, and strive for the maturity in Christ to impact it for His honor.