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Every new golf season presents new temptations to replace my trusty go-to “stick” . . . my putter, named Arnold. Have you noticed how our infatuation with item or opportunity or person “next” has slid into so many of our choices? Concerning careers, 80% of Americans are unhappy in their jobs . . . concerning leaders, you can hardly tell the difference between lead pastors and NFL head coaches when it comes to the need to “replace” . . . and concerning relationships, the statistical divorce rate does not even begin to account for the many legally married couples who may reside physically at the same address, but have long-since replaced each other with jobs, hobbies, entertainment, food etc.
Left unchecked, our pursuit of replacement not only pushes God Himself to the back page of our life, the obsessive compulsive desire to replace can become The god. God is not surprised . . . He is well acquainted with our fickle love, our short-sighted lustful pursuits, our attempt to medicate the pain and hardship of life with replacement “next”. When I have found myself empty at the end of a chase . . . at the end of a page-turn . . . I have found a Savior who mercifully is not focused on shame or condemnation, but on healing, embrace . . . I am reminded all over again that we are the apple of His eye as is underscored in Romans 5:7-8,
“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!”
This is David “JB” Miller reminding you that Jesus Christ has never once thought about replacing us . . . except in one place. There was one stick He offered to take out of our hand . . . He allowed His hands not just to hold and carry it, but to be nailed to it. He allowed His blood to be spilled on it. From that very stick He extends forgiveness and eternal life to people just like you and I . . . and even though we have foolishly tried to replace Him . . . it is through that one stick that we are made secure once and for all . . . from a life of wavering between . . .
. . . Arnold and the replacements.