“One of my neighbors is quite a golf fan,” Stan commented one morning.” He’s not a particularly good golfer himself, but he loves to watch professional golfers in person and has been fortunate to attend all sorts of major professional tournaments.”
“Good for him,” I replied. “Do you know if he has a particularly fond memory of any tournament?”
“We were talking about that just the other day,” Stan said, “and he told me a story about when he was able to attend the Ryder Cup.”
Since I’m not much of a golf fan myself, I said to Stan, “Remind me what that is.”
“It’s a men’s golf tournament that generally occurs every two years,” Stan replied, “between a team for the United States against a team for Europe.”
“So it’s a big deal?” I responded.
“Big deal,” Stan said, “and the story my neighbor told me is that he had been at some sort of charity event where he won two tickets for the whole tournament.”
“Two tickets?” I replied. “Did he invite you?
“Don’t I wish!,” Stan said. “No, he took his son and they had a wonderful time.”
Continuing, he added, “And it seems that these were not just ordinary tickets. They were VIP passes that gave my neighbor and his son virtually unlimited access to every single aspect of the tournament between the two teams.”
“My neighbor said it was,” Stan replied, “and he was also able to pass along a spiritual lesson about the VIP passes.”
“A spiritual lesson about VIP tickets to the Ryder Cup?” I asked. “What was that?”
“It seems that while they were at the tournament they wore their passes around their necks and the passes said something like, ‘VIP Unlimited Access’.”
“So?” I replied. “What’s the spiritual lesson in that?”
“My neighbor pointed out,” Stan said, “that’s just like what believers have in their relationship with God through the finished work of Christ on the cross. We have unlimited access to God.”
“And,” he continued, “my neighbor emphasized the part that he had been given the tickets to the golf tournament; he didn’t buy them, and he didn’t do anything to earn them. They were given to him because he was present when they were given away.”
“Sounds just like all of us who believe,” I replied. “We have unlimited access to God and we didn’t do anything to earn or deserve it. The only thing we had to do was to accept it as the free and gracious gift from God.”
“Bingo and amen!” Stan replied with a smile. “I don’t know about you, but I do know about me. I’m a VIP in God’s eyes. Not perfect, but Jesus thought I was to die for!”
Bible verses to consider:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.
For through Him we have our access in one Spirit to the Father. Ephesians 2:18.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me.” John 14:6.
Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for providing access to you through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Thank you for those who brought me to the truth so I could accept your free and gracious gift of access to you. I confess that too often I don’t choose to claim the direct access you have granted me while you keep me on this side of eternity. I do that because I want to focus on something other than you. Please forgive that foolishness, and please help me in following every step of your lead in pursuing all of the access you allow me to have so I will, in fact, draw ever closer to you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you chosen to have direct access to God for eternity in the sense of being in His presence forever? If no, what’s holding you back from accepting that free and gracious gift? If you do have the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing in pursuing the direct access you have to God on this side of eternity? If you are not pursuing that direct access in an ever-deepening personal relationship, why is that? If you want to make changes in how you pursue the access to God that is available, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?