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“When Did You Know You Had Won?”

Many of you may know that The Masters was played at Augusta National Country Club in Augusta, Georgia this past weekend. It is always a beautiful venue for golf and is one of the four major tournaments during the year.  And, as many PGA tournaments, The Masters has an international field of players.

I know there a many who say, “I couldn’t chase a little white ball around on grass and pay for it, much less watch someone else do it on TV.” For me, watching golf is an outlet, a release. I can just watch men and women show their skills with a golf club and relax from this world spinning around me. So when I got home from church on Sunday, a wonderful day of leading worship and preaching, teaching Sunday school, leading Session, I sat in my recliner and watched the final round of The Masters and relaxed.

Hideki Matsuyama, a player from Japan won the tournament. It was his first major win and the first time a Japanese male player had won a major tournament. Needless to say, he was overcome with emotion as he walked off the 18th green.

Following the tournament, they always have a ceremony for the winner and an interview. At The Masters, the interview is conducted in Butler Cabin. Hideki had to have an interpreter to help answer the questions. Jim Nance of CBS Sports asked him: “When did you know you had won?” Hideki said, “When my tee shot landed in the 18th fairway.”

I thought about that question from Jim Nance for a few more minutes. Not thinking about Hideki Matsuyama’s answer, but mine. “When did you know you had won?”

When did I know I had won the race of life? When did I know I was a member of the body of Christ? When did I know that I was a part of the family of God. When did I know that I was adopted as a son? When did I know that Jesus died for my sins and had forgiven me by my surrender. And there is the key word, surrender. When we surrender to Jesus as LORD, we can know we have won!!!

Romans 10:9 “…that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;…”
1 Corinthians 2:12 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,…”
2 Corinthians 4:14 “…knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you…”
Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,…”
1 Thessalonians 1:4 “…knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you;…”
1 John 2:3 - 5 “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:…”
1 John 4:2 “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;…”
1 John 4:13 “By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”
2 Timothy 1:12 “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.”

How did you know you had won? When you know that Jesus KNOWS you, He is your LORD! And then if anyone were to ask you how you know that you are saved, you can say, “Because my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ knows me.” With Jesus knowing you as your LORD, you will never hear Him say to you, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” Matthew 7:23

Isn’t it wonderful that our Lord Jesus doesn’t keep us guessing? Questioning, “Am I in or out?” We can know we have won the race of life and will dine at His table when we pass from this life to the next. Glory be to God.

And congrats Hideki on your first major!!! Great play at The Masters.

Blessings my friends,
Pastor Marty - HOPE Church Raleigh

Worship . Grow . Serve

The Hope Connection