Steph Curry is one of the top basketball players in the world, and he’s worked extremely hard to become a 2X MVP and a 2X NBA Champion.
Like many great athletes, he also has abilities and interests in other sports…with golf being one of them. He recently finished fourth in a Pro-Am, but the stakes are a little higher this week as he competes in The Web.com Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae in Hayward, California.
This is one step below the PGA Tour, so he’s going up against professionals who are fighting to make it on the next level. There has been some controversy over Curry playing in this tournament because he’s out there instead of other more qualified players.
However, the reason he’s there is because of a sponsor exemption. They are allowed to give an entry to whoever they want – regardless of how deserving the golfer may be.
The sponsor exemption in general is used on certain people for different reasons, but ultimately it’s given freely to someone they want to be part of the tournament. It will be extremely interesting to see how Curry does when he tees off on Thursday.
As I think about this sponsor exemption for Curry, I see similarities when it comes to faith and salvation. Praise God that His grace and mercy allow us access to Him for eternity, and it’s not based on us being qualified or deserving enough.
We receive salvation and are included in His family because of our faith in the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. It’s not about our worthiness or skills or talent, or even our good works, but it’s a gift of exemption from the punishment for our sin.
This is absolutely incredible! But just like people have questioned and criticized Curry’s unqualified entry into the tournament, many people struggle with accepting God’s tremendous mercy.
They believe themselves or others are unworthy, and can’t get over the idea that someone who doesn’t have the “best scores” could gain access to heaven.
However, this shows how overwhelming God’s love is…and should bring us great joy when we remind ourselves and others that His offer of salvation is not based on having the “best scores.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 (AMP) says, “For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation].”
Today, as undeserving and unworthy followers of Jesus, let’s rest in the remarkable gift of God…and live in response to the eternal exemption we’ve so graciously been given.
I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I’m blown away by Your goodness and so thankful You’ve made a way for me to know You and spend eternity with You. I know I’m unworthy of Your grace and mercy, but I’m extremely grateful for the free gift of salvation. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.