He shot a final-round 65, a major-record tying 63 in the first round, and tied the previous lowest aggregate score ever at an Open Championship with 267 for the week. But it wasn’t good enough. That’s right. Despite Phil Mickelson’s tremendous play at The Open, Henrik Stenson was even better…winning the epic duel down the stretch and taking home the Claret Jug.

It’s hard to believe that Phil’s performance didn’t end in victory after all he accomplished. One headline I read said, “Phil Mickelson’s Best Isn’t Good Enough in Epic Open Finale.”

That pretty much sums it up when considering he birdied the first hole after being down a stroke to start the day; had an eagle on the 4th hole; finished the tournament with a bogey-free round; and his second place finish was 11 shots ahead of third place. Even with those accomplishments, and as great as Phil was, it still didn’t cut it.

I see a thought-provoking parallel to our own lives when it comes to God’s grace and design for salvation. We can try to earn our way to right standing with God by doing amazing things on earth, but ultimately our best won’t be good enough. We can have an incredible resume and scorecard with all of our great accomplishments, but compared to God’s standard of perfection, we will always fall short.

Thankfully, because of Jesus and his willingness to die on the cross for us, we don’t have to rely on our good works getting us into heaven. Instead, we are offered grace, eternity, and salvation because of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV), For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

At the end of The Open Championship on Sunday, Phil Mickelson was proud of his outstanding play throughout the tournament, but his efforts still didn’t accomplish the goal.

As followers of Jesus, we can rest in knowing that we win because of our faith, not our works. Our faith drives us to do good works, but they don’t accomplish the goal. Jesus defeated death on our behalf, so we can walk daily in victory because of Him. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you so much for the gift of grace and victory you’ve given me through Jesus. Help me to walk confidently in faith today, remembering that the work has already been done. Please give me the mindset to do good works in response to Your goodness. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.