The headlines read, Newton Wins City Golf Tournament While Filpot is in Church. What had happened is that Tim Filpot was leading the city golf tourney into the final round on Sunday, and he had told his borther that he would help him start a church, teaching a Sunday School class for the first two months of that church. Filpot called in for his tee time, which usually for tournament leaders falls around 12 noon or 1 p.m. However, Tim was told his tee time was set for 10 a.m. Tim now had a dilemma. Should he play golf or teach? Tim called his father Ford, also a minister, asking What should I do?
Ah, anyone can teach Sunday School. Go win that golf tournament, his father advised.
Tim then looked his brother in the eye, and could see his disappointment. Tim made his decision. He chose not to finish the final round of his golf tournament, and decided to teach Sunday School.
Five years later, John Newton gave his life to Christ, and later he told Tim that in that moment at the golf course he got to thinking about his priorities in life, which led him to eventually giving his life to the Lord.
Was Tim Filpot right? Or was he being too rigid? Does God want us to worship on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday? How do we determine the difference between work and rest? Why did God command His people to take one day off every seven? The Sabbath not only affords an opportunity to protect us from ourselves and remind us of God, but also to remind others of Gods place.
God told Moses in Exodus 31:13, Tell the Israelites, You must keep the rules about my Sabbath, because they will be sign between you and me from now on. In this way you will know that I, the Lord, make you holy (CEV).
Our willingness to live what we profess, to demontrate what we claim, remind our world, that above our work, above our hobbies, above our interests, above our pursuits, there is a majestic God who has first claim on our lives. While many may reject that, many others are looking for folks who lives speak the truth of their convictions.