November 2013


We all need second chances.
We have all messed up, goofed up or broke down. None of us are perfect.
I am thankful for second chances, are you?

• Maybe your second chance is a health issue.
o Many a cancer or heart attack survivor knows the grace of second chances
o Every accident victim knows how bad their accident could have been – how “lucky” they are
• Maybe it is a relationship issue.
o This may be the toughest second chance to obtain.
o We need this second chance from people who are as messed up as we are
o We hurt people with our words and actions
 Gossip, lying, hyperbole, backbiting, slander,
 Fighting,
• Bullying covers both
 Passive-aggressive
 Blaming others for our failures, weaknesses and actions
 Possessive
 Abusive
 Addictions
 The list is endless
o People have been finding ways to hurt one another since the garden of Eden
o We like to think we are superior – better
 We may say we don’t think so but our actions say different
• When we think that others are an inconvenience
• When we do not take to time to understand
• When we bully someone else
• When we look dawn at the homeless or the addict or the elderly or the disabled or the poor or the rich or the differently shaded or the….?…..
o We are thinking we are superior to them
 They somehow are not worth our time
• Maybe it is a behavior issue.
o Broken laws
o Bad behavior
o Anti-social
• Maybe there is some other issue that you are dealing with

The good news is that God is the Lord of second chances.

God created us for a relationship with Him. Anything and everything that inhibits that relationship is called “sin” and is damaging to us and our eternity.

The good news is, that when we are at our worst, God is at His best.

I can almost picture God surveying the people of their creation in all our pride and arrogance; and through their pain and anger, I can feel their love for humanity pulse throughout history.

Christmastime is a season we give gifts to each other; funny, because it is not our birthday we celebrate. It is the gift of God’s love response to our failing we celebrate. It is the birth of Jesus Christ we celebrate.

Christmas is not about tinsel, trees and trimmings. Christmas is about the opportunity for second chances.

God sent His Son Jesus here for our benefit, but for His purpose of Love.

“For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son so that everyone who would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life” [– John 3:16] is more than a quote on a wall hanging or a feel good phrase for football games. It is God’s proclamation that Jesus is here to give us a second chance.

Romans 3: 21 – 26 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses[i] and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

We have all messed up
God gives us second chances – through Jesus.
Those great words of compassion “Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares us righteous”

We don’t deserve it
God does it
Jesus paid for it
We benefit

We can be made right with God. By GRACE alone through FAITH alone in CHRIST alone.

Do you need second chances? Seek God.

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Don’t over invest.

Blow pops are a quarter…..and they don’t last to long.

Chapstick is a dollar and it doesn’t last very long

Cars are thousands of dollars and last a few years

Houses cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars and last decades

Mt. Rushmore cost millions and will last centuries

The point…several

1. Don’t invest too much in too little

A. Make sure the relationship will last before you invest too much into it

B.  Don’t invest too much too fast…chances are it will be a bad investment

1.  Get a ring

C. If a deal looks too good to be true it probably is

D. Shifty used car salesmen used to put sawdust in transmissions so they would shift well….for a time…then fail spectacularly.   Those you date will do the same – they

will hide the flaws …for a while….then fail majorly.

2.  Be sure to “test drive” before you buy

A. Try many…..reject most…make sure the house isin the right neighborhood

B. see what styles and options you like

C. Do not settle for second best 3. If you buy the wrong thing you will be stuck with it until it wears out or you crash

A. Statistically…..you will date many more than the one you are with before you get

the right one

B. even if you do marry the first one….or an early model…statistics show a crash

coming

C. You are thinking I am just an old guy …that I don’t understand

1.  You don’t know how many times I have wrecked

2.  You don’t know how much I was hurt and how much hurt I caused

3.  I am not trying to stop you for stoppings sake….

I am trying to keep you from pain…..for your sake

I am trying to help you for your children’s sake

Who are you most afraid of?

 Very tough question

 I am not that afraid of death….because I know I will not die I am not afraid of illness because I already know this body is flawed and will not last much longer I do not fear accident or injury because God is in control and I can trust Him for help, healing and the ability to use any situation for good if I trust Him.

I am not afraid of politicians because I know that, ultimately, they are not in charge.

I am not afraid of the bogeyman because God is bigger I may worry about providing for my family in times of poverty, famine or unrest….but I trust God to provide I am not afraid of bullies, gossips or backbiters because they have no power or authority over me I do not give them.

I fear no man because I fear God….but I am not afraid of God…I trust God…I love God…I need God…I want God

Here is what I am most afraid of:  myself Will I make bad decisions?

Will My choices hurt someone….or myself?

Will I disappoint God?

 I am far more unstable and dangerous because I have an explosive flaw:  I am human and quite capable of horrific sin.

 I know what I have done before.

I know that I am capable of those things and much, much worse.

 I am far more dangerous to myself than any one or anything could ever be.

 The only real good in me is God.

He has forgiven me.

He has restored me.

He has saved me from myself.

 He is keeping me on the right path…usually.

He keeps me from repeating or resuming my past…usually.

My desire for Him keeps my focus on Him…usually.

 It is those “unusual” times that make me fear myself more than others.

 “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!”

“Fear not, for I am with you”. –  God

Fear is a wasted emotion if given to any thing or anyone else but self.