There’s often one major obstacle to receiving a do-over from God: ourselves.
Our emotions may tell us that we aren’t good enough for God -- that we’ve squandered too many opportunities. But we must look beyond our emotions to the truth of the Scriptures. We can have another chance because God never gives up on us. In fact, he counted on the entire human race needing a do-over. That is why He sent Christ to die and rise again on our behalf. Because of the forgiveness of God, every day can be a new beginning.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Every kid who has scampered across a playground or jumped into a backyard ball game is familiar with this magical phrase.
A ball may have become stuck in a tree branch or sailed over a roof. Or a play was so controversial that the only recourse was for a fourth-grade batter to scream "do-over!"
Those powerful words gave the elementary school athlete a momentary rebirth.
"The do-over was one of childhood's most powerful rites, for it exerted our dominion over the laws of space and time," observes the Web site Streetplay.com. "The clock was rolled back, the game was restored to its exact status as before the contested event and play was resumed. It is with fond memories that we recall the do-over, a divine method of resolution, and contemplate the untold blessings it could bring if it were somehow extended into our contemporary lives."
Fortunately for Christians, a do-over is more than wishful thinking. The good news of the gospel is that God offers us a fresh start irrespective of our age and the number of skeletons in our closet. Although we can't transcend time and rewrite our personal history, we can use the wisdom of lessons learned and the favor of God to start over.
Instead of giving up when we fail, the Bible tells us we can "approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).
We should take advantage of the opportunity for a do-over every day.
Friday, February 1, 2008
The average person doesn’t know who they really are.
I’m not talking about amnesia. I am talking understanding our spiritual and ultimate identity in Christ.
The human race has always tried to find its identity in things other than God. People often try to identify with a particular career or lifestyle, with talent or success or with the approval of others. But what God says is much more important than these other standards of identity.
In Matthew 3, after Jesus was baptized, the Father spoke from heaven and said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Although we are only human, the Scriptures affirm that God has this same attitude about us. As believers in Christ we are called:
• Sons and daughters of God
• Members of God’s household
• God’s friends
• God’s beloved
• God's masterpieces
Understanding and embracing your true identity is the key to a life worth living.
The potential of too many believers is squandered, not by sin, but by living for what I call “lesser yeses.” What do I mean?
A “lesser yes” is something that may have some value, but does not echo in eternity.
We often find ourselves in the rut of living for “lesser yeses” when we allow our lives to be dictated by our circumstances. We may have a job we hate or a marriage that is struggling. Instead of seeking the power of God to change those circumstances, we submit to them. A “lesser yes” may also mean simply squandering the time and resources God has given us on the pursuit of personal pleasure.
But God is calling us to a “Greater Yes!” This is a cause that sets our hearts aflame and keeps us awake with excitement.
Is such a life possible? I am here to tell you that it is. Our circumstances and present condition do not have to dictate our potential or destiny.
Missionary Francis Xavier is credited with the quote, “Give up your small ambitions.” God is challenging us to set aside things that don’t really matter and to truly come alive by serving him.