Bible · Christian · Faith · Grace · Jesus

2nd Chance, 3rd, 4th, 5th etc.

Hope has a name’ (There is a Song, I Know it Well – B. Cruse, E. J. & R. Williams)

The writer of Hebrews reminded the Hebrew Christians and subsequently us, what God had promised and keeps promising;

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’ (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).

God even told Joshua the same thing through Moses, when Moses had spoken to the Israelite nation, prior to them crossing the Jordan;

It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will never leave you or forsake you’ (Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV).

God even re-affirmed this after the death of his servant Moses;

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you’ (Joshua 1:5 NIV).

Do we really believe this?

Are we content, happy with our lot, as it is?

We should be, for God in his infinite wisdom and love has given us everything that we need!

for I (Paul) have learned to be content whatever the circumstances’ (Philippians 4:11 NIV).

For various reasons, (pigheadedness really), I spent some time away from the church. I knew best, I didn’t need God for help I could get by quite well on my own. I thought, why do I need God, I’m not ill, I don’t need anything, and so I struck out not really knowing what I was doing, blinded by self-righteousness and self-worth, thinking I had it all sown up.

Wrong, wrong, wrong! Oops!

When I came back to God, there he was, waiting for me, the prodigal son to return, and he welcomed me back with open arms.

I had not really thought about the fact that he was with me throughout it all (how embarrassing!). But that should have been obvious for the verses above say that we will never be alone.

Later, I remember being in a Bible study group one night when that fact hit me, that God had never left, and I saw Jesus, as clear as anyone else present, sitting in a arm-chair opposite me, and he simply looked up and across at me and said;

But I never left, I was always here”.

That sentence floored me!

I looked back at my life, and realised that through the entire section of my life, when I thought that things had been going wrong and there were blockages in the way causing me grief and aggravation, that they had been sent by God to ‘give me an out’, a way back to him and his loving care.

How could I have been so blind!

I thought of the great king David, and how he had sinned, yet God still forgave him.

Save me, O God! O God you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you’ (Psalm 69:1 & 5 ESV).

As the Psalmist David wrote, so we should know that God knows us, intimately. There is nothing that we can plan, do, or think, that God will not know! (Psalm 139).

God loves us so much, that he sent Jesus to die for us (John 3:16) so no matter what we do, he will always be prepared to take us back, just like the prodigal son, (Luke 15).

You’ve never gone too far that God can’t redeem you, restore you, forgive you, and give you a second chance’ (Lysa TerKeurst).

We’re given second chances every day of our life. We don’t usually take them, but they’re there for the taking’ (Andrew Greeley).

An infamous slave trader was once known to have said;

My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things: that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour’ (John Newton – https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1701-1800/john-newton-discovered-amazing-grace-11630253.html – accessed 27/04/19).

It is true, we have all sinned and fall short of where we can be in God, (Romans 3:23). We live in a broken world. God made the world, but then we broke it. But there is hope, Jesus will come back, and when he does, it will all be fixed.

We love and serve a God of second chances (and in my case 3rd, 4th, 5th etc. thankfully).

Don’t think there are no second chances. Life always offers you a SECOND CHANCE… It’s called TOMORROW’ (Nicholas Sparks).

We should remember that we are not alone, we have family and friends, we may also have church family and church friends, but we also have an awesome heavenly Father that wants the best for us (Jeremiah 29:11) and will always be with us;

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you’ (Joshua 1:5 NIV).

We should remember that we are all human and so prone to making errors, but by having faith, we can have Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him, and the grace offered to us is, God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense, yet it is given freely to us by God, when Jesus, Jesus Every Sinners Ultimate Sacrifice, died for us.

We need to remember that we are saved, saved by that ‘Amazing Grace’ that John Newton wrote about, the same grace that he accepted, the same grace that if freely available to us all.

Every second a seeker can start over, for his life’s mistakes are initial drafts and not the final version’ (Sri Chinmoy).

Every moment of your life is a second chance’ (Rick Price – https://www.happypublishing.com/blog/second-chances-quotes/ – accessed 27/04/19).

We have hope because God will always offer second chances to those that seek him and turn from their sin. He will forgive us and accept us back and hold nothing against us (Micah 7:19).

God is our Rock!

IMG_0133

 

When my heart is overwhelmed
I will look to You alone
God my rock, God my rock, God my rock
You will stand when others fall
You are faithful through it all
God my rock, God my rock, God my rock

In the blessing, in the pain
through it all You’ve never failed me

You are the strength of my heart
You are the strength of my heart
I can rely on You, I can rely on You
You are the joy of my life
You are my song in the night
There is no one as true
Jesus I trust in You

When I’ve struggled to believe
You have not let go of me
God my rock, God my rock, God my rock
Carried through the darkest storms
You have held me in Your arms
God my rock God my rock God my rock

God My Rock

Paul Baloche / Brenton Brown

download

 

Father we thank you for being our rock in times of trouble. We also want to take this time to thank you for being our rock in the good times too. Lord it is so easy to forget you in the good times, and only call on you when things are rough and do not seem to go our way. Help us to fully trust you, and live completely in the hope of the resurrected Jesus.

Amen

Christian

You forged these chains in life – J. Marley

anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person‘ (2 Corinthians 5:7 NLT)

When we decide to be in Christ, we are made into a brand new person! Saved, redeemed, made new, no blemishes, white as snow, with no condemnation, the past has gone!

Amen to that!

After Jesus had risen, the apostles were testifying about the resurrection and the Good News, and the reason they were able to do this, was nothing to do with their faith or strength, the reason was, ‘God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all‘ (Acts 4:33 NIV).

Paul, when writing to the Romans, said, ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God‘ but we are, ‘justified by his grace as a gift‘ (Romans 3:23 & 24 ESV). A freebie, a free gift, a free pass, gratis, with compliments. We cannot earn grace, we cannot buy grace with good deeds, grace truly is a free gift from God!

And these wonderful words say it all really. ‘Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me‘ (John Newton 1725-1807). and it is true, it is grace has saved us all.

Chris Tomlin, S. Roto, D. Pritchard-Blunt and L. Giglio, added to the beautiful word by John Newton;

My chains are gone, I’ve been set free.
My God, my Saviour has ransomed me,
And like a flood His mercy rains.
Unending love,  Amazing grace

We have been set free! We have done nothing, Jesus did it all, by dying for us for our sins. We were prisoners to sin, and Jesus said that he had been, ‘sent to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind‘ (Luke 4:18 NIV).

Chains were generally used to keep prisoners from escaping, or sometimes for keeping unruly people ‘in check‘. Jesus met a man, who was not like most normal men, he was possessed, ‘with an unclean spirit‘, his name, ‘Legion, for we are many‘ he said (Mark 5:2 & 9 ESV). Jesus broke this man free from his bondage to the spirit, by saying, ‘Come out of this man, you evil spirit‘ (Mark 5:8 NLT).

The Israelite’s felt that they live  like, ‘prisoners suffering in iron chains‘ (Psalm 107:8 ESV), the reason the felt this way was because they had rebelled against God.

We all at times, rebel against what God wants for us, because we think we know better, but, he has a master-plan for everyone. ‘For I know the plans I have for you… … plans for good… … to give you a future and a hope‘ (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT).

Jesus can break us free from our chains of bondage, if only we will let Him. All we have to do, is look for Him, ‘You will seek me and find me, when you seek with all your heart‘ (Jeremiah 29:13 ESV).

Are you, and I prepared to seek today, the ‘Author of Life‘ with all of our hearts?

If we do, ‘I will be found by you, declares the LORD‘ (Jeremiah 29:13 NLT).

Nike have this part just right.  Just do it!  Nike

you-make-a-new-life-by-making-new-choices-quote-1

 

If you’ve been walking the same old road for miles and miles
If you’ve been hearing the same old voice tell the same old lies
If you’re trying to feel the same old holes inside
There’s a better life. There’s a better life

If you’ve got pain. He’s a pain taker
If you feel lost. He’s a way maker
If you need freedom or saving
He’s a prison-shaking Saviour
If you’ve got chains. He’s a chain breaker

We’ve all search for the light of day in the dead of night
We’ve all found ourselves worn out from the same old fight
We’ve all run to things we know just ain’t right
And there’s a better life. There’s a better life

If you’ve got pain. He’s a pain taker
If you feel lost. He’s a way maker
If you need freedom or saving
He’s a prison-shaking Saviour
If you’ve got chains. He’s a chain breaker

If you believe it. If you receive it. If you can feel it. Somebody testify

Chain Breaker – Jonathan Lindley Smith / Mia Fieldes / Zach Williams

 

download

Lord at this time we thank you for sending your Son to break our chains and set us free. We know that we still do wrong, and that this hurts you. Help us to see your path for us and to know your will for us. Help us to rely on your strength, may we be more of you and less of us. Help us Father, Abba, help us to be what you know we can be.
Lord we pray for all people around the world that are suffering, whether those who are being persecuted, for their faith, may they have mustard seeds of faith that will grow into mighty trees. May their faith multiply until all around them can see and witness to their faith, may nothing get in the way. May your glory be seen by all.
Lord we pray for all Christians that cannot for various reasons, get to a Church to worship you, may they find peace and comfort in their situations                                                                      and places where they can and do meet with you.

Amen

Christian

The Whole World Needs Him

Christ for the whole wide world‘ (Hattie Bell Allen 1896-1981)

In everything that we do, every relationship that we have, every decision that we make, we should always consider the fact that we are children of the Living God! A few years ago, people started to were bracelets with the letters W.W.J.D., and the letters stood for, ‘What Would Jesus Do?‘ if every Christian would act like this, then the world would be a much better place.

Living our life, considering how Jesus would react, how He would deal with a situation; how He would speak, listen, act and love, would show His light and love to the world around us. Unfortunately, being human means that this is not easy. Jesus, when teaching about enemies said that we are to love everyone including our enemies, then people will know that we are, ‘children of the Most High‘ (Luke 6:35 NLT). Loving people that we like and care for is easy, but loving the people that we do not get along with, the people who annoy us, the people who spread gossip about us, that is the difficult part, but we are called to do it. We can only do these things if we are with God, ‘apart from me [Jesus] you can do nothing‘ (John 15:5 NIV); if we are separated from God, we do not have the strength, not on our own.

We should base all of our relationships on what God has told us through the words of Jesus; what He did and how He did it, and how He taught, and also by the fact that we know that God loves us so much, (John 3:16).

Jeremiah wrote a letter to exiled Israelite’s whilst they were living in Babylon, telling them what God had for each of their lives, ‘For I know the plans I have for you… .. to give you a good future and a hope‘ (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT); even the Psalmist David knew that the Lord would, ‘teach me [you] in the way I [you] should go‘ (Psalm 32:8 NIV).

God knows what plans there are for our lives, David even noted this by saying, ‘all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be‘ (Psalm 139:16 NIV).

We need to trust that God knows what is best for us.

Ask God what that plan is, and then start living His great plan for our lives.

 

World map

If we do not show other people Christ in our lives, or if we do not share the love of God with others, are we actually doing what Jesus commanded us to do?

Jesus told His disciples that, as you go about your business, when you get the chance, you should share the love of God, and that of the Good News of the Gospel of Christ Jesus, with those around you, and also teach them to obey all that I (Jesus) have commanded you  (Matt 28:19-20).

He is truly Christ, for the whole wide world

 

 

Lord please, I ask that you show me your plan, for my life it is dreary, and I need some focus. Help me to seek, and to search, and to find, help me to see, and no longer be blind.

Lord will you show me how I can be bolder, it’s hard for me Lord, for I cower from the crowd, help me to be, the salt and the light, take me and use me, to fight in your fight.

Lord will you use me, to  show others it’s true, that only with you, will my life be fulfilled.
My part in this story I willingly play, Lord, please help me to show some people your way.

 

 

Spent today in a conversation, in the mirror face to face with somebody less than perfect I wouldn’t choose me first if I was looking for a champion. In fact I’d understand  if you picked everyone before me, but that’s just not my story. True to who You are, you saw my heart and made something out of nothing.

I don’t need my name in lights, I’m famous in my Father’s eyes. Make no mistake, He knows my name.

He Knows My Name – S.Mosley, F. Battistelli, M. Fieldes

 

download

Lord we thank you for your great love for us, we know that we are loved and cherished as your children, and as you children we need you to help us to show others your great love, mercy and grace. Help others to see you through the way that we live our lives. May we be lights for a dark world, help us to show your way to people around us, help them to see you in us.

Lord we pray for all the situations around the world where your love and hope are needed. May the people that respond to disasters everywhere fell you with them at all times. May your love go with them, and show them the way to help. may your love show through their actions, and be a blessing to all those that are ministered to.

Amen

 

Christian

Our Home in Heaven

an eternal house… not built by human hands‘ (2 Cor 5:1 NIV)

Moses and the tribes of the  Israelites, did not live in houses. The Israelites lived in tents, for they were a nomadic people. The Merriam Webster online dictionary, describes nomadic as; roaming about from place to place aimlessly, frequently, or without a fixed pattern of movement. The Israelites were definitely not wandering about aimlessly, frequently they moved, but it was planned,  for God had a plan for them, and was leading them, by day He was a pillar of cloud, and by night He lead them by being a pillar of fire, (Exo 13:21, Num 14:14). They travelled through the desert for forty years, with God guiding them constantly.

God has a plan for everyone’s life, yours and mine, and we need to be open to His leading; the Psalmist David knew this, for he wrote, ‘You make known to me the path of life‘ (Psalm 16:11 NIV). David knew that God was a great God and would ‘instruct him [you] and teach him [you] in the way he [you] should go‘ (Psalm 32:8 ESV). Jeremiah’s letter to the exiles, commented that God knew what was best for us, and that He could and would guides us, for God had told him ‘ For I know the plans I have for you‘ (Jer 29:11 NIV).

Paul in writing to the people in Corinth said, that ‘while we are still in this tent, we groan‘ (2 Cor 5:4 ESV), but ultimately, our hope is in our eternal life with our Lord, as Peter said to Jesus, ‘You have the words of eternal life‘ (John 6:68 NIV). On one day, Jesus was comforting His disciples and said, ‘In my Father’s house… … … I go to prepare a place for you‘ (John 14:2 & 3 ESV). The days of our wandering are completed when we trust Jesus to guide us to the source of all life, our Great Almighty, Father God in whom all who believe, will find rest.

 

Saved by Grace

 

For he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones‘ (Prov 2:8 NIV). We should remember to, ‘trust in the LORD with all our [your] heart and lean not on our [your] own understanding; in all our [your] ways submit to him, and he will make our [your] paths straight‘ (Prov 8:5-6 NIV). As a Christian, ‘do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in our [your] power to act‘ (Prov 3:27 NIV). ‘Let our [your] eyes look straight ahead; fix our [your] gaze directly before you‘ (Prov 4:25 NIV). We know that ‘our [your] ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all our [your] paths‘ (Prov 5:21 NIV). In all our dealings with other Christians, we should remember, ‘The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy‘ (Prov 12:22 NIV) and that, ‘anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up‘ (Prov 12:25 NIV). But ultimately the one thing that we should remember , is, ‘The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good‘ (Prov 15:3 NIV).

 

I have a Home that is fairer than day, And my dear Saviour has shown me the way; Oft when I’m sad and temptations arise, I look to my home far away.

My Home is in Heaven, there is no parting there, All will be happy, glorious, bright and fair; There’ll be no sorrow, there will be no tears, In that bright Home far away.

O who will journey to Heaven with me? Jesus has died that we all may be free; Come then to him who has laid up for you, A crown in that Home far away.

Salvation Army Song Book (new edition) 537 verse 1, chorus, verse 3

Ada Mary Nisbett (c 1866 – 1931)

 

downloadLord we thank you for loving us and giving us a path to walk on, through our lives with you. Help us to stay true to your will, to put you first before all things, help us not to be drawn to the things of this world that will separate us from you. Lord you are the first and the last, be the first thing in our lives each day, and the last thing in our day as we lay down to sleep.

Lord we pray for ministers in every place around the world, may they be filled with the mighty power of your Spirit, fill them with the wisdom of the Bible that they may teach what you have put in their hearts. Help them to be mighty in your word yet humble in their walk with you as testament to your power and will.

Amen