If it doesn't count for Christ, it doesn't count.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2nd Chance?

Recently, I was looking at an article on one of the Yahoo sites. The article, actually a series of videos, was titled "What would you do with a second chance?".  I have to admit that this is something that I have thought about quite often down through the years.  (I didn't do so well with my first one.) To be honest, most of the time spent pondering such things amounted to little more than day dreaming. (I have some great day dreams, by the way!) After all, few enough people get a good "1st" chance in this life and 2nd chances seem to be even harder to come by.  And even when one does pass our way, how many of us actually reach out and take it?  Would we recognize it if we saw it?  Or would we just stay in the agonizing comfort of what we already know?

Epiphany: (from Webster's Online Dictionary)
2 : an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being
3 a (1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure b : a revealing scene or moment

So, I don't know whether I had an epiphany or I just remembered something I already knew. (Maybe it's all the same.)

It struck me, as I was thinking how nice a second chance would be, that when we accept Jesus Christ into our lives we get something far better than a 2nd chance! We get a new life! We get a life where we can now do anything God enables us to do! We can now have anything God desires for us to have! We can now go anywhere God leads us to go!  We can now discover anything God offers to show us!  We can now face any challenge God allows to come before us!   We can now be the person of our creation!

Colossians 1:16-17 (NKJV) For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 
Revelation 4:11 (NIV)"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things,and by your will they were created and have their being."

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.


Just like the 1st one, there are no guarantees with a 2nd chance. We can mess that one up, too!  When we think in terms of another chance we think of all the things we would do differently.  "I would do this. I would do that. I wouldn't go there." Even with a 2nd chance we would still be pursuing our own agendas whatever they may be.  In a new life, surrendered - not committed, but surrendered - to Jesus we are following the very architect of life itself.  We have left behind our own pride that says "I know what is best for me" and we are in step, or truly seeking to be in step, with the One who does know best. We have admitted that God's plans and desires for us are immeasurably greater than our own could ever be and we seek to walk that path. 

As we grow in Christ, we come to realize how limited our former self was, and, understanding that we are indwelt by the one, the only, limitless God, we begin to see what Jesus meant when He said, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10 (NKJV)

I can't say that I know everything about this "abundant life".  Certainly, I view it much differently than I did before I started living it.    I know that I have it. And I know that my understanding and realization of it are growing. I know the best is yet to come. And I know that it is only found in Jesus Christ.

Times change. Things change.  People change.  The world changes.  There is only one constant, eternally unchanging thing, and that is God! 

Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

And yet He brings such awesome change into our lives.

2nd chance?  Who needs it!?!  

I have a new life!  . . . so, what am I gong to do about that?

(And, by the way, when I wrote above that "It struck me . . .", I have to say nothing struck me.  The Holy Spirit simply addressed the issue. (He's like that.))