Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Second Chance

Isaiah 43:18-20 - Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert...I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give 

Jesus calls Himself the Living Water and the Bread of Life...both of which satisfy hunger. The Samaritan woman had that water. Israel experienced both the Manna from heaven and water from rocks, both spiritually feeding them during 40 years of wandering in a wilderness. I wonder if there were other rocks in that wilderness? They were on their way to a new life in a land God promised them. They were being given another chance.

We've all had a second chance at something. Maybe we didn't get caught in a lie, cheating or some act that wasn't very nice. We might even have been saved from an accident or illness. Or maybe there was just an innocent mistake of some sort or misunderstanding. Whatever. We were/are given a second chance.

God gives us a second chance too. Sometimes and somehow people take advantage of that second chance. But it's there for all of us. We just need to want it. It's called a new birth.

I am grateful for my second chance. It's as clear today as it was when I had that chance, that rebirth, that born again experience. The day I received Christ as Lord and Savior. Oh, the memory of that moment gets put aside occasionally, but it often comes to mind  and it's like I still see where I was sitting, how I felt, a scripture read, even the pastor's voice. I remember how easy it was...after the years of rejecting, denying.

Often it comes in a moment of weakness. After all, it is in our weakness that Christ becomes strong. When we set aside all our own strengths, when we realize we have no more strength of our own and we need help. We give in, as it were, to that which will revitalize us. In this case, a Person. That's what Jesus does.

Many run to a friend, spouse, family member...even a stranger like a counselor. After listing all these possibilities I am reminded that Jesus IS all these...if we receive Him. He calls Himself our Friend, He is our Bridegroom, we are heirs, therefore family, and of course He is called Counselor. He is all we need.

Jesus came to this earth to become our redemption. He was born and lived among us so that people of His day would see and believe in Him, have that second chance...and carry that with them, share the experience and His words. They lived it then, we can live it now. His death was for our second chance. Although He died, He was raised up and lives forever and we can share eternity with Him, if we so desire. We are assured of that. When we do we are called His people, His chosen.

I think about Noah and his ark. When the floods came the doors to the ark were closed leaving many people behind. They had a second chance and didn't take it. Jesus is our Ark today. There will come a day when there will be no chance to enter in...into relationship with Him, that second chance.

I know some don't understand this new birth. I also know there are people who know me and know that I have not changed my stance since that day. There really IS something to this. It is not, for me, just a phase. It's real. And I'm always looking for someone to explain it to. Not everyone wants to hear; barriers go up; there is silence or glassy-eyed stares or tuning out.

While we are given many second chances in the world, there is only one way to receive this particular second chance at life...through Jesus Christ. He's always putting a challenge out there that we might recognize Him and seek Him. He's always revealing Himself in some way...we just don't always look at something as His challenge to us to seek and receive Him. We can hold back. I know I did for a very long time. Hopefully, soon, there will be one moment where at the second of recognition He will be received...and that rebirth will take place.

Angels rejoice when one more person is received. Imagine a heavenly body crying holy to the Lord who brought that new life. Imagine a body of angels rejoicing for you! If it has not happened to you, will you allow it to? Ask Jesus to be your Counselor, to give you a second chance, to bring the hope of eternal life to you.

John 3:5-7 - Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.'"

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