[CF Devotionals] 2016-06-11 - Do-Over

Originally Published 2015-08-14

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Today's devotional is based off the notes of a sermon I preached to my youth a few weeks ago.

Tonight there’s no great outline. Honestly, I had no idea what I was going to talk about until lunch time today. I had a vague idea running through my head about new beginnings and start over or do overs because of the new school year beginning. My thinking was that the beginning of a school year for everyone and, for some like my son, a new school represents a time to start-over. A fresh new year awaits. On Day One, each of you will start with a 100 average in your class. It is yours to keep or yours to forfeit, by your choices. You all get do-overs - new teachers, the chance for new friends, and so forth. With that the classic do over example of Jonah came to mind but I was less than thrilled about doing a “children’s story” because Veggie Tales movies kept playing through my mind. As I picked music - the song On Fire by Sanctus Real was in my video list. I don’t remember when I put it there but God spoke to me through that song.

That all made me think of an art project I’ve been working on which, in order to get the look I was going for in my mind, had multiple layers built up. As I did each part, I had just one chance. A do-over would be very expensive in both time and money.

How many of you have ever needed a do-over? In big things and in small things we have all needed do-overs from time to time I bet. Let me share a couple of my do-overs.

First, I asked God to save me when I was 17 and went from being a good kid to a bad kid. The devil tempted me in almost every possible way during my college years, and I gave into many of them, but in 1987 God gave me a do-over. I got back into church and began serving him; much of that former life is a distant memory. God restored me and used me.

Second, I was engaged in college - you know during that not living right period. Things ended badly, and I broke off the engagement. We tried to get back again later, but my trust was broken, and it didn’t work out for long. But in God’s wisdom, after college, he allowed my wife and I to cross paths and we have now been married for 20 incredible years.

The story of Jonah is a classic do-over. The story of Zacchaeus is also a do-over. The story of the prodigal son is a do-over. Paul’s life was a do-over. The bible is full of do-overs. You could say that mankind's screw-up and God's love to give us a do-over is the overarching story of the bible. So I want to give you two do-over secrets, straight from the Bible.

Luke 9:23-24 (NKJV)
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”

The first secret is that each day is a do-over. Take up your cross daily. You may not have held it all day yesterday but today you begin again. I am trying to lose weight and following a diet plan to do so, but I fell off the wagon big time with a glorious meal out with my wife to celebrate her birthday, but the next day I began again.

Second, a do-over means giving up on the doing now. The do-over is done best by beginning with giving up; in fact until you are willing to stop what you currently are doing, you can't really begin again which is what a do-over is. To win you must lose; you must quit and admit defeat. You must give-up on yourself - deny yourself - to follow Jesus. You cannot change yesterday, but you can live surrendered to God for the rest of today, and you can make that choice again tomorrow.

I am glad that God is the God of second chances. Maybe today, you see deep down that you need a do-over? Well God is waiting; you can’t redo yesterday or even what is already spent of today but you can choose today to renew your life and renew your commitment to him. Maybe you’ve never made that commitment then tonight you can do that.

Tomorrow’s path begins now. Eternity begins now but lasts forever. Will you commit to a do-over and give your all to Jesus?

On Fire

"Remember when you couldn't wait
to show up early and find your place.
Cause you didn't want to miss a thing.
And your heart was open and ready for change.
Oh, those days.
You were never afraid to sing,
never afraid to lift your hands.
Didn't care what people would think.

You were on fire,
and church was more than a place,
and people were more than faces,
and Jesus was more than a name.

Remember when you weren't ashamed.
To tell your friends about your faith.
A time when you felt the pain
of just one lost soul that was slipping away.
Your heart was soft, you had radiant eyes,
but slowly the pressures and burdens of life
pulled you into the dark of the night.
But when did you lose your sight?

Cause you were on fire,
and church was more than a place,
and people were more than faces,
and Jesus was more than a name.

Oh you were on fire,
you let life put out the flame.
But he's still calling out for you
cause he wants to light your heart again.
And set it on fire
Set it on fire.

Turn your eyes, turn your eyes
and don't forget what it was like
Set me on fire, set me on fire
I wanna hold God's people close
wanna feel the power of Jesus' name.

Set me on fire.
Set me on fire"

Sanctus Real
The Dream Sparrow ©2014

God restore to me the fire I have felt before burning in my heart for you. Give me the desire to desire you. Restore that joy of my salvation. Help me not to be trapped by all the busy-ness of the world and to just take time to be still and know that you are God. Let me serve you with conviction - with passion - with fire. Amen


[email adam] acdum@hotmail.com

All scripture references from KJV (King James Version) unless otherwise noted

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