Monday, May 9, 2016

May 9, 2016 - No Second Chances!

This time of year in the NBA teams are just hoping stay healthy, especially when it comes to their stars. Last year in the playoffs the Cleveland Cavaliers were playing without 2 of their top 3 players and fell short in the Finals. (To put it in perspective, this year with the 3 playing they are +28 in the player ratings when they play together – in other words very dominant!) This year the winningest team in NBA history (the Golden State Warriors) looks good but very vulnerable with their star player sidelined due to a knee sprain. And the list could go on showing how important it is to be at full strength in order to win.

For teams like the Cavaliers, they view this year as a second chance to show what they can do at full strength. Last year they came close so they want redemption… and if they fall short they will look at roster changes that help them try to climb the mountain again.

All religion works under the same mentality… let’s all just keep trying to get it right and hope to be good enough at the end… even many under the name of Christianity present God in this way. It is very popular to call God a “God of Second Chances.” In fact you may have called Him that… I know there were times in my past that in trying to describe God’s amazing grace I would say things like, “God is not only a God of second chances, but also third, fourth, and fifth chances.” That cliché sounds good and works well in a spiritual pep rally but it simply is false teaching!

God is not a God of second chances! A second chance implies that you get a new start to try again… a new season to see if you can win… a reset on trying to get it right.

Christ did not die to give us a second chance but instead to be our only chance! When we trust in His finished work we do not start over to try to win, but instead are on the winning team… our citizenship placed in Heaven at that moment.

Check out these verses in Ephesians that give us the truth, instead of the cliché…

Ephesians 1: 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 2: But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Ephesians 2: 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

I laugh often when I hear athletes guarantee victory because there are so many variables that come into play (i.e. injuries); yet let me tell you this based upon those Scriptures…

In Christ victory is guaranteed! Why because it is not about us starting over with another chance but instead trusting in the work that is already finished!

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