Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Failures Need Not Be Permanent

Bumper Snicker: "I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money."
Quote: "If you have recently experienced failure, you may be on the brink of receiving a profound revelation from God!" --Henry Blackaby
"People who cover over their sins will not prosper. But if they confess and forsake them, they will receive mercy" (Proverbs 28:13 NLT). If we are serious about overcoming defeat and failure, we must do two things;
First, we must accept responsibility for our failures. We should resist blaming God or someone else for our own failures. God gives us the capability to make choices and our choices often lead us to failure. However, we are greatly blessed to serve a God who specializes in second chances. Where would any of us be if it were not so? Can you honestly say, "I've never needed a second chance?" I doubt it. I've needed multiple second chances in my lifetime. Losers blame others, but those who learn to deal with defeat/failure say, "I have sinned/failed - it's my fault - I want to start over - I want God to do something special in my life." We can say to our family, our friends, our church family, "I'm the one who failed - I take responsibility - I need to admit it."
In 1977, after 88 straight wins, the UCLA bruins lost a basketball game to Notre Dame. The next day, the LA papers had this headline, "blame me, says the coach!." He said, "I let my team get over-confident."
Until you say, "I am a sinner -- I'm at fault -- I need a Savior," you can never be saved and become a Christian. As Christians, we can never experience the real success God wants for us until we recognize our failures and sins and ask forgiveness. "For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again" (Proverbs 24:16 NIV). God reaches down his hand in the midst of life's failures, our sins, and our defeats to lift us up and restores our joy and fellowship with him.
"The Word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time" (Jonah, 3:1 NIV). Jonah failed miserably the first time God called him to a mission in Nineveh. But after his repentance (accepting responsibility), God gave him a second chance. Today, He's saying to you and to me; "no matter how many failures you've experienced, or the severity of those failures, I will give you another chance." Maybe you're paralyzed by fear -- or wallowing in self-pity -- or caught up in pride or stubbornness. God wants you to admit your failure and let Him help you start again.
Second, we must accept God's grace and forgiveness. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone; the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV). No matter what has happened in your life, God will give you a new and transformed life through faith in Jesus Christ. He took our sins upon Himself on the cross.
I want to challenge you to love our Lord with all your heart and love your brothers and sisters as Jesus has loved us. "Love never fails." There is only one failure, we need to fear. "My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12-9 NIV). His grace prevents eternal failure through faith in Jesus Christ. For Christians, His grace is sufficient to pick you up in the midst of your defeat and failure and give you a new start. He will restore your joy and peace if you turn to him in repentance.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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