You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘second chances’ tag.


It was the battle cry William Wallace Used to spur his makeshift warriors into action against the oppressive rule of England over Scotland.  Freedom, in fact, has been the battle cry since the beginning of time. It’s the search for freedom that has driven nations to war. The search for freedom has been the reasons millions of men and women have given their lives. It’s the desire for freedom that has been the motivation for young people to get their driver’s license and a car!

There are three major things to know about freedom (in my mind at least, maybe you can think of more). First of all, freedom is hard to come by, as is evidenced by the many who have fought bravely to acquire it. Some have given their entire lives to gain the goal of freedom and have never seen it happen.

Secondly, freedom is hard, if not impossible, to hold on to. Holding on to freedom has been a problem since the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, lived in the perfect environment God created for them. We don’t know for sure where the Garden of Eden was, or how large it was, we ascertain from Scripture that is was a perfect environment that was perhaps global in its size. Vast as it was, the perfect couple had complete freedom to enjoy its beauty and a perfect, face-to-face relationship with the creator. There was only one rule, don’t eat from one particular tree. They had one job to do, but the desire for ‘freedom’ caused them to eat of the forbidden tree. Ironically, their quest for freedom (the fruit of the tree) became the one thing that would keep mankind in bondage for the rest of time!

It’s the quest for freedom that keeps the addict tied to their addiction. It’s the quest for freedom that keeps people bound to debt. It’s the quest for freedom that drives people from one relationship to another. It’s the quest for freedom that keeps people from finding peace. It’s the quest for freedom that is manifested in hate and anger.

Why is that? Why is freedom so hard to find and so hard to hold on to? The third thing about freedom is that freedom begins with the heart, not with things. It works from the inside out, not the outside in. That’s why some who are bound by what we consider poverty can have joy. That’s why some who struggle with many things in life have a great disposition. They don’t let the outside control the peace of the inside.

As we’ve seen through human history, this is impossible to do without divine intervention. That’s the beauty of faith in Jesus Christ. That’s why the Apostle Paul can write in Galatians, “So Christ has truly set us free (It’s a heart thing). Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law”. (the external things)

Once your heart with right with Jesus, you’ll find it much easier (not easy, easier) to work towards freedom. Let him change you through the power of his Holy Spirit. You might want to begin by visiting a house of worship where Jesus is lord.


He HAD to go through Samaria (John 4:4). Well, geographically he didn’t HAVE to go through Samaria. In fact, the more politically correct route for any self-respecting Jew would be to go on the east side of the Jordan River. It was a longer route but avoided Samaria all together. If you did choose to go through Samaria you certainly wouldn’t stop for lunch, or talk to a woman.

But Jesus did.

He had to go through Samaria because someone was ready to hear his message. That someone was a woman that had gone through five divorces. Five. One is devastating enough. Two raises eyebrows. Five? There are words for women like this but none of them are appropriate for this space.

Take a moment to put yourself in the woman’s place. Hopefully you will have a hard time with this, but imagine how rejected you would feel. Remember the first time you broke up? The first time you were dumped for better pasture? Multiply by five! And now, the guy she was ‘with’ didn’t even respect her enough to marry her.

That’s why she went to the well during the hottest part of the day. She no doubt suffered in silence and this was her coping mechanism.

But Jesus went out of his way to meet her in her comfort zone, on her terms to share the one thing she needed above all else…acceptance and true life.

He does the same today. You don’t need to suffer in silence. He wants to hear from you. He wants us to see those who may be suffering and offer the fresh water of his grace. Silent sufferers never escape the notice of Jesus.


The important things in life are those things that last longer than you do! Whether it be athletics, science or social involvement, the things that really count live for generations to come.

How ironic then that most of us spend our time and energy on today. There is always one more toy to buy; one more book to write; one more deal to close; one more obstacle to conquer.

Regardless of the motive behind the action, reality is, few of us will accomplish something great on a global scale. Even if we do, as we’ve seen in recent days, there is nothing that guarantees our accomplishments of today won’t be snuffed out in later generations because something we did or said will be scrutinized and attacked.

Jesus said to strive for the eternal. Paul states it plainly. Everything you do will be tested by fire. Work then for things that will last.

The noble deeds of many are long forgotten, but the things Jesus did have been remembered for centuries. Why? Because his efforts were not to bring a better name to himself, they were to better the lives of mankind. 100 years from now people won’t remember how many toys you had or how many likes you had on some social media post. What they may remember, however, is how you made life better for others.

Build for tomorrow, not for today. Don’t be content to stay where you are. Move forward!


In our humanity we often tend to think God only uses those who have their act together. We look for pastors and church leaders that have squeaky clean records, are financially stable and have 15 children, all of whom are on the ‘A Honor Roll’ and in the ‘Who’s Who of American Scholars’.

Especially in our culture that is harder and harder to find, or maybe it’s always been harder to find now that I think about it. Looking back in Biblical history, few, if any of the ‘great men of God’ were all that great. The list is made up of murderers, adulterers, cheaters, and those who struggled with mental health issues (to name a few).

We are never expected to ‘clean up our act’ so God can use us. Peter demonstrated amazing faith when he stepped out of a boat during a storm. David chose to go into battle without any armor. Issac followed his dad to the mountain for sacrifice when they had no animal and then allowed his dad to tie him up! The Apostle Paul did some of his best writing strapped to a couple of Roman Guards!

The point is, God seems to use do his best work in people who are at their worst and bless them in the process. With the power of God’s Holy Spirit within us we can plant seeds of love, mercy, forgiveness and grace in those around us. How we react to life’s struggles are an amazing testimony to the God we serve.

When He puts you in a place of struggle keep one hand in his and reach out to someone else that needs to see the way through the darkness and tears. You’ll both be better off!


I’ve often looked at this verse from 2 Corinthians and focused on the beautiful promise of the first half of the verse. NEW creations! Not refurbished. Not remodeled. Not modified. NEW! That’s grace! My loving Heavenly Father took this worthless pile of flesh and made something new. And, might I add, God don’t make no junk!

Then one day, rather somberly, I spent some time on the rest of the story.

“The old life is gone…”

Is it? The question haunted me. Yes, I’m forgiven. The debt of my sin is eternally washed away. On the inside I’m new, but this battle raging inside me continues on. Some days I’m strong and watch the enemy retreat. Some days he wins the battle.

Jesus’ invitation to follow him is no party. Instead of balloons there is hardship; instead of cake, temptation; the ice cream is replaced by worry. That’s when I’m also reminded I was never called to walk this road alone. My strength was never a factor, only my reliance on him.

Paul had a similar struggle he tells about in Romans. He loses with the reminder that only the grace of Jesus will rescue me from the battle. Some days I lose the battle. Some days I win. But in the end the war is won because of the empty tomb!

Father help me to live worthy of this new body. Give me a Holy Spirit power to leave the old behind and dwell in the new!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,704 other followers

RSS Podcasts from Zion

  • You Can Trust the Bible
    From our series, 40 Days in the Word. Knowing ABOUT the Bible isn’t the same as making it the one and only authority in your life. Living the Bible is more important that telling others about the Bible.
  • RESET your life when you’ve been forgiven
    From our series “RESET Your Life. God knows we can never love him the way he loves us but calls us to follow him in spite of our weakness.
  • RESET Your Life When You Doubt
    From our series, “Reset your Life”. Jesus understands the struggle we have between head belief and heart belief.
  • RESET Your Life When all is Hopeless
    From our series “RESET Your Life.” Never give up hope. Jesus knows where you are and what your need is. Hopelessness; John 5:1-15;
  • Reset your Life When You’re Grieving
    From our series ‘Reset Your Life”. Sometimes RESET comes from outside sources. Jesus shows us the way through grief.

LinkedIn

Candle Lighter Award

Built With Grace

Twitter Updates

Archives

October 2019
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
Follow Built with Grace on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: