Thursday, January 26, 2012

No “Do Overs”

Do you remember playing a game as a child, and if it wasn’t going the way you wanted (you weren’t winning) you’d call out, “Do over!” You might even have kept repeating those two words until you actually won. Or maybe you were practicing a musical piece and goofed up during the first stanza. Again, “Do over!” you’d exclaim.

As adults, how many times at the end of a year do we look back and long to beg, “Do over, please!” Maybe what leads us to that desperate request were some poor choices we made, such as our mortgage – we never should have agreed to those painful balloon payments. We assumed our income would increase and that the value of our home would, too, but instead we lost our job and our house. Or maybe it was that new car scent that got us to sign on a whim. “It’s been so long since I’ve had a new car…” we yearned. Or perhaps your “do over” doesn’t have anything to do with money. Maybe it was words spoken in haste or in anger. “If I’d just walked away and kept my mouth shut…”

We all have them – regrets. Oh sure, I’ve run into people who say they live their life so that they don’t have any, but I believe that in most cases they are either very young, they are fibbing, or they haven’t done much with their life. We all have sin in our life and the Bible says we are to hate sin. In that respect we should be regretful of our sins so that we humble ourselves before God and ask His forgiveness.

Because I am human I will not stop sinning this side of heaven, but I have found the secret as to how to lessen the longing for “do overs” in my life. Actually, John nailed it when he said:

“I must decrease so that He will increase in my life”, (John 3:30).

How do we do that? How do we decrease and how do we increase Jesus in our life? For starters, we need to put Him first. As soon as you awaken talk to the Lord, then ask Him to help you throughout your day. Spend time in God’s word, studying it and praying it back to Him. Put God above yourself, humbling yourself, obeying Him, and putting others before your own wants and needs.

I’ve had the privilege of visiting several people on their deathbed, praying with them as they prepare to leave this world. Not one of them has ever said they regret what they did for Jesus. Most are feeling quite the opposite, wishing they could have a “do over” and put Him first instead of last, or maybe He wasn’t even in their life at all.

We are in a race and we can’t go back and salvage any time lost from 2011, but we can resolve not to waste 2012. We can do our part to make disciples in all nations, share His message of hope with a hurting world, and love our neighbor as we love ourself. In other words, we can resolve to live this year as if it will be our last.

Because, when our heart truly yearns for Home, we won’t want to stay here and do it over.

Jesus said, “The time has come. The holy nation of God is near. Be sorry for your sins, turn from them, and believe the Good News,” (Mark 1:15).

Believing in Him,
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