When you were a kid, do you remember making a mistake that you knew you surely would be punished for? When your parents found out, you begged them for a second chance. I can remember a time when I was upset at how things were going at home. I decided I would pack my things up and leave home. I got all my things walked to the neighbors house and set up camp. I set all my things up and had my space just like I wanted. I was free at last. Until the neighbors called my dad and told him that his five year old son had set up a spot right outside their shop with my things. I begged my daddy to give me a second chance before he gave me a spanking that I still remember.
I’m here today because of second chances, but more importantly that God has shown me his Grace(undeserved favor towards us)
I’ve been a Christian most of my life, I am 34 now and have been a Christian since I was 13. As a teenager, I went to church every day the doors were open. I went to youth camps, mission trips. I can remember on a mission trip in Knoxville, TN, leading 7 complete strangers to Christ, I shared the ABC’s, Admit, Believe, and Confess. But as I got older I didn’t always act like a Christian. Like some people, I strayed away from what I knew was right. I faced conviction and knew what I was doing wasn’t pleasing in the lord’s eyes.
One of those instances including a night of drinking and I can remember, me and a couple buddies thought it would be a good idea to get a little mud on the tires as Brad Paisley would say. Needless to say, i wasn’t in any shape to think rationally. I ended up losing control of the truck and running into an embankment. My buddies elbow was on the window seal of the truck and the impact caused the mirror to bust the glass in the door cutting his arm badly. By Gods Grace no one was hurt any worse and I walked away.
Another instance, I was traveling down a dirt road and through a blind curb I collided with a vehicle and my truck ended up on its side in a ditch. The other person had no injuries, my truck had a small dent and the lawn mower I was pulling had been flipped upside down. We turned it over added a little oil and it cranked right up. But by God’s Grace I walked away.
Another night while riding four wheelers with one of my good friends, we encountered some trouble as he lost control of the four wheeler and it flipped. He went in the direction of the ditch to our right and I hit the road to our left. The four wheeler followed him and as I woke up I called his name. Nothing! I scrambled and found his body lifeless. I checked his pulse, called 911 and began CPR, the ambulance arrived after what seemed like an eternity. But nothing could be done for my friend. I had some minor injuries and was taken to the hospital, but by God’s Grace I walked away.
Often times we forget how many times we’ve failed our savior and he continues to give us second and third and fourth chances as long as you repent from your mistakes. But yet we hold others to so much of a higher standard.
My life changed dramatically for the worse at that point. With all these extra chances at life you would think I would’ve straightened my act up and given the lord all the praise for keeping me around. Instead, I turned even further away from God, deeply depressed I became an alcoholic(drank everyday). Turned from my family and friends. I had many failed relationships bc they weren’t based on his teachings.
God’s Grace prevailed once again.
My brother and several other coaches in our area had been asking and praying for years for me to attend a camp in the summer.i always came up with an excuse not to go. My wife and I had been attending church but still not living a life that would be pleasing to him. We talked it over and decided that we would go to the camp. The Lord spoke to us personally and as a couple. Things changed, there were men that were like me, that had some of the same struggles and I could relate to. God worked on my heart and changed my way of thinking, acting and my attitude towards life.
It’s not easy, I still fight battles everyday. The devil shows his face and tries to deter my thoughts, our marriage, my relationship with my kids, but I can be assured of one thing. God is always in my corner.
Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
In verse 1, in my situation like some of you I was in a battle with God, and he won. Through Jesus Christ who died on the cross, he is our peace. Standing in grace means that:
– I don’t have to prove I am worthy of God’s love
– I am free from the “score sheet” – the account is settled in Jesus
– I spend more time praising God and less time hating myself