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A New Start

A New Start
Getting a Second Chance

O LORD my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me. Psalms 30:2 (NKJV)

I received a call recently letting me know about a close friend who had been admitted into the hospital.  It seems he had an initial heart attack at home early in the morning, and then a series of additional small heart attacks at the hospital.  He was in stable condition at the time and waiting for the doctor's plan to address his condition.

I couldn't help but think back over the many times I had shared the Gospel message with him - how Jesus had died on the cross of Calvary so he might be forgiven and enabled to have a relationship with God.   Each time I had shared this message he would respectfully listen but never act upon the offer to accept Jesus.  I found myself wondering now, how many more times would this chance be available to him.  

I contacted the hospital and was redirected to his room and able to speak with Him.  We talked about the things transpiring throughout the day and how everything had progressed.  He told me once he initially had the heart attack he was in denial.  He wouldn't allow himself to identify with the truth of the situation.  I thought about this statement he made - how this is so true for so many of us.   Many times we can choose to see things the way we want rather than the way they are - we are ourselves, can be in denial.  I thought about the countless times within my own life where I thought, "I'm okay with what I am doing, or where I am at..."

I then thought about how my friend had denied the truth of God's amazing message of grace - His unmerited favor.  I thought about how he would deny needing to have a relationship with Him, or even his denial of the truth of God's Word.  I wondered how this denial became so strong within such a strong, smart, and amazingly kind man.  Just then, the scriptures in Romans jumped back into my mind.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, Romans 1:18-22 (NKJV)

The answer was clear -  he knew of God, but was choosing not to know God.  He knew God existed by the things created, but chose not to worship the creator - just the creation.  Again, I thought about how we as Christians are tempted to do the same.  I remembered how Jesus said there would come a day when He will say to the many people who never took the time to know Him,

"...I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" Matthew 7:23 (NKJV)

I asked if I could pray for him and he eagerly accepted.  I prayed for God's amazing peace upon Him and that he would be drawn to God through this.  He responded with a hardy agreement saying, "Amen," and then thanked me.  I was able to pray again for him prior to his angiogram and stint placement procedure, and again he was very receptive to receiving prayer.  

God has given my friend a second chance for life.  He has opened the arteries so blood can flow freely and provide what is needed to live.  My prayer today is for God to open his mind and heart to receive the power to live eternally.  

I remember someone once said, "Why do people expect and believe they will spend eternity with God when they die, when they never wanted to know Him while they were alive?"  It is a question worth pondering for sure.

I want to encourage you today to stop and take a look at those around you.  Contemplate where they may be spending eternity.  Don't judge, because it isn't our right - just pray for God to remove the veil surrounding their hearts and mind.  Pray for God to save them and for Him to use you in whatever capacity He chooses.  

STUDY QUESTION: According to Matthew 7:23, what will Jesus say to those who never took the time to know Him?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Is it your heart today to know God and to have a relationship with Him?

APPLICATION:  Seek the Lord in prayerfully reading His Word.  Ask Him to speak to you as you do this.  Talk to Him about everything and get to know His heart.  

Father, thank You for providing a way for me to know You.  Thank You for allowing Your Son to die for my sin.  Thank You for speaking to me as I read Your Word.  Help me this day I continue to follow You.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000