River Church NOLA
Jan 3 new Year is a Great Time for Second Chances
  • Hosanna
  • Build My Life
  • To The Table
  • A New Year is a time when we look to make a fresh start. Kind of like restarting your computer or your phone. We make resolutions to begin the year… most of which we don’t keep.
    What are some New Years Resolutions that you need to make? Here are few that others have made.
    I will not bore my boss by with the same excuse for absences, but will think of some new excuses.
    I will remove friends from face-book who keep tagging me in the photos of flowers, places and pics in which I am not even present.
    I will never again take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
    I will answer my snail mail with the same enthusiasm with which I answer my e-mail or texts.
    I will start buying lottery tickets at a luckier store.
    I will always wear clean underwear "just in case.”
    I will play more video games because scientists say they are good for you, and they improve your hand / eye coordination skills.
    I will try to drive closer to the speed limit.
    I resolve to stop poisoning my family with my cooking.
    We all need to make the resolution that we will grow in our relationship with Jesus this year.
    We can make significant progress in our Christian growth when we know our sins are pardoned and that Jesus Christ accepts us even though we don’t deserve it.
    Titus 2:11–14 NLT
    11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
    We can enjoy a second change in life if we experience the Grace of God. Grace

    1. To get a second chance in life, we must accept the Grace of God through Jesus Christ.

    Titus 2:11 NLT
    11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.
    It’s the Grace of God that brings us salvation… not our goodness or anything else.
    The Grace of God has been revealed… We just celebrated his birthday. Grace was revealed in Jesus Christ. And it was revealed to all people. Titus was in Crete with Paul… and it was a dark place. Imagine when the light of Grace… the forgiveness of sins was declared… It made an impact. Grace is for everyone… no matter what they have done.
    Those who respond to grace are transformed, but those who resist and reject the message, and some do, but they will face the consequences.
    Mike Howerton tells a story of getting a ticket for expired tags on his car. It was not his first. He would tell the police he was a good driver but he still go the tickets. He went to court to see if the judge would give him a break, so he dressed up in a suit hoping she would see him as important, but she never looked up from her computer screen. She said, You have been busy… I see this is not the first time you have driven with expired tags… Not knowing what to say, he blurted out, Your honor, I through myself at the mercy of the court. she kind of chuckled and waived his penalties.
    That’s what God does with us. when we through ourselves at His Mercy, He gives us a second chance.
    Look at an example in the Bible. Jonah had just spent three days in the belly of a fish and was thrown up on the shore and...
    Jonah 3:1–2 NLT
    1 Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time: 2 “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.”
    That’s called a SECOND CHANCE. God is the God of second through millionth chances.

    Our Mess becomes His Masterpiece

    No matter who you are nor what you have done, God is offering you a second chance. If you will invite him to do so, God will forgive and forget. He makes it as if it never happened.
    Proverbs 28:13 NLT
    13 People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
    We we confess our sins and turn to Jesus, He forgives them.
    Picture a white canvas, representing your potential in life. Now imagine you have thrown dark paint at it… splattering it with red (symbolizing your selfishness) or charcoal (representing your idolatry) or teal (rep your horrific lifestyle choices). the paint visually communicates what our sin stain … our running from God looks like.
    We look at our lives and often feel as if we can’t be forgiven because of the mess we have made, but when we repent and turn to God, he takes our mess and makes it into a masterpiece.
    No matter what you have done nor how many times you have failed, let the message of Jonah speak to you
    Jonah 3:1 NLT
    1 Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time:
    God is the God of second chances.

    2. When we receive the Second Chance from God, it changes the direction of our lives.

    Titus 2:12 NLT
    12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,
    We live in an evil world where many totally reject God’s influence in any area of their life. As Christians we we must renounce that attitude.
    The world is not referring to our planet. It is referring to the system or philosophy of the World. Our culture draws people to godless living and sinful pleasure.

    We have to turn away from the World’s System

    1 John 2:16 NLT
    16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
    This is what God calls us to renounce.

    We have to replace the worlds system with God’s system

    As believers we are not only to renounce these we must replace those desires for the pleasures and activities of the World with positive characteristics of self control, right conduct, and devotion to God.

    The motivation for righteous living is looking forward to Jesus return

    Titus 2:13 NLT
    13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.

    It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither. CS Lewis

    What a wonderful event will occur when Jesus returns. As Christians we don’t fear that, we look forward to it with eager expectation and hope. This motivates us to live each day morally and ethically.
    He came the first time to save the soul of man; He will come a second time to resurrect the body.
    He came the first time to save the individual; He will come a second time to save society.
    He came the first time to a crucifixion; He will come a second time to a coronation.
    He came the first time to a tree; He will come a second time to a throne.
    He came the first time in humility; He will come a second time in glory.
    He came the first time and was judged by men; He will come a second time to judge all men.
    He came the first time and stood before Pilate; He will come a second time and Pilate will stand before Him.

    Grace is the voice that calls us to change, and then gives us the power to pull it off. Max Lucado

    When we experience the Grace of God, it gives us a second chance but it also gives us a new heart .... a new nature.
    How do we make this change. How do we change directions? John Wesley called it the means of grace. We call it today Spiritual Habits.

    Reading the Word of God

    Studying the Word of God

    Meditating on the Word of God

    Memorizing the Word of God

    Praying all the time

    Making a public Profession through Baptism

    Taking Communion together

    Plugging into your local church

    Allowing the Holy Spirit to use these habits to transform our hearts and lives as we go into the new year. We are not transformed by any of these habits. We are transformed by the Spirit’s use of these habits.

    3. The Grace of God draws and compels us to do good deeds

    Titus 2:14 NLT
    14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
    Jesus gave his life… that means voluntarily as an act of love for you and I. He did this to free us from addictions, strongholds and all types of sin in our lives. We are not only set free from sin and death, but through the process of sanctification we are purified from the sin’s influence in our loves as we grow in Christ. His redemption took care of the past. His purification makes the present and future an exciting and challenging prospect.
    Because of this,

    We live life totally committed to doing good deeds

    Titus 2:14 NLT
    14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
    That way when Jesus returns, He will find us ready, waiting and doing good works.
    What are some of the good works we are to be doing while we look forward to Jesus return?

    Good deeds include sharing our faith with others

    Matthew 28:19–20 NLT
    19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

    Good Deeds mean we live in a way that honors God

    Good Deeds mean we practice the Habits that allow us to grow in our faith

    4. God’s grace is relentless

    Jesus pursued and restored Peter after Peter had denied even knowing Jesus.
    God sent two Angels to rescue Lot who had become corrupted by the world.
    Jim was a pastor who had stepped away from the ministry after having a moral failure by having an affair. He left the ministry and his marriage and continued to make bad decisions for a while until he was so miserable he turned to the Lord. He confessed his sins and God forgave him. He began to see a Christian Therapist and submitted himself to three pastors and an older Christian who held him accountable. They met together weekly and he improved.
    About four years after his moral failure, his ex-wife called and forgave him for the hurt that he caused the family and he has a restored relationship with his kids. Three years into his restoration the pastors he submitted to recommended him to get back into the ministry. He did and started a church which is growing and seeing lives changed. Jim said that he was living proof of grace.
    let me share this verse with you again…
    Jonah 3:1 NLT
    1 Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time:
    God is the God of Second Chances… No matter what you have done, God is giving you a second chance today.
      • Titus 2:11–14ASV

      • Titus 2:11ASV

      • Jonah 3:1–2ASV

      • Proverbs 28:13ASV

      • Jonah 3:1ASV

      • Titus 2:12ASV

      • 1 John 2:16ASV

      • Titus 2:13ASV

      • Titus 2:14ASV

      • Titus 2:14ASV

      • Matthew 28:19–20ASV

      • Jonah 3:1ASV

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