1.06.2011

Have You Ever Needed A Do Over?

Everyone uses New Years as a time to reflect on what went wrong in the previous year and to make promises or “Resolutions” on what we will do in the current year. The following is a list of some New Year’s Teen Resolutions:

  • Be A Better Person
  • Eat Less Sugar
  • Loose Weight
  • Don’t Swear
  • Save Money
  • Get a day planner and use it

We have all had those moments in our lives where we would like to have a do over. For example, while speaking to the youth group Ali asked why I was wearing two different shoes. I had worn them all day. I certainly needed a do over.
Wore the wrong shoes all say without realizing it. #doover
Have you ever had a time in your life where either by the things you or someone you know did really messed things up for awhile? Maybe its a failed test, missed homework, fight with a loved one, lost job, lack of money, etc. It’s amazing that we have hills and valleys in life where at one moment we are on top if the world and at other times in the depths of despair. One of the first examples of a “Do Over” is found in Genesis 6 in the account of Noah and the Flood. From the time Adam and Eve were created until the time of the flood, culture had grown so evil that God needed a do over. Let us look and see how that Do Over helps us today.


1) THE GOOD LIFE IS NEVER GUARANTEED (Genesis 1-3)
Hopefully, no one thinks being a teenager today is as pleasant as a bunch of students from different groups randomly breaking out to sing Madonna songs that they have never heard before.  We would like to think that life will be great all the time, but we learn that hard times produce far greater insight, strength and dependence upon God in our lives.  God went to great lengths to create a perfect life for us as seen in creation.

  • Genesis 1:31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!
  • Genesis 2:25 They were naked and felt no SHAME.
    • It's important to note here that we cannot understand this concept as fallen man.  Everything was perfect. Adam and Eve walked and fellowshipped directly with God.  Know that before the fall they felt no shame being in each other's presence or God.  Not until the fall did we begin our life long process of hiding who we really are from God and others.
  • Genesis 3:1 Adam and Eve begin to question God (Just like us).
    • While we may not have a serpent talking to us in a tree, Satan is still just as ruthless.  He hides in our music collection, movies, new reports, websites, magazines, news, Facebook, Myspace, etc. telling us that God really does not mean what He says that the Bible is outdated and error filled.  That God doesn't really hold us to any standard.  The same lie from the serpent in the garden just communicated in a different way.

Let's say I was baking a cake that calls for 6 eggs. 1 of the 6 eggs is rotten and smells bad. But, I don’t have any more eggs so i put it in the mix. Would you want to eat it? No, It’s been tainted and may cause you to get sick. God had made the perfect cake (The Garden of Eden without sin). Adam and Eve were living the good life. Fellowship with God and each other with no shame. There was no hiding from God. Sin (The Bad Egg) enters and spoils God’s creation. No more Good Life.
In Genesis: 3:21 God shows his love for Adam and Eve, even in the midst of their disobedience he made clothing for them. They were still punished and there were still consequences but God’s love still protected them.


2) GOD’S PUNISHMENT AND LOVE GO HAND IN HAND (Genesis 6:5-8)
The world had gone wrong. Their thinking, devotion, worship of idols had gone awry. The creation God had called very Good in Genesis 1:31 was now the creation God regretted ever creating. It is important to note that GOD DID NOT CHANGE HIS MIND, HIS HEART WAS BREAKING.

  • 1 Samuel 15:29 - And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!”

Disappointment and regret are emotions that we feel just like God does.  We all have said things in moments of anguish to our friends, parents, coworkers, etc that come from a place of deep hurt.  Even as hurt as God was He still offered hope. GOD ALWAYS OFFERS HOPE IN THE MIDST OF CHAOS

  • Genesis 6:8 - But Noah Found Favor with The Lord (Also see Joshua, Lot, Daniel, Jonah,& David)

3) GOD REWARDS FAITHFULNESS (Genesis 6:9)
It is important to note that righteous (right living) and blameless do not equal perfection. Noah loved and obeyed God with his whole heart. For a lifetime he walked step by step in faith as a living example to his generation. THE BALANCE ACT: Like Noah, we live in a world filled with evil. Are we influencing others or being influenced by them?

  • Genesis 7:6 - God’s First Do-Over (Water - The Flood)

My friend Mull always gets a kick out of my two pronged approach to fixing electronics. He brought a laptop to me that had a defective screen.  It would not come on.  I tried these two steps and it worked.

  • A - Reboot & Restart (If that doesn't work, go to step B)
  • B - Take The Battery Out then repeat step A

Just like in the illustration of the cake and laptop, there glitch (impurity) called “sin” in the world. This bad egg is in everything we do. (Romans 3:23)


4) GOD GIVES US DO-OVERS

  • CONFESS 1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
    • Confession is not a one time experience.  Yes, we must confess (Take Ownership) of our sins and realize that Jesus Christ died as a sacrifice for those sins by paying their debt with His blood.  God loves us so much that just like making clothes for Adam and Eve, He provides a way for us to have fellowship with Him through the sacrifice of His son. But, we must continue to live in a state of confession by continually going before God and admit how we have failed so He can restore us.  Just like Jesus did for Peter (see John 21).
  • REPENT Luke 13:3 you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God.
    • Whether we have been a Christian for 10 minutes or 10 years we must confess and TURN AWAY from our sins and Turn To Christ when we fall short.
  • TRANSFORM Romans 12:1-2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
    • Thanks be to God for giving us Do Overs.  He wants us to be more tomorrow than we are today.  He knows what we are capable of and where we will fall short.
Do not feel like God is finished with you.  If you are a Christian and striving to live a life for God's glory, please know that He notices, just like He did with Noah.  You may be on the edge of something great.  Do not focus on what you were but who you are and whose you are.  For Christians our life is not our own.  We were bought with a price. (See 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  We were made to have fellowship with Him and life for Him.  One day we will be in a new Eden.  For those who have never accepted Jesus Christ as their Forgiver and Leader their do overs are doomed by the biases of this sinful world and the ultimate user Satan himself to an eternity separated from God.  Some will continue to fight God calling and others will accept the free gift and get the Ultimate Do Over.  They become a "New Creation" There is none better. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17)