Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Restoring Factory Settings

I had the amazing opportunity last night to talk to my dad over the phone for quite awhile actually. We have restored our relationship after not speaking for almost 17 years. Looking back some might say we were both at fault for being at odds for so many years and all that time is lost and can never be regained. I would beg to differ.

I remember something Greg Laurie, pastor at Harvest Church in Riverside, was teaching on, about two differences in sin. A lesser sin and a greater sin. Huh?

Yes, you read that right. There are various forms of things we can do that are sinful, but there are two degrees of how severe they are, one lesser and the other greater.

Meaning you can lie as a believer and lie as an unbeliever. So which sin is greater?

Most would say they are the same, but they aren't.

The believer is held to a high standard because they know better. They are one of God's chosen so they know what they are doing is wrong, while an unbeliever is still undecided about his faith in God. So for us, we are held to a greater measuring stick.

Interesting right? So how does that apply to me and my father?

I found God and my salvation in Jesus Christ when I was 21. Between the those years and where I am now, there is an awful lot of space in between. I fell away but never lost my salvation in God. I was a lost prodigal trying to make my way in the world, trying to do things on my own, but never understanding my true need for God in my life. I can remember those ebbs and flows in my life where I would be completely on fire for God, and then fall away again. Much like the person who is on a walk, and instead of moving forward, falls and refuses to get back up. I didn't lose ground, I just didn't gain ground on those times. My salvation was secure I just wasn't growing in my faith, my relationship with God or my spiritual knowledge.

So when I refused to speak and restore the relationship with my dad, yes we were both at fault, but me, more so than my father. Being a Christian, I am held to a higher accountability than he was. I could make every single excuse in the book, but until I realized I was called to do the right thing and make amends, even if he flat out refused to accept my forgiveness and apology, I was still doing the right thing. (Thanks to Mikey Tribbie for making me realize what I needed to do as a believer!)

So when I called him that first time, on his birthday, he was shocked I'm sure. But I was forever grateful I called. See we don't know when our time here on earth is up, but I know one thing for sure, I want to make sure when I get to Heaven, I have the right answers for what I did with my life for Jesus.

For the last couple of decades, I've done some things for God's glory, but in my opinion, not enough. I need to be a living, breathing example of the power at work of God living in my life, so others can see and be transformed and want that same thing in their own lives.

One day, this world will end and God will restore it when He comes back to judge everyone. Until that time, we have two choices. If you are born once, you will die twice and if you are born twice, you will die once. The choice is yours.

What does this mean?

If you are born once, meaning your physical body being born when you are a baby, and when you die twice, you will physically die and you will face a spiritual death away from God and Heaven.

However, if you are born twice, mean physical body born when you are a baby and then a spiritual rebirth when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior (the ONLY WAY to heaven by the way!), when you die it will only be your physical body, your spiritual one will live forever in Heaven and with God and the rest of the unbelievers. The choice is simple, the choice is yours and yours alone to make.

No one can do it for you. I hope you make the decision today to be born twice and to die once. I would love to spend an eternity with you as part of the heavenly family. Are you ready to make that commitment?

Here's all you need to do, but it has to be with a sincere heart, meaning you are handing your life, your messes over to God and you're tired of doing things your way. But the great news is that starting today, God will do a factory reset on your life (much like those factory resets on your computer,) and starting today, YOU will be a NEW creation and have an eternal destiny that doesn't involve fire, and torment forever and ever. Here's all you need to do! Pray this prayer!

Lord Jesus,

I know I'm a sinner, but I thank You for dying on the cross for my sins and rising again from the dead. I'm sorry for my sin, Lord, and I turn from it now, and I put my faith in You. To be my Savior, my Lord, my God and my Friend. Thank You, for loving me, and calling me, and accepting me, In Jesus Name, AMEN!!!

That's it? Well, yes and no! You are NOW a new creation and there are some things you need to do to help you on your spiritual walk to become stronger in your faith. Remember what I shared before about being on a walk? You are just beginning yours, you don't want to stop your forward progress, so I have 4 tips for you to make sure you don't fall down and stay down.

1. Begin praying to God. Talk to Him just like you would a friend. He's anxious to hear from you. In fact, He's been watching you this entire time and can't wait to hear your thoughts on everything happening in your life.

2. Read your Bible. If you don't have one, get one! (like Woody would say from Toy Story!) It helps you know more about Jesus, God and what has been happening since the beginning of creation right to the very end of the world. Not sure where to start, begin in the book of John.

3. Find a church! It's like a vitamin B-12 shot and helps keeps you motivated, learning and growing, plus you meet some great people there who are now, part of your new family. And it's growing every day.

4. Tell people. Tell others about your decision today to give your life to God. In fact, I'd love to hear from you so please email me at and I'd love to pray for you and encourage you in your new walk.


David C Brown said...

"And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmer-worm ...", Joel 2: 25. God can even do that.

Sandra said...

Loved this post, I am currently wanting to renew my relationship with God, not that I don't have one, but I feel it could always be stronger.

I'm not going to give up, you are right, we don't know when our time is up here on earth and we do have to answer to God when we get up there.

Thanks for this post again, needed to read it today.

Much love to you,

LV said...

How wonderful you let the good Lord lead you to do the right thing. We all have regrets in life, but its how we handle them that is important. You are definitely going on the the right path that the good Lord wants you to. Thanks for a wonderful message.