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Friday, July 29, 2016

Trust God for a Second (or Third or Fourth) Chance BY RICK WARREN — JULY 29 Friday

“By faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God” (Romans 5:1 CEV).
If you’re like most of us, you could use a second chance to get healthy in 2016. A December 2012 Journal of Clinical Psychologyreport says the number one New Year’s resolution for the year was to lose weight. By the end of the year, only 8 percent of respondents had successfully fulfilled their resolutions — whether they were losing weight, getting organized, cutting debt, or something else.
Even if you’ve made an ill-fated resolution to get healthy in 2015, 2014, 2013, or every year for the last decade, never forget that Jesus is all about second chances when you stumble. We can be grateful that his mercies are new every morning — and every New Year.
Jesus said, “I didn’t come to condemn the world.  I came to save it.”  That means God didn’t stand behind you and shake his head disapprovingly when you blew your last diet. You don’t need to feel ashamed about your past diet failures. God isn’t ashamed of you.
Too many people go through life feeling guilty, judged, and criticized by God. They have no desire to spend time with the critical god they’ve imagined in their head who they’re sure is disappointed in them.
If you want to get healthy in 2016, that kind of thinking is counterproductive. To get healthy you need to accept that God loves you completely, totally, and unconditionally. Because Jesus died in your place on the cross, you are completely acceptable to God — no matter how many diets you’ve blown.
Romans 5:1 says, “By faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God” (CEV).
God wants to give you his best this year — no matter how many times you’ve failed in the past. The Bible says you have complete access to God and his power in your life today if you know him. You don’t have to wait until you get your life together. You get all the amazing benefits of being a child of God today!
I believe your year will be completely and totally transformed — including your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual life — if you become consistently aware of God’s unconditional, continuous, and never-ending love for you.
Unconditional love will turn a loser into a winner. You have no idea how many times your heavenly Father has wanted to reach out and grasp you in his arms when you felt like you blew it!
So as you look forward to getting healthy, internalize the truth that God loves you despite your failures. He longs to walk with you as you try to get healthy this year.
Instead of letting your past failures define you, my prayer for you is that you’ll fully understand God’s great love for you. I pray his love will give you the power to do the unbelievable this year.
Talk It Over
  • How have you let past failures define your future, particularly in connection to getting healthy?
  • What makes it difficult to accept the unconditional love of God in your life?
  • What makes God’s unconditional love for you so potentially transforming?
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