I Am Second – New
“But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen
vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and
kings, and the children of Israel:”
This article is the second in the 4 part series that I am doing for the debut of the I Am Second’s Doug Bender’s latest devotional book “Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First”. I strongly recommend that if you haven’t read my first entry, that you do it now since it will shed a lot of light on the content of this post. You can read it here.
To get your own copy of the book and let it show you how you can Live Second too, click on the picture above and it will take you to an online order page for the book. As a disclaimer – I am NOT a paid contributor. I am writing all of this of my own free will.
In my previous post, I wrote about how I lied to myself for many years, telling myself that I was in control of my destiny, of my world; that I could use the power of my own mind to make anything happen in my life that I wanted to.
If you are thinking that way now, I strongly suggest that you look again at your own life and see that you are nothing without God. Without Jesus at the helm of your earthly ship, you are bound for rough waters and ultimately for the rocks on the shore that you are about to run into. You can look at the life of Jonah in the Bible to see how that ends, or you can turn it into the ship ride that Paul took and make it a success.
That was before – this is now!
God allowed me to become partially paralyzed (or parapresic) where I can move but I don’t feel my lower extremities. I didn’t wake up to God’s calling.
God allowed me to be diagnosed with Stage 4 Carcinoid Cancer. Terminal; inoperable; spread to my liver; very painful; lost lots of weight (you wouldn’t know it by looking at me today). God got my attention – Finally!!! PTL
I can’t tell you what a joy it is to actually let God have control on your life. When I think about where I was and where I am now, I can’t help but wonder “Why”? Why did God want me around still? After all of the backsliding that I had done and all of the “close calls” that I’ve had, I, by all intents and purposes, should be dead right now or at least a vegetable.
The medical professionals have one word for me – “Anomaly”! Almost every time I go to the doctor, I can tell you what they are going to tell me; “I can’t find anything wrong with you” or “there should be no reason why you hurt here”. Sometimes I don’t go to the doctor for that exact reason. One visit turns into 3 with all of the extra tests and follow up visits and so on.
This “Anomaly” has a purpose in God’s eyes! For many years I have wondered why it is that God keeps me around and I couldn’t answer that question. Every so often I would ask myself again and come up with the answer of, “God’s got a plan for me; If He was finished with me, I wouldn’t be here still”.
That is something that all of us should ask ourselves, because, our whole existence on this earth is to glorify God and do His bidding. If we aren’t doing that as Christians, God may not have any further use for you – then you won’t be around any more. Sobering thought!
The “lesson” in the book for this post makes mention of new Christians and how we try to stifle their zeal and energy to spread the Gospel. I’m not a new convert by any means, but because of all of the backsliding that I’ve done and for so long, I almost feel like one.
Now, instead of a whole person who is capable of “anything”, God has a broken person who is crippled, constantly in pain, stuck in bed for the majority of my life, but, I have a burning in my heart for the lost – I want to be able to help people find the right path to travel in their spiritual lives. While being “broken”, I always have to keep my eyes on God to supply my needs and therefore He can be seen in and through me.
For a long time I wondered about my purpose. I have married again (wife #3). She is a great person with a great heart. She knew what she was getting into when she married me – no surprises later. She knew that she probably only had another 2-3 years with me then she would be collecting the insurance money on me. She is AWESOME! She takes care of me when I need it but I still attempt to have my own independence and do things on my own. But her support is priceless!
My purpose? My wife has 2 children – a boy and a girl. She is 25 and out of the house and living with the grandparents, and he is 17 and still in high school. He is a teenager like none other that I have known, besides myself… I see myself in him! He has a heart for God. He goes to public school and carries his Bible around with him. He catches heat for it sometimes but the Lord has blessed it because He and I have had a chance to meet with a classmate that needed Jesus and we were able to show her how to find him. She became a Christian and now we have somewhat-weekly get together/Bible studies with her.
I have realized that my purpose is to be a Dad to them as much as I can – not to replace anyone else in their lives, but to just be there for them and guide and instruct them in the right ways to go from a Biblical perspective.
My purpose is to be willing to do anything that God puts in my path.
As Christians, we need to not stifle the energy of new believers but rather encourage it. “Go out and tell the world”, we should tell them and help them as they go.
Moreover than that, we as seasoned Christians need to find that fire within ourselves and stoke it up, make it burn brighter than it ever has! That is the only way that God is going to use us. That fire will breed passion and the passion will breed desire to do anything that God wants us to do and that is to be a “Christian”, Christ – follower (like) person that tries to mirror Christ’s actions or at least make the decisions that He would make if He were in your shoes.
Become a “NEW” person; a “NEW” Christian! Let your light shine!
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your
good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
God Bless You!
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Read the other Live Second Entries:
This is post #2