Before bed last night I was reminiscing about grade school and how thankful I am that God has so much more grace than my classmates of that era. My elementary school days were in an older brick school with grass in front the students were not allowed to use and black top for play ground. We had hours of fun and frequent scabbed knees from playing games like kickball, tag, jump rope and the best of all four square. The most gregarious girl (never me) would grab the ball and start the game. There was quite the etiquette to follow while playing four square in our school. The one who had the ball was server first and could call the shots by stating the rules. Often the rules were things like no tea-parties (two people playing and leaving out others) and if do-overs were allowed or not. Being less athletically inclined I always was for at least one do-over. No do-overs, for me, meant certain failure to not be able to rise to the coveted server position.
I was remembering this in light of a do-over offered, that I gladly embraced, at Grace Church where we worship. Last year our fellowship asked the body to commit to memorizing the book of Ephesians. Joel and I began with gusto and did well the first couple months. We went over the verses on our own and each night before bed we would review as a couple. Not sure exactly how it happened but life got busy and we lost momentum and missed a few days that rapidly turned into weeks. Discouragement in failing and being SO far behind and busyness of selling our home, buying another and moving led us to just give it up. For me and my easily distracted ADD personality it was difficult to not be memorizing scriptures that went along with the preaching or area studying in Bible study. Once again for 2013 Grace Church has Ephesians as the book to memorize (or review for those who succeeded last year) and it will go along with the passages being preached at church and reviewed each Sunday. I get a do-over!! Hope and grace to once again succeed.
God’s grace is unlimited! He does not tap his foot over the center of the cross lines and say “No do-overs”. No instead He gently woos me over and over again to serve and re-serve until I hit the mark. He cheers me on and is an ever-present coach to me with His loving and living Word. He doesn’t condemn or deride but forgives.
Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Do-overs – sigh – I need them each day. Each day I take my eyes off Christ and look to self. Each day when I put my needs first rather than preferring another. Do-overs when I am impatient, speak harshly, or bite my tongue but think the unkind words. No condemnation even when I condemn others! Oh the matchless do-over grace of my Lord!!
John Piper “Why to Memorize Scripture” http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-2ph6zKxJDk