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Your Faith is Gods Gift

Your Faith is Gods Gift

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Published by Butibo jhon 1 12

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Published by: Butibo jhon 1 12 on Sep 05, 2009
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09/05/2009

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BY PASTOR MARK JESKE
Your
F
AITH
Is
GOD’s
G
IFT
 
Copyright © 2008 Time of Grace MinistryDirect quotations from theBible (NIV) are printed in
bold
.
Your
F
AITH
Is
GOD’s
G
IFT
BY PASTOR MARK JESKE
 
2
Your
F
AITH
Is
GOD’s
G
IFT
T
IMEOF
G
RACE
3
D
o you love to golf? I do, but I getout only a handful of times eachsummer. At the level of play thatI’m capable of, I don’t work too hard atkeeping score. I don’t look at anybodyelse’s scorecard, and I would never bet anymoney. But I have fun hacking away.One of the things about golf that I love themost is a little feature named after anIrishman—the “mulligan.” Sometimes Itake a mighty swing and hit a patheticlittle grounder into the bushes. Behind myback I can hear suppressed laughter aspeople politely look away. It’s consideredrude to offer comments or suggestionswhen somebody has shanked a shot.But there’s one suggestion that’s alwayswelcome, and that is: “Go ahead, buddy,take a mulligan.” At my level of play, youget one or two mulligans per nine. Theyhelp to salve your crushed ego. You windup, take that big swing, and you’re lookingout there for the ball to rise upmajestically. Instead you find that youhave hit one into where the rabbits live.But with a mulligan, you can tee up and tryagain. If you manage to get that secondone out on the fairway, everything is fineagain, and you can pretend that the lastshot was really the only ball you hit. Now in other sports—like basketball, forinstance—there are unfortunately nomulligans. You never see a team saying,“Ha! That was a miserable brick you threwup there. Here, take another shot.” No,not a chance. No “do-overs” in basketball.Here’s a question for you. In the game of life, do you get mulligans from God or not?That’s a complicated question, and I’mserious in asking you. Do you get do-oversfrom God? The answer is both yes and no.I want to talk to you about that curiousdilemma of second chances. And I can’tthink of a better time than right now toponder the important questions of ourexistence: Does God like me? How do Iknow that for sure? Is my life pleasing tohim, or is he disgusted with me? What’sgoing to happen to me when I’m evaluatedfor the way in which I’ve spent my life?Can I look forward to evaluation day, or doI dread it with a sickening feeling in thepit of my stomach? Would I do anything toavoid the stressful contemplation of myface-to-face meeting with my Creator?I’d like you to think about a little mini-letter in the Bible that was sent to one of seven churches of Asia Minor thatsurrounded the apostle John’s home basein Ephesus. This little letter is in the bookof Revelation. The letters in Revelationchapters two and three are like reportcards that list how the seven churcheswere doing. Chapter three (verses 1-6)begins with a little postcard to the churchat Sardis, which was in western AsiaMinor. The Lord Jesus instructed his apostle John to write down a brief evaluation of how the congregation there was doing.I think it was good for these churches tohear from the Lord himself and ask

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