Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Growing up, my summers were marked by playing Super Mario 3 on Nintendo with the boys.  The original, old-school Nintendo was one of my favorite childhood joys.  One of the greatest beauties of Nintendo to me was the reset button. 

No matter how many times you died in a video game, you could always come back to life through this magical grey button on the Nintendo box.  You were never invincible, per se, in video game land.  No, you could still die.  You could still get hurt.  You could still suffer setbacks that would take you hours to regain the ground you lost.  But there was always this option of starting afresh; this beautiful concept of resetting your game and being brought back to new life.   

Have you ever thought of how awesome it would be to push the reset button on your life? 

I mean, not to "end it," but to start where you left off when things took a turn for the worse.  Have you ever thought that you fouled up so badly that your life seemed beyond redemption?  I have.  How nice it would be to press the reset button on a screwed up relationship, messed up finances, or after dropping the ball on a work assignment!   Sometimes we just want the chance to start over again. 

The good news is, in Christ, we can.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Brethren, I count not myself yet to have apprehended: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 3:14.

Have you ever played Mario Kart?  

I think God invented Mario Kart, because it truly is an amazing and prophetic game.  Go find it and play it for yourself if you don't believe me.  Mario Kart is a racing game in which players compete for the best finish time.  In Mario Kart you race laps around a track full of obstacles (like banana peels, grenades and what have you), and sometimes, in your haste, you veer off course. 

But what happens when you veer far enough off course? 

In that game, a giant hand from heaven comes down, picks you up and puts you back on the road, right where you left off.  What a beautiful image of what God does for us. 

Even when we were dead in sins, (He) has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  ~ Ephesians 2:5-7

God will always do you one better.  He not only sets us back where we left off when we go off track; He sets us in a far better position than we could have ever obtained before.  In Mario Kart, time elapses.  You will be set back in your race for the time that you missed while off road.  In Christ, however, God redeems the time and He makes everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). 

I heard a minister testify once that he partied his 20s away.  At age 30 he answered God's call on his life to go into ministry.  As he started moving ahead in his ministry, though, he felt the strain of condemnation.  The whispers of the enemy started saying, "If you'd gone into ministry sooner, you'd be way further ahead than you are now!"  He felt condemned that he had wasted so much time.  He thought, gosh, what if I had started following God's plan for my life 20 years ago?  He inquired of the Lord on this issue and the response he received was beautiful:

"You would be right where you are right now."  Where is that?  Smack dab in the center of God's will for your life.

How is that possible?  Because God is that good.  His grace is that real and He is no respecter of persons (He doesn't play favorites).  That is just as true for me as it is for you.  Christians, I'm talking to you on this one.  All of us have messed up.  Maybe you've leaned on the crutch of "before I became a Christian, I did this and that..."  Well, what about after you became a new creation in Christ?  Some of you have fallen under condemnation for screw-ups after you became a Christian.  My friends, if while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, how much more is that true now?

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.…~Romans 5:8.   

Run to Win

When you go off track, don't resist the hand from heaven trying to put you back on the right road.  Thank God for His mercy on your life and let Him take you there.  How beautiful it is to be reset in a better place than where we left off.  Keep running the race at full speed and win.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:25.

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