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One chance. That’s it.

I remember thinking this when I was helping some of my UV brothers with a Bible club at an inner-city playground. I saw a little girl and her dad playing, so conveniently let the men carry our supplies and went to talk to her, color with her, and just love her. Only one other boy came, but we hadn’t seen either of them at Urban Vision before so we were totally pumped about reaching out to them.

One chance, I thought. We may never see these kids again. We only have one time to be with them, be positive influences, reach out…

One chance. So what were we to tell them?

It’s week 4 or 5 of teen Bible study. It’s the second week one of the girls hasn’t shown up. I’m worried. She doesn’t attend the other programming at UV, and likely doesn’t get much Bible teaching aside from it. I worry some more.

Two weeks ago, Lord… I did my best to love on her. To make her feel special. To show her we cared. What if that week was the last week? What if I never see her again?

One chance. What if that was all I had with her?

What if today is the last day you have alive? Tomorrow is not promised. You have one chance, once chance. What do you want your last words to be? What will people say mattered to you the most? A minor doctrine that you idolized and chased after? An obsession with something that really didn’t matter?

The Gospel?

One chance. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16). The gospel is power. God is power. He’s all that matters. Are minor doctrines good to study? Absolutely – with lots of prayer and Bible researching, of course! But regardless of beliefs, we’re all called to live the same lifestyle.

 He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

One of my life-verse passages is 1 John 3:16-18:

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

For this is the love of God, my brothers and sisters. That we obey His commandments. If we love, God’s love is perfected in us. This isn’t just affection. It’s agape. It’s 1 Corinthians 13 love.

Will people see that you loved God first, and loved others because the first love just bubbled over? Will they remember you as someone who was passionate about the Gospel, or passionate about conflict?

One chance…go get ’em, friends! 🙂

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