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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN




Second Chances

I have always been thankful for second chances. I need them. Those dearest to me know that so very well! Without second chances I wouldn't be married, have children who love me, have any friends, have a job, have people who read my mistake ridden articles, or, most importantly, have the promise of salvation.  Second chances....

I was at the beauty shop a couple of weeks ago getting my haircut (yes, all three of them at the same time), and thought that there are some things that most folks don't give a second chance. I don't guess I could find a barber/stylist who would test that theory, but they are a good example. See if I'm not right on this. If you go to the barber shop for the first time and they gap your hair terribly or they clip your ear (it happens), or they just do an awful job cutting or fixing your hair, you probably won't go back. If that same thing happens at a barber that you've been going to for years you'd probably return, but if it happens on a first time visit, you'll find another place to take your hair. They won't get a second chance. There are other things that are that way — restaurants, mechanics, doctors. I'm sure there are many more, but I can't think of a single one...except...for churches!

Visit a church. If they do something that offends your sense of right and wrong, if the people are not friendly, if the sermon does not connect with you, if the singing is lacking, if they don't know what is going on and no explanations are given, if the services are cold and dead then most folks won't go back. They won't give that church a second chance.

Is all this necessary? Is it important? Well, if they don't come back they may never obey the gospel. And if they never obey the gospel then they will be lost. (Rom. 1:16, II Thess. 2:7-9)

It reminds me again of the importance of being a friendly church, of being sensitive to our visitors, of praising God with our very best. God gives second chances, (I Tim 1:15) but often times those who need Him won't give us a second chance. So, let's use every opportunity to give the most of ourselves and present the best of ourselves. Next time you stop in for a cut or a shampoo remember the kind of church that we are striving to be. And let's not forget to be a church that gives second chances. (Col. 3:13, Eph. 4:32, Gal. 6:1-2).

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward