Summary: God’s love is everlasting; You are never too old or too far gone to start over.

Never Too Late

All Things New Series: Week 2

BIG IDEA: God’s love is everlasting; You are never too old or too far gone to start over.

The fact is, everyone experiences failure in life. We all have setbacks and losses, and sometimes a defeat can seem overwhelming to you. Every once in a while, we are the ones that bring defeat on ourselves. But more often than not, it’s something that we have no control over.

This morning I want to do two things:

I want to share with you some of the causes of failure, and

I want to talk about what God’s Word says about getting a fresh start.

First, let’s look at…

Five Possible Causes For Failure

1. We fail when we don’t plan AHEAD.

You remember the old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail?” I believe that one of the reasons we fail is because we tend to be impulsive, and we just don’t plan ahead like we should. Listen to the words of Jesus in one of His parables…

For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,

Luke 14:28-29

Let me ask you something - was it raining when Noah began to build the ark? No! It didn’t rain for 120 years. Now, that’s what I call long-term planning! 120 years he worked on that ark. Planning is important…but we must also learn from Noah by following God’s plans, not just your own.

Bottom line: We fail because we don’t plan.

2. We fail when we think we have ARRIVED.

Proverbs 16:18

Pride goes before destruction,

And a haughty spirit before a fall.

We fail when we think we have it all together. You’re never going to get anywhere if you think you are already there! Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You're not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. My dad used to always say, “He who gets too big for his britches will eventually be exposed in the end!” That saying reminds me of another saying that Jesus used in one of His parables….

In the 14th chapter of Luke Jesus says to imagine that you go to a dinner party. You get there early and you make a mad dash to get past everybody else so you can get the seat of honor. Once you claim your seat, you sit down feeling real good…waving at all the little people seated out at the end of the table. A little bit later, the host comes to you, taps you on the shoulder and says, “Excuse me, I’m sorry but you’re in someone else’s seat. I’m going to have to ask you to move.” And now all the other seats have been filled, except the place at the end of the table. How embarrassing! You’re not waving at anybody now! You are the little people! Then Jesus applies this to everyone who’s attending the party, saying…

But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. 11 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 14:10-11

That’s what pride does, it causes us to fail.

3. We fail when we’re AFRAID to take risks.

Proverbs 29:25

The fear of man brings a snare,

But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.

The moment you start worrying about what other people think, you are doomed. “The fear of man brings a snare”, in other words…it’s a trap! Church, the greatest failure you will ever face is the failure to try. Sometimes you just gotta take risks.

Every Christian’s life is marked by windows of opportunity that demand that you take a radical step of faith in order to follow Christ and fulfill His purposes for your life. And what makes that step radical is that it always involves significant risk. There are times where God will bring an opportunity and it may be in your marriage, it may be in your career, it may be with regard to your finances, it may be in regard to a relationship, and He's going to say, "In order to obey me, in order to follow me, in order to do exactly what I want you to do, this is what you need to do in this situation."

I’ll be the first to tell you, that’s a scary feeling. But listen carefully, no risk equals no faith. Write that one down….no risk quals no faith. And where there’s no faith, there’s no power, no joy, no intimacy with God, no pleasing of God, and no reward. Think about that.

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