I am a preacher. Its what I do. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t just work for a half an hour on a Sunday morning. In fact, as a preacher, my eyes and ears are always open for thoughts which inspire me. I live in a state of prayer and meditation which then transitions into sermons. I am not a motivational speaker or a street poet who looks for any idea that might motivate someone, but I am constantly seeking the leading of God for what he might be saying.
I was listening to someone the other day and a word caught the edge of my mind – like something jagged the edge of my thoughts and pulled me back. That word was “second”
I started to think about this idea of being second. What is it that we, as Christians, are second at? Our world pushes the idea of coming first, but as followers of Christ, we are called to come second.
So what do we come second in?
Second Chance – we not only receive a second chance from God, but we are called to pass that on, to give a second chance to others
Second Mile – Jesus tells us that if someone makes you go one mile with them, go the second one too. We are called to give more than is required and to be more generous than we necessarily have to be.
Second Nature – this means two things – that grace should be second nature to us – that we should just do it intuitively as God continues to work in us, but also that we have a second nature, a nature that comes from our participation in the Divine nature and overcomes our lower, or ‘sinful’ natures.
Second Life – not the video game, but the thing that happens in and to us when we are born again. We get a new life, a new beginning and we live in the resurrection life of Jesus.
Second Birth – this has been a conundrum right from the first time Jesus said it in John 3. What does being “born again” or “born from above” really mean? It isn’t the topic of this post – maybe I will post something on it another time – but to be born of the Spirit means to be born with this second nature and to be growing in the second life.
Second Wind – Paul talks about forgetting what is behind and pressing on (Philippians 3). We have the ability to not be constrained or contained by our former life, but to press on even when things get tough because of the life we now live.
Second Half – Sometimes our lives are like a football game where the first half has just not gone our way and we are down on the scoreboard with the wind out of our sails. We have the chance to start again in the second half with renewed vitality because the old has passed and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5)
Second Hand – We were already used, dirty, broken or stained when we came to Christ. But He makes us new again (1 Corinthians 1)
Second Cup – have you ever had a coffee that was so good you just had to have another one? I have. Once. We experience life with God, and it is so good that we just have to have another one – metaphorically speaking. If you know God, you know what I mean. If you don’t, give it a go.
Second Person – we are called to consider others before ourselves. In the race of life, we should be putting others first because we already have all we need – life in Christ – but they still need to know it.
And lastly (although there could be so many more),
Second Place – our lives now belong to God, so we ourselves come second in what we do. We seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6)
It seems to me that, in spite of what we are told by the world around us, it is okay to come second.