Tag Archive : Louie Giglio

The Comeback: It's Not Too Late And You're Never Too Far

Devotional Overview:

This reading plan includes seven daily devotions based on Louie Giglio’s book The Comeback: It’s Not Too Late and You’re Never Too Far. Each reading draws on examples of men and women in Scripture to show how God is in the business of giving fresh starts to people who need a comeback.

Key Scriptures:

  • LUKE 23:42-43

Devotional:

Paradise in a Garbage Dump

Historians and archaeologists tell us that the little section of land called Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified, was actually a landfill. Have you ever seen a landfill up close? Flies buzzing around. A bad smell in the air. Everywhere you look is pile after pile of rotting, stinking trash. And Golgotha was the worst sort of primitive, barbaric landfill possible.

When the Romans were crucifying criminals, often there’d be nobody around to claim the bodies. So soldiers would peel the bodies off the beams and toss the corpses into the garbage heap. Then wild dogs and other feral animals would eat the flesh off the bones. That’s the place where Jesus was crucified—the worst sort of garbage dump imaginable.

The fact that Jesus told the thief on the cross that he would be with Jesus in paradise is highly significant. You see, on that day, paradise came to a landfill. Paradise was connected to a garbage dump, and that connection was Jesus.

We may be living in a garbage dump today, but paradise can still find us. Our lives may be disgustingly messy and flies may buzz all around us, but Jesus is always near. That’s great news, because even if we’re in a really tough spot, we never need to count ourselves out. There’s always hope. God is the God of the great comeback.

How does a great comeback begin? It springs from simple faith from a heart that believes enough to pray a basic prayer: Jesus, please remember me. That prayer only requires a breath, just enough to change the direction of our eternity. God placed the criminal in proximity to Jesus because God wanted to let us know we don’t need to be high and mighty to get to heaven. We aren’t blessed by God because we’re better than anyone else. We get to heaven because of a simple prayer of faith.

In that prayer we acknowledge that we have nothing to offer God. We come to Jesus as helpless in our pain and despair as a thief stretched out on a cross. We look at Jesus on the cross beside us and say, “You’re God. You’re innocent of any crimes. You could get down off that cross if you wanted, but you’re there by choice for a purpose. Will you please remember me?”

Sometimes people put more words around that prayer—and that’s fine. You might understand more about spiritual matters than the thief did. But if you know far less, that’s okay too. If all you know is that Jesus was innocent, crucified for things he didn’t do but things that you had a part in doing, and if you believe that Jesus could have climbed off that cross if he wanted to but stayed there for a reason, and you just want Jesus to remember you, then your prayer is heard.

God will hear your simple prayer and bring paradise to the messiest situations and lives. Jesus is not afraid of darkness. He’s not put off by the stench of old rotten bones. He’s not afraid of a few flies. Jesus will bring paradise even to a garbage dump.

Respond

The story of the thief on the cross shows us that Jesus wasn’t drawn to those whose lives were “perfectly” together. What hope does this give you today?

In what ways did the thief who asked Jesus for mercy show he understood the gravity of his situation? In what ways have you also asked God to remember you?

What does this story tell you about the extent of God’s mercy? What does it tell you about being “too far gone” to experience a comeback?

[Content Provided By Bible.com]

The Comeback: It's Not Too Late And You're Never Too Far

Devotional Overview:

This reading plan includes seven daily devotions based on Louie Giglio’s book The Comeback: It’s Not Too Late and You’re Never Too Far. Each reading draws on examples of men and women in Scripture to show how God is in the business of giving fresh starts to people who need a comeback.

Key Scriptures:

  • EXODUS 3:9-10

Devotional:

The Story of Us

The greatest comeback occurred when Jesus was raised up out of the grave into everlasting life. Now, we can celebrate the power of God that can bring us back even from the brink of death. This is a deeper kind of comeback that God offers to everyone. Just think of the remarkable comeback story of Moses in the Bible.

When we meet Moses, he is a man with an anger problem. One day, he witnesses an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave. So he kills the Egyptian and buries him in the sand. Moses took matters into his own hands the only way he knew how. Yet a crime was still a crime, and because of that crime, Moses needed to leave Pharaoh’s house, where he’d grown up.

Moses was banished to the wilderness, where all he did for years was tend sheep. But then, at a time when many would be thinking about their last chapters on this earth, God spoke to Moses out of a burning bush and called him to a position of leadership. “I know it looks like life has passed you by,” God said, “but I’m going to use you to lead my people out of bondage in Egypt and into the Promised Land.”

Moses had a great comeback story over his anger and failed opportunities. But he also had a speech impediment and lousy self-confidence. He didn’t think he could do anything useful for God. But along with his brother, Aaron, he went to Pharaoh and told him to let God’s people go. Eventually, Pharaoh did that, and the whole nation had a comeback story.

Moses had relapses and disobeyed God a few times after that, and God wouldn’t let him go into the Promised Land as a consequence. But in the New Testament, there’s a story of Jesus hiking up on a mountain with two of his disciples. There something supernatural happened. Jesus’ clothes turned a radiant white, and he shone in brilliant glory in the presence of his disciples. Alongside Jesus, two others suddenly appeared, and one of them was Moses, in his all-time most powerful comeback. In the grace of God, there is a comeback for people who’ve already had a comeback and need another.

We could talk about story after story like these. In fact, the entire story of humanity is a story of people who have stumbled and fallen, yet somehow in this ocean of God’s grace and mercy, he provides a comeback for anyone who puts their faith and hope in Jesus. In the end, we find that no matter what we might be walking through, we can still have confidence that Jesus is the God of the comeback and that our story is not over as long as Jesus is in it.

Everybody needs a comeback, and everybody is offered a comeback. No matter what our obstacles are, no matter what mistakes we’ve made, no matter if we’re in a season of wandering or darkness, God’s purpose and plan will still prevail.

Respond

What stands out to you about Moses’ comeback story in the Bible?

Like Moses, we may feel we are on the back side of nowhere, or we’ve done too much wrong and there is no way back. How can we know that God always see[s] us right where we are?

In what ways have you seen God restart someone’s story?

[Content Provided By Bible.com]

The Comeback: It's Not Too Late And You're Never Too Far

Devotional Overview:

This reading plan includes seven daily devotions based on Louie Giglio’s book The Comeback: It’s Not Too Late and You’re Never Too Far. Each reading draws on examples of men and women in Scripture to show how God is in the business of giving fresh starts to people who need a comeback.

Key Scriptures:

  • PSALM 43:5

Devotional:

A Deeper Kind of Comeback

A few years back, life was on an upswing. My schedule was cranking, and everything ran at a high energy level all the time. Yet there were also some difficult and stressful tensions swirling around our family and ministry. It felt like I never had a moment of rest. In my honest times, I felt overwhelmed.

One morning at 2 AM, completely out of the blue, I woke up with a jolt and sat straight up in bed. Sweat poured down my face. My heart was racing. I thought it was going to blow out of my chest. I really thought this was what it felt like to die.

I became stuck in this pattern. Night after night, at 2 AM, I shot straight up, wide awake, with my heart racing. A dark cloud hung over me, an overwhelming feeling of dread. Night after night after night this went on and on and on.

I’ll never forget about two months after all this began. Boom—2 AM came, and I against sat bolt upright in bed. Darkness closed in around me. It felt like I was coming to the end of my rope. I thought, I can’t do this anymore. I didn’t know where to turn. All I knew was that I couldn’t continue this way. I was at the bottom.

Almost on reflex, my heart prayed, God, you’ve got to help me. That’s all I could think to say. God, please, please help.

There was no bolt of lightning. No fast fix. No immediate cure. But the smallest snippet of a Bible verse floated through my head from Job 35:10, about how God gives us songs in the night. I said, God I don’t know what else to do. But if you’ll give me a song tonight, then I’ll praise you.

The little song wasn’t a promise that God would heal me then and there. Yet God was still a healer, and I believed in him and in his purposes. That was enough for the moment—and it was the beginning of how God created a comeback in my life.

For nights, weeks, and even months to come, I experienced a strange rhythm of dread and peace, peace and dread. Some nights it was cloud, cloud, song, song. Other nights it was song, song, cloud, cloud. Gradually, mercifully, it became song, song, song, cloud. Then one night there was no cloud at all. For months on end it remained simply song, song, song, song.

If you’re in a dark place like I was, know that you’re not crazy and you’re not alone. Maybe you have a struggle similar to mine. Maybe you have conflict with your friends, coworkers, or relatives. Maybe you’re battling to overcome an addiction. Whatever the cause, life hasn’t turned out for you the way you hoped. The good news is that Jesus can meet you there and offer you a comeback. He can redeem even the worst circumstances for his glory and your best. And he offers this comeback to you right now.

During the next six days, we will look at stories of men and women in the Bible to see how God gives hope to the hopeless, direction to the directionless, and help for those who need help. All we have to do is lift up our hands in response to God’s reaching down and declare that his plan is take us out of the valley. He can—and will—give us a comeback and lead us through.

Respond

Can you recall a storm in your life that you thought was insurmountable? How did you see God come through for you?

Why do comeback stories give us hope?

Is there an area of your life you need a comeback right now?

[Content Provided By Bible.com]