Second Chances

I read this during my devotional time yesterday and found it very encouraging.  It comes from Henry Blackaby’s “Experiencing God Day-by-Day”.

Does God give second chances to those who have failed Him?  He certainly did so for Peter.  Peter had proudly announced that he was Jesus’ most reliable disciple (Matt. 26:33).  Yet Peter not only fled with the other disciples in the moment of crisis, but also blatantly denied he even knew Jesus. (Matt. 26:69-75)…..How compassionate the risen Christ was to Peter!  The angel gave the women at the tomb special instructions to let Peter know that He was risen.  “But go, tell His disciples-and Peter- that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” (Mark 16:7)……God’s desire is to take you from where you are and bring you to where He wants you to be……Don’t give up if you have failed your Lord.  Remember what happened to Peter.  God has not finished developing you as a disciple. (p. 109)

I love the fact that Jesus singles out Peter in Mark 16:7.  Jesus knew Peter would be smarting from the shame of having turned his back on his friend and his Lord.

It reminds me a bit of kids choosing teams on the playground.  For whatever reason one kid has been ostracized and knows he isn’t going to be first pick, if he gets picked at all.

But lo and behold, one of the team captains not only picks him first to be on the team, but calls him by name.  ” You are valuable, you are worthy, you are wanted.  It’s not too late.”

It could be that today you are very aware that your choices in life haven’t been good ones.  You may feel as though you have worn out your welcome with people and with God because you keep messing up.  It may seem as though you might as well just keep on going in a negative direction because who would give you a chance to start over at this point?

Human beings struggle with forgiveness for others and themselves.  Guilt pushes us into a corner and snowballs us with shame.  However this isn’t how God functions.  Guilt and shame don’t come from Him.  They come from people or the enemy.

With God there is conviction and then an offer for reconciliation.  God says to us, ” This was wrong.  Let’s look at it together.  Do you see it from my viewpoint now?  Good.  Say your sorry and let’s move on.  I have so much in store for you.  I don’t want this sin to get in the way of you experiencing all I have for you.”

Jesus showed us by His example that conviction of sin is not supposed to freeze us up.  It points to the truth that we are not God.   We need to rely on Him to be able to do the right thing.  He wants us to rely on Him.  He created us for relationship with Him.  He wants to reconcile with you.  He wants you to back away from the corner and hold out your hand for Him to grasp.  He is calling you by name.

Romas 3:23-24 says,

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

It isn’t too late-ever.  Respond to Jesus calling you out by name.  He isn’t finished with you yet.

 

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