“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” -- 1 John 1:9 (NIV)
Have you ever needed a second chance? If you are like me, you thank God for second chances and for accounts in the Bible of men, women, and nations who were given a second chance!
Throughout my lifetime I have encountered second chances in relationships, occupations, education, ministry, and so much more. I’ve been given second chances to forgive, to adjust my attitude, to choose obedience to God, and the list goes on. There are so many ways in which we are given second chances each and every day that there’s no way to list them all. But, the first action we must take is to recognize that we’ve been given a second chance and then we must ask ourselves; how are we going to respond?
There are so many accounts in the Bible that demonstrate second chances, it would take way too long to name them all, so let’s talk about a few of the most familiar ones. Jonah is likely one of the first accounts that come to mind when we think of second chances in the Bible. In the book of Jonah, we not only see God giving Jonah a second chance to deliver His message to Nineveh, we see God giving him a second chance at life and a second chance to adopt a proper attitude toward the salvation of the Ninevites. In the book of Jonah, we also see second chances given to the sailors who were traveling to Tarshish and to the Ninevites whose great wickedness caused God to act. Thank God that His mercy, grace, and forgiveness allows us second chances!
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” -- 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
In the book of Exodus, Moses repeatedly questioned God regarding his ability to be God’s spokesman, but God didn’t give up on Moses, He gave him multiple opportunities to get his attitude right and even brought Aaron alongside him to assist him in the assignment (Exodus 3:11; 4:1, 10, 13; 5:22-23).
God’s repeated call for repentance throughout scripture beautifully represents His desire to give every one of us a second chance.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” -- John 3:17 (NIV)
Do you recognize your second chances? How have you learned from past mistakes, and how do you plan to make the most of your second chance?
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