Category Archives: God of a second chance

A Second Chance at Relationships

We live in a world where nobody is perfect. We all have different tolerances. We walk through challenging seasons. We have issues and opportunities to be offended, often with those closest to us. But thankfully, with God’s help, we get a second chance at relationships.

What is the most important factor in giving relationships a second chance? Forgiveness. It is not just a Christian virtue, it is a command.

 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 NIV

Jesus challenges us to think about the grace that we’ve received from him and use it as motivation to extend grace to each other.

So, How did God – in Christ – forgive us? By substitution.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV

Jesus took our place. We are so precious and valuable to God that he put the penalty of our sin, which is death, on Jesus so that we could live! All we have to do is receive the free gift of his grace and pardon.

When we think about forgiveness we must apply what Jesus did, not only to our own sins, but the sins of others as well.

Now, forgiveness is not condoning sin, or excusing bad behavior. It is not taking the blame ourselves, getting even or feeling sympathy. Forgiveness is not becoming a doormat or putting yourself in a position to be abused again.

Forgiveness is giving up the right to hold on to your hurt. It is erasing the debt and wiping the slate clean. It is possible to extend forgiveness and still keep healthy boundaries in place.

We find one of the most incredible examples of courageous forgiveness in the story of Stephen. (Acts 7:54-60) Saul, later to be called Paul, looked on while an unruly mob stoned Stephen to death. In his suffering, Stephen cried out “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” He chose forgiveness. St. Augustine points out that there would be no Paul without Stephen. Stephen’s words of forgiveness unlocked the beauty of Paul’s calling and released him to fulfill his destiny as one of the most influential Christ-followers in history.

What calling or person will you release when you choose to forgive?

 

 

 

 

Second Chance at Making a Difference

God has equipped every person to be used by Him to make a difference. You can make a positive difference in the world, no matter what you’ve done in the past or what people have said about you or what your level of faith is. God has given you talents and abilities as gifts to bless other people. As the God of second chances, your heavenly Father wants to partner with you to show His grace, acceptance and kindness to this hurting world.

Ephesians 5:15-16 says that God is calling you to maximize opportunities to make a difference as wisely as possible for good.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

But what does it mean to make a difference? One definition is when people around you experience something good, including:

  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Love
  • Comfort
  • Hope
  • Acceptance
  • Encouragement
  • Compassion

That’s making a difference, and you can do it one person at a time.

However, we can disqualify ourselves by believing lies, such as:

  •  “I don’t have anything to offer.”
  •  “I’ve made too many mistakes.”
  •  “I’m too busy.”

Happily, the Bible tells us something different. You have more than you know to offer. Your smile and handshake are gifts from God. The Holy Spirit will deliver His grace to other people through you. You are part of God’s purpose and plan for humanity. By making a difference, you are part of the renewal that refreshes you as well as others. You can make a difference for eternity for the glory of God.

Moreover, it’s awesome news that your sin is not bigger than the Cross. The Cross where Jesus died cancelled out your sins in the spiritual realm. God does not take your gifts and talents away because of past sin. The Bible says that God is faithful and just to forgive you of your sins when you repent. Let God cleanse you. You can move forward without worry. Everything is changed because Jesus died for you, empowering you, according to the Word of God.

You can pray: “Lord, thank You for giving me another chance. I receive Your grace. Use me to make a difference in other people’s lives. I may not feel capable but I trust You, Lord, to express Your goodness through me. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Giving God a Second Chance

 

We’ve been talking about how gracious God is to offer us a second chance. Today we want to talk about choosing to give God a second chance.

People give up on God. They stop believing in him for various reasons:

  • They go through a difficult time.
  • They feel like they’ve crossed the line.
  • They can’t find answers to things that have no answers.
  • They blame God for things he didn’t do.
  • They have unanswered prayers.
  • They project onto God mistakes that people make.
  • They blame God for their own foolishness.
  • They get confused about who is serving whom.
  • They stop believing because it’s too hard.

We don’t want you to give up on God. We want you to give him a second chance!

Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. 1 Peter 4:12 The Message

God is faithful even when we aren’t. You can trust him with your life.

if we are faithless, he remains faithful 2 Timothy 2:13 NIV

Trust God to love you – God is love. His very nature is love. It was love that motivated him to send Jesus. The cross forever settles the issue that God loves you.

Trust God to comfort you – Things happen that are inexplicable. We will never find the answer to some of our questions. But what we can find is comfort.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV

Trust God to empower you – We can’t live the Christian life in our own strength, but God promises to strengthen us. His grace is sufficient. In our weakness, he is strong.

Trust God to turn everything around for your good – God is a Redeemer. He can work through the brokenness and pain in our lives to create something beautiful out of our mess. Somehow, he is able to work all things out for our good.

Trust God to give you a second chance – When we fail, the guilt can be overwhelming. God offers a second chance, and then he offers a second chance on that second chance. His grace really is amazing.

Don’t give up on God. Give him a second chance. He is waiting for you to turn toward him and when you do, he will come running to meet you.

 

A Second Chance at Peace

 

Life is like a river raft trip with seasons of calm, seasons of joy, seasons of sheer terror and seasons of victory. Through every season, Jesus offers a second chance at peace.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

Trouble comes. Sometimes it’s minor stuff like spiders and snakes – trouble with a small “t”. The Greek word for trouble in this passage is life altering, gut wrenching and intense pressure – trouble with a capital “T”.

Jesus said you will have trouble. Being a Christian doesn’t make you immune to trouble, but with Jesus we can have peace in the trouble. Most often it will come from a shift in perspective.

Your peace has a lot to do with your highest life goal. For the vast majority of people, that goal looks like getting as far down the road as you can, in the best shape as possible for you and those you love. It’s not a bad goal. The Bible supports this priority.

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Proverbs 3:1-2

There is nothing wrong with having this as a top priority, but when it is the highest priority, trouble will threaten the very core of your life. You need a different number one goal – live your life for the glory of God.

When the number one goal of your life is to glorify God then no amount of trouble can side track your mission. Jesus offers an incredible example as his life neared the cross.

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. John 17:1 NIV

Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.  “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” John 12:25-18

When the ultimate goal of our life is to bring glory to God, trouble will not derail our lives. We find a second chance at peace as we choose to trust God and believe that he can be glorified as he sees us through each season of trouble.

Pastor Rob and Laura share their personal journey of turning tragedy into God-glorifying ministry in this article for Ministry Today magazine

A Second Chance at Life

Woven throughout the Bible is the message of God’s redeeming work. Life is wrought with trouble, but by God’s grace we get a second chance at life.

There was a crippled man who begged for handouts at the temple gate. In a moment, his life was changed forever.

One day at three o’clock in the afternoon, Peter and John were on their way into the Temple for prayer meeting. At the same time there was a man crippled from birth being carried up. Every day he was set down at the Temple gate, the one named Beautiful, to beg from those going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter the Temple, he asked for a handout. Peter, with John at his side, looked him straight in the eye and said, “Look here.” He looked up, expecting to get something from them. Peter said, “I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” He grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up. In an instant his feet and ankles became firm. He jumped to his feet and walked. The man went into the Temple with them, walking back and forth, dancing and praising God. Everybody there saw him walking around and praising God. Acts 3:1-8 The Message

Something happened here that is the key to receiving a second chance. The man looked up! He looked beyond Peter to Jesus, who alone is able to redeem and restore.

Don’t look back, look up – Many of us miss our second chance because we are always looking back at past mistakes and regrets. Looking back keeps you stuck in the past. Looking up will help you move forward.

Don’t look down, look up – When we fail, we tend to lower our sites. We don’t dream like we used to. We stop thinking big. We look down and we feel down. Looking up will renew our purpose.

Don’t look in, look up – People who are discouraged about life often keep their focus inward. They look inside and see everything they lack. Looking up will impart strength.

Don’t look around, look up – When we look around we see our own mistakes and the mistakes of others. We see the challenges and accidents that take place in a fallen world. But if we find the courage to look up, we’ll see that God can take our mess and make something beautiful.

Don’t look back or down or in or around, look up to the God of the second chance.

A Second Chance – The Veil 2016

An orphaned child waits with no real mother, no real father to claim her and nobody to say, “This child is mine”. There is no one to keep her, protect her, love her or simply be with her. She finds herself alone, again.

Then a stranger steps up – a man with a family of his own who says, ”I will make a place for her.” The child, having lived a life of rejection continues to act out of the belief that she is unloved, perhaps even unlovable. The man provides a comfortable room for her to call her own. He cooks her dinner to welcome her. He does all he knows to do to make her feel included but she doesn’t accept it. Unable to deal with the rise of the emotions she feels deep inside, she grabs the two things she brought to this new house, her backpack and sketchbook, and she runs.  She runs until the sun begins to set and she finds an abandoned barn for shelter and protection.

With frustrated fury, she opens her sketchbook and presses deep into the blank paper scratching bold, hardened lines with her pencil – lines as dark as void she feels within. She turns to the next page only to find something that wasn’t supposed to be there and it stops her dead in her tracks. She sees a hand-drawn picture of her new family; her dad and two brothers surrounding a stick figure version of her, finished off with the words, “Welcome Home.”

Can you imagine the overwhelming feeling of love and acceptance this girl must have felt the moment she saw herself included in the picture? Overjoyed, she runs back to the house twice as fast as she left it, hoping and wishing that the man who drew the picture would still want her back. On the way home she thinks about the things she had done, the way she acted out and the names she called him out of her own pain. Maybe she even fought with herself about the possibility that because of her actions, he may turn her away, locking the door never to look back. Isn’t that what she deserves?

She comes up to the door of the house, turns the knob (it is unlocked) and steps in to find the man who had drawn her into his family not only waiting for her, but calling around, frantically looking for her! The Father God’s love is just like that of the father in this story. We are adopted into his family, not by anything we did to deserve it, but only because of the grandeur of His love and mercy. He is a God that doesn’t give up on His children. And being His children, we get what we don’t deserve – a second chance.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV