Posted by: bellissimanh | April 18, 2008

The God of Second Chances

 

Friday, April 18, 2008

The God of Second Chances

Day-by-Day

“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)

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). Peter failed so miserably that he went out into the night and wept bitterly (Luke 22:62).

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. Jesus took Peter aside to allow him the opportunity to reaffirm his love and commitment (John 21:15–17). The risen Lord also chose Peter as His primary spokesman on the day of Pentecost, when three thousand people were added to the church.

God’s desire is to take you from where you are and bring you to where He wants you to be. When He found His defeated followers hiding together in an upper room, Jesus’ first word was “peace” (John 20:19). Jesus’ first words to you after you fail may also be “peace.” Jesus will find you in despair and bring you peace. Then, He will reorient you to Himself so that you can believe Him and follow Him. Don’t give up if you have failed your Lord. Remember what happened to Peter. God has not yet finished developing you as a disciple.

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What a wonderful Lord we serve! Slow to anger… abounding in love… faithful to all generations! Peter denied Christ, not once… not twice… but three times. Then that morning on the beach, when Jesus restored Peter… he gave him not one, not two, but three opportunities to confess his love for Christ.

I can imagine the peace Peter must have felt as he reconciled face to face with His Lord. I can imagine because I’ve been there. I spent so much time wandering… denying my Lord. Maybe not in so many words, but everything about my behavior belied the fact that I was His child. And then He brought me to my knees, gazed into my eyes, and since then has given me opportunity after opportunity to reaffirm my love for Him. He pursued me with His love and opened my eyes to how jealous He was for me. As He has helped me to tear down the other idols in my life, so that He alone can receive my worship… He has revealed more and more of Himself to me. The more I come to know Him, the more I realize just how great and big He is, and how little I know. The closer I come to the cross, the more I see how much there is in me that He still needs to change… but I also get a clearer picture of just how much He loves me, and what that love cost Him… and I am in awe.

Not only does He love me… but He uses me. He has special plans for me. In spite of my inadequacies (or maybe because of them), He pours His Holy Spirit into my life and turns this selfish soul into a vessel that He can use for His glory. I used look at all those years spent wandering and consider them wasted. How foolish of me to forget that my Lord wastes nothing. He takes even my rebellion and uses it to draw others to Himself. And when I fail even now, I can finally say with Paul, “I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  (Gal. 6:4)

I am so thankful for His grace. His mercy. His compassion. His love. His faithfulness!

Psalm 89:1-8

A maskil [a] of Ethan the Ezrahite.

   [b] 1 I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever;
       with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
       through all generations.

    2 I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
       that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

    3 You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
       I have sworn to David my servant,

    4 ‘I will establish your line forever
       and make your throne firm through all generations.'” [c]

    5 The heavens praise your wonders, LORD,
       your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.

    6 For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD?
       Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings?

    7 In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;
       he is more awesome than all who surround him.

    8 Who is like you, LORD God Almighty?
       You, LORD, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

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Responses

  1. WHOO HOO! Second, third and fourth chances! All glory to the ONE who does redeem… and recycle… his vessels.

    Empties us. Washes us out and then renews us for a new purpose.

    GREAT POST. AMEN.

    🙂
    Love to you fellow reused woman!

  2. AMEN! Thank God He doesn’t give up on us as quickly as we are on ourselves sometimes. I pray that I can have that kind of patience and slow to anger character toward my children as well:) Thank God for His loving example… Hope you’re doing well:)


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