Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The God of Second Chances

Submitted by Sam Nobles
But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.  (Mark 16:7 ESV)

Does God give second chances to people who fail him? If you’re not sure just ask a fisherman named Simon Peter. Not only did Peter rebuke the Lord Jesus (Matthew 16:22), he also claimed to be his most reliable disciple (Matthew 26:33). To add injury to insult, in a moment of crisis, when the Romans came to arrest Jesus, Peter ran away to save himself (Mark 14:50). Not to beat Peter up too bad, but he also blatantly denies Jesus with curse words after Jesus warned him that it would happen (Matthew 26:73-75). It’s not like Peter didn’t feel bad about all of this. He felt so bad about his failures that he ran out into the night and wept bitterly (Luke 22:62).

Back to the question: Does God allow second chances for those who have completely failed him? The answer is positively, “Yes!” The day Jesus Resurrected he left special instruction with the angel at the tomb to make sure that his disciples, especially Peter, know that he had risen from the dead. When Jesus and Peter finally met face to face after the Resurrection, Jesus allowed Peter opportunity to affirm his love and commitment to him (John 21:15-17). Peter had denied Jesus three times, so Jesus allowed Peter to confess his love three times. Peter cursed and swore that he didn’t know Jesus over a charcoal fire, so Jesus allowed Peter to fellowship and “get to know him” over a charcoal fire. This second chance was a turning point for Peter. The Lord chose him to be the spokesperson for the Church on the Day of Pentecost. His message led 3,000 people into salvation that day.

This devotion may have been a little misleading. I’ve spent much of your time letting you see that God gives second chances, but the truth is our God is the God of unlimited chances. No matter where you are or how many times you have blown it, God is there to heal your broken heart, mend your torn emotions, and reorient you to himself so you can believe in him and follow him with confidence. Let me encourage you to never give up; even when you mess up big time. Remember how the Lord restored Peter, and know he will do the same for you because he loves you that much.

Scripture to Claim:

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.  (Psalm 51:17 ESV)

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