Second Chances

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Earlier this month, I stopped by my local gas station to fill up my gas tank, as well as run into the convenience store to pick up a super LARGE cup of my favorite nectar of the gods, Diet Coke!  While I was filling my cup from the dispenser, two employees were arguing behind me. One or both of them dropped a few curse words, nothing I couldn’t handle or (to be honest) hadn’t said or muttered to myself.  When I got to the register one of the guys handed me a piece of paper; but since I didn’t have my glasses on I couldn’t read it. I thanked the attendant, went back to my truck and pulled out my reading glasses. I saw that the piece of paper had written across the top, “Second Chance Voucher.” Then underneath that, “Please give us a second chance to impress you” with the promise of a FREE 32 oz Fountain Drink or 16 oz coffee! I was stunned. “The poor guys,”  I thought. Honestly. They didn’t have to do that. I wasn’t offended in the least. But, just to make sure I knew they were sorry, they wanted to reach out to me in some manner and in essence apologize for what they must have known could be offensive. I get it. And I applaud a business which has such a handy pad of vouchers available to show their customers they mean it when they know they have done wrong. Way to go, Neighborhood Gas Station! I will most certainly be back!

I’m big on second chances. Thankfully I’ve been given many in my life for which I am grateful. And many of those second chances have come from God.

Scripture is filled with stories of how God issues second chances: the woman caught in adultery; Moses after he killed the Egyptian taskmaster; the son in the story of the Prodigal Son; Peter, the Apostle who denied Jesus in the Garden; and, Paul. If anyone in scripture deserved a lightening bolt from heaven to incinerate him on the spot, it was Saul of Tarsus. He is introduced in Chapter 9 of the book of Acts. A zealous persecutor of the fledgling Christian Church, Saul deserved to die for his treachery against God. Instead God gave him a second chance.  Not only did Jesus convert Paul to believe in Him, Jesus used him – now as the Apostle Paul – to take His message to the far reaches of the world. During the rest of Paul’s life he was shipwrecked, beaten, stoned, robbed, imprisoned, abandoned, and yet God protected him from death, giving Paul chance after chance to complete his assignment.  And Paul did.  Perhaps more than any other individual mentioned in scripture, Paul brought people to faith in Christ. And it all began with a second chance.

Thankfully Christ has a second chance for anyone who needs it. Maybe you’ve failed at your job, or your marriage, or your friendship?  Don’t worry, God hasn’t given up on you, so you shouldn’t either. More than anything, Jesus wants to heal you, make you right, and guide you into a new beginning and purpose for your life. Just ask Him and He’ll be there.

Another cool aspect of God’s forgiveness and His willingness to give us a second chance when we come to Him, is that God gives us a divine example of how we can love and be in relationship with each other. When we realize we have received God’s forgiveness simply because we have asked God to forgive us, it gives us the power, strength and example to do so for other people in our lives as well. We’re spirits having a very human experience in this world, and as humans, from time to time, we’re gonna hurt each other. Such is the price of sin. So when God forgives us, may we in turn be quick to forgive another. We owe God that much.

May we be people of second and third and fourth and on and on and on chances, because God is willing to do the same for us.

Peace friends,

Chuck

 

4 Comments

  • Pinkey says:

    Brillant!! After living 70years, you can only imagine how much I would always likeforgiveness to always be the first I option for all of us …. Unfortunately that is seldom the case with human beings …why does it take so long for us to learn such simple things…..my guess…the eternal EGO!!!

  • Christine Reilly says:

    Amen, brother – amen! 🙂

  • michelle says:

    Chuck, you are one of the wisest people I know. This is a beautiful message and a timely one as well. Peace to you, Michelle

  • Barbara C. says:

    I wish there was a “Like” button on here. I don’t really have anything to say, except that you are right on target and it is something I need to hear today. LIKE!

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