“As for you, you were once dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. “ Ephesians 1:1-10
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have never being born, getting a Second chance coming back and seeing just how many lives you would have touched if you had been born. That’s exactly what happens in this movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
On April 11, 2013 the USA Network is launching The Moment, a new series hosted by legendary NFL quarterback Kurt Warner who just happens to be a Born Again Christian. This show will have nine individuals who will be taken on a life-changing journey, and given a second chance to go back in time and rewrite their life stories.
The Bible covers this topic quite well and serves a timely reminder that God sees, cares, and loves you so much, He’s wiling to forgive you of your past life and give you a fresh start, regardless of whatever happened in your past life.
From Rahab to David to Zachaeus to Peter, the Thief on the Cross the Bible can be trusted to reveal clear and concise examples of people whom God gave 2nd Chances. From one end of the spectrum to another, we can see clearly how God had all of us in mind when it comes to forgiving our past and giving us a fresh start.
In Joshua 2:1-22 & 6:20-25 we begin with Rahab who was a prostitute, a profession that even 3,000 years ago was not considered to be a honorable profession. To make matters worse she was a Gentile who was living in the city of Jericho, the land of Canaan at a time when Israel was on the verge at conquering that land. However, here is Rahab of ill repute who had happened to hear about the God of Israel and His greatness. The story goes that Israel sent spies to scout the land and ended up at Rahab’s house. What she did would open the door for her 2nd chance. She put her own life on the line and proceeded to hide them in her house. As a result, God grants her a 2nd Chance. Jericho would end up being completely destroyed and it would be Rahab and her family that would survive the destruction, and the amazing finish is Rahab’ name is found in the Gospel of Matthew inside the …….genealogy of Jesus Christ!
Patriarch Moses also was a man of 2nd Chances; Two to be exact. Moses was born in Egypt during a time when it was quite dangerous to be a young Jewish boy. Condemned to death by order of the Pharaoh, God chose to spare Moses’s life. Moses was instead spared and Moses was raised up as royalty. He would end up being in a position that would later help the nation of Israel to be freed from enslavement. God save him after Moses killed an Egyptian taskmaster while saving a young Hebrew man. 40 years later God gave Moses a second chance to return to Egypt and set His people free.
2 Samuel 11-12, and Psalm 51 we read that David was a man after God’s own heart. But that’s not all he was. He was also an adulterer and murderer—both of which were capital offenses according to the Law of Moses. The story of his affair with Bathsheba and his attempt to hide his sin by having her husband, Urriah, killed by putting him on the front line in battle is one of the most appalling tales of sin in Scripture. But when confronted with his sin, David’s heart broke in repentance and God granted him grace and a 2nd chance.
How about Zacchaeus in the Gospel of Luke 19:1-10 where tax collectors were even more despised than they are now. Most were greedy, dishonest men who had the power and authority to take advantage of the poor and become rich at their expense. Zacchaeus was just like this, he fit the description. And yet when Jesus came to town and He chose to stay with Zacchaeus. Of course people couldn’t believe it. Why would Jesus, obviously a man of God, choose to even associate with this sinner? This is just the kind of person Jesus came to save—and to give a 2nd Chance!
Peter in Matthew 26:31-35. I think we can all agree that we have blurted out the first thing that comes in our minds. That was Peter. The rest of the apostles could always count on Peter to be the one who would open his mouth without thinking first. Even during the final hours before Jesus’s crucifixion Peter boldly proclaims that he would stand by Jesus’ side even if it meant death. Peter emphatically deny that Jesus save His own life. And yet Jesus had plans to use Peter to build His church and give him a 2nd Chance!
Finally we see the Thief on the Cross in Luke 23:39-43, most certainly the greatest need for a 2nd Chance. There are the two men crucified on both sides of Jesus were these three men. Men who lived their lives in such a way that according to this thief, were more deserving of death. As they hung, nailed to a cross, next to Jesus. One of the men joined the crowds and soldiers in mocking Christ. But the other realized who it was being crucified next to him and, with death nearby, asked for mercy. This simple act of faith this humble request was heard and answered as Jesus promised him a 2nd Chance that would lead him into Eternity.
And then there is you and me….. I don’t know about you but I need a 2nd Chance. I’m thankful that God is willing to give it. I think Paul the Apostle says it best in his letter to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 2:1-10. I quote from the Living Bible paraphrase:
“Once you were under God’s curse, doomed forever for your sins. You went along with the crowd and were just like all the others, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air, who is at work right now in the hearts of those who are against the Lord. All of us used to be just as they are, our lives expressing the evil within us, doing every wicked thing that our passions or our evil thoughts might lead us into. We started out bad, being born with evil natures, and were under God’s anger just like everyone else.
But God is so rich in mercy; He loved us so much that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, He gave us back our lives again when He raised Christ from the dead—only by His undeserved favor have we ever been saved— and lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with Him in the heavenly realms—all because of what Christ Jesus did. And now God can always point to us as examples of how very, very rich His kindness is, as shown in all He has done for us through Jesus Christ.
Because of His kindness, you have been saved through trusting Christ. And even trusting is not of yourselves; it too is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good we have done, so none of us can take any credit for it. It is God Himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago He planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.”
As the calendar changes and 2014 ebbs away and 2015 charges forth, it’s a good thing to know that we have a God of 2nd Chances! Regardless of what failure, rejection, whatever we did wrong unto others, know that He is willing to erase the past with all its disappointments and bring you forth into a year of a fresh start. Maybe today after the unwrapping of the gifts, the pleasantries of gatherings with family and friends you’ve got issues that are choking off your life. Behold, Jesus can and is willing to help you and give you a 2nd Chance. A right relationship with Jesus Christ is paramount to living the life He intended you to live.
If this is you and you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, you need a 2nd Chance; the Bible says in Romans 10:9 that if you just, “Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord; and believe from your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Maybe pray something like this and mean it from your heart: ‘Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God, and that You died to take away my sins, I believe You were raised from the dead and can help me to have this 2nd chance. I receive You into my heart, come live, and teach me how to live this new chance right! Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, and write my name in the Book of Life. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Congratulations, you have received the perfect gift, forgiveness of your sins and a 2nd Chance! I suggest you pray and ask God to help you find a good Bible teaching church and a Bible. Read it every day starting maybe in the Gospel of John, and find believers to fellowship.
Maybe you’re already a believer and need to make a new start this upcoming year, you too can have a 2nd chance in Christ Jesus. The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that if : “My people which are called by My Name, would humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear them and heal their land”. Often times we don’t think we need healing, but if we find we are stagnant in our lives, listless, going through the motions, we need a new start, a 2nd Chance that we can live life ‘more abundantly’. Take a moment today and contemplate where you are today. Sit before the Lord and ask Him to search my heart and see if there be any wicked thing”and “Cst your cares upon Him because He cares for you.”
Thank You Jesus that You are forever praying for us and looking out for our best interests, forgive us when we assume that everything is alright when they aren’t. We yield our hands, minds and hearts that always seem to want to do things first and leave in situations and circumstances that result in disappointment. We praise You that Your Word is ‘Yea and Amen!”
Happy New Year in 2015 everyone as we all grow into the loving saving life that Jesus gives us in Him!