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A Second Chance:
Discovering God's Love in the Old Testament
This article along with video, powerpoints, etc. can be found in BFF's Old Testament Training Library.
A Second Chance: Discovering God's Love in the Old Testament is an expository sermon from Jonah 3:1-10 enabling us to see how a proper view of God's mercy enables us to experience personal revival that can even run through the veins of our big cities.
A second chance is given to Jonah to show that the Lord patiently works with His people even when they disappoint Him.
3:1 Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you.” 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the LORD. (NASB used here and elsewhere unless noted)
We should not assume God has to give us a second chance. If we proudly sin, just assuming we deserve the best the second time around, we are still in the wrong and will find no chance. God only works with those who humbly seek, not those who proudly declare that it is his right.
Recently, someone was recalling how the last chapter of John, John 21, was so encouraging to him. Do you remember after Peter’s denial, that Jesus went to the shore and met up the disciples that had fled away and invited them to breakfast? Jesus then carefully but assuredly recommissions Peter to care for His sheep. With so any disciples, Jesus insists on working with Peter.
Another person recently told me, in reflection of this passage, how God has not only given him a second chance, but a hundredth and thousandth chance. I couldn’t agree with this brother more. My life is filled with such chances.
There is something significant with this second chance. It humbles us because our whole life is a series of second, third, fourth, etc. chances. You might have ‘blown’ your chance, but recognize that God has come back to again call us into obedience. This is God, our faithful Father. Our human fathers sometimes cast us off and even rejected in their sight for not accomplishing what they wanted. God is not this way.
This pit of giving up on ourselves is one that Satan, known as the Accuser, digs for us and then hands us a shovel to have us cover ourselves up. He feeds us all sorts of self-accusations and wants us to toss them over our heads until buried.
God’s good ways runs counter to this; He offers us confession, where we admit what we have done wrong, shows us Christ’s death on the cross – where He takes away our curse and shame, and restores us to move on in obedience. Is this not this behind every second chance that the Lord gives us.
Not one of God’s children need to remain in the pit of despondence, discouragement, defeat, despair or depression. All of these misunderstands are based on focusing on our mess rather than seeing God’s larger plan and purposes for our lives.
As I look back upon my life, I see myself failing at many points. I am not proud of any of them. But God in His gracious work with my life has picked me up, much like a little child: repeatedly falling in some mud, cleaning me up, reassuring me of His love and setting me on His path. When I look back, I see the term second chance really means a persistent love that forgives, reconciles and restores each time, enabling me to learn and win. Distortions of God’s personal care for His children will lead them to a spirit of pride or defeat.
God’s care for Jonah shows how God cares for all of His children. God genuinely cares for me. He cares for all His children in this way.
God does genuinely care for you.
Welcome the Lord’s involvement in your lives.
Confess any hardness of heart or reluctance to obey.
Accept God’s forgiveness and move on in hope.
Be exceedingly glad God works with and within you.
Join hands with God for the assignments set before you.