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September 9, 2015

God of Second Chances

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time….  Jonah 3:1a (NRSV)

Failure often lingers and leaves us feeling disqualified from serving God. Jonah had failed. He even ran away. Like Jonah, you may have discovered you can run, but you can’t hide. God knows right where you are, and He loves you despite your past failures. We hide because we feel ashamed, but God offers His grace to begin again! He is the God of second chances! Thank God! We all need second chances! Whoever gets it right the first time! The Bible says we’ve all sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

The word for sin is an archery term, and it simply means missing the mark. In other words, God has a Divine purpose for our lives to reveal His glory in us, but sin causes us to miss the target. Through Christ, we have a second chance! God loves to give second chances. If you’ve ever failed and felt disqualified, God may be speaking to you today. Like Jonah, the word of the Lord is coming to you a second time. God is not finished with you! The Bible says that 

God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6 (NLT)

Let Him do it. Jonah did. The Bible says, after the Lord spoke to him a second time, that 

This time Jonah obeyed…. (Jonah 3:3)

No doubt. Disobedience to the first call resulted in a storm at sea, being cast overboard, and swallowed by a big fish. His disposition was so sour even the fish vomited him up! Disobedience always has consequences, but God never designed those consequences to crush us. He designed them to correct us and get us back on track so that we may experience His glory in our lives! Jonah’s obedience led to the salvation of an entire city of over 120,000 people who once lived in spiritual darkness! Think of it! Imagine what God may want to accomplish through you!  Listen for His voice. None of us are ever qualified for His service. He doesn’t call the qualified! He qualifies the called by His grace! Do what Jonah did when he heard the word of the Lord a second time – Get up and go!