Second Chances

A Second Chance September 30th, 2010 Redemption – Redemptive grace


“When you have returned to Me, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32 NKJV.

My thoughts today are about, “SECOND CHANCES.”

Inevitably, you will experience failures along the way. Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, failed five hundred times before succeeding. But he did not stop trying. Babe Ruth, the legendary New York Yankee, known for career home runs, had more strikeouts than home runs. Yet, today he is remembered for his home runs. A person who never makes a mistake is not trying very hard to accomplish anything very important. You will have failures along the way. Your best intentions may not be realized every time. Your best effort may fail. Your best judgment may not be good enough. A decision may be ill-advised. Your impulsiveness will leave you with regrets. Your words or actions will hurt someone you least want to hurt. Those are not the same as failures of character or integrity.

Failures are not all alike. They are not the same size. They will not all cause the same consequences. They will not all come from the same source. Failure may result from something you do, or a mistake you make, or something someone else may have caused. But do not allow a mistake to  predict who  you become. A failure is not final, unless you let it be. God specializes in redemption. Many of the revered names in Hebrews 11, the Bible’s “chapter of champions,” would have been mere footnotes in history if their stories had ended with their failures.  Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and others. Read Hebrews 11. Instead, those true believers’ inspiring stories  of God’s redemptive grace challenge us to keep pressing forward in God’s grace.

They failed, but with God’s grace, they did not remain failures. Their faith in God gave them strength to become more than they had been. Peter seemed to fail often and on a grand scale, never in a small way. In today’s Bible verse, Jesus warned Peter that he would, but also assured him that even his failure could be redeemable and become useful to help others. “When you have returned to Me, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32 NKJV. Peter learned from his failure, and there is much that his failure can teach you and me.

Don’t give up on yourself; Jesus never will. You can turn failure into a better better future. Turn away from failure; do not keep stubbornly repeating the same failure. Bring your failure to Jesus, who alone can forgive you, and give you a fresh start. Seek and receive God’s wisdom, when yours has been inadequate. Offer your experiences to benefit and help others avoid the same mistakes. A failure is not the end of the world. With our gracious Savior, your failure is just a new place to begin again. Your story does not need to conclude with your history. Your story ,and mi mine, are examples of undeniable evidence of God’s unimagined grace, abounding love, and astounding grace. His story obliterates your history.

You may be tempted to judge yourself by a failure of the moment, but Jesus looks upon you in grace and sees you in the fullness of your potential – what you are becoming, rather than what you have been. John gave us “To as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God, even as many as believed on His name.” John 1:12. Imagine the joy you will feel when you hear Jesus’ words, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joys of the Lord forever.” Matthew 25:21 The last word over your life can be God’s commendation, instead of condemnation. “There is therefore no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk no longer after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1.

My prayer for you today is that your failures are few and small, and your successes great and many.