There are a number of instances in the Scriptures which tell us of God’s heart to offer people the chance to begin again. For example, we could think about David, a man after God’s own heart who committed adultery with Bathsheba. There is Moses, who killed a man before moving into his calling. There is also the apostle Peter, who when faced with a servant girl accusing him of being a follower of Jesus, failed the test to be a witness.
‘Peter responded, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about!” At that very moment, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter, and Peter remembered the Lord’s words: “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.””
However, the good news is that Jesus gave Peter a second chance.
After His death and resurrection Jesus sent a message via an angel: ‘Go, tell his disciples, especially Peter, that he is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you’ (Mark 16:7).
Peter took his second chance: ‘A few days later there was a meeting of the believers, about 120 in all, and Peter stood up to speak’ (Acts 1:15 GNB).
I am so blessed that we serve a God who is willing to give us a second chance; well actually in my case it is a second, third, and maybe a fourth chance that I have needed. I guess most of us would have written Peter off after he denied Jesus in front of the young servant girl. I am sure that his face would be aflame with shame when she accused him of being a follower of Jesus, swearing and denying that he was! After all, he was one of His closest friends, the one whom Jesus should have been able to rely upon. In my book, it would have been the time to ditch Peter, wipe my hands of him and declare him a lost cause!
But that is not the way of Jesus, for we see that He gives Peter another opportunity to show his loyalty and his leadership qualities. When someone was needed to replace Judas, who had betrayed Jesus, Peter did not fail the challenge. Rising to his feet he declared that they needed to choose another person who had been a witness to Jesus’ resurrection. And under his direction Matthias was chosen.
I wonder where you are in the scale of things. Are you, like me, in need of a second or third chance to prove your love and loyalty? If so, you have come to the right person – Jesus is ready to forgive and restore you, because of His great love and His faith in you and in your future.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You know my weaknesses and my sin, but that You also know my heart and my desire to serve You. Please forgive me for the times when I have been a poor witness to Your grace and love and help me to stand strong in the future. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
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