Have you ever felt as if you missed an important opportunity? Have you had a falling out with a friend and feel it is now a lost cause? Maybe you said or did something that cannot be taken back. Sometimes by grace we are given a second chance.
Our Pastor just finished a series on the book of Jonah. Jonah liked when things were going well and his way. He rejected the assignment God gave him to preach to the ruthless pagan city of Nineveh. He refused to go, hopped on a ship going the opposite direction and as we know got thrown overboard and swallowed by a great fish. Vomited by the fish – Jonah was given a second chance. He did go and give God’s message of repentance to the city and they responded. What preacher gets angry when people do what he tells them to do? Jonah did! Sadly, the story ends with God questioning Jonah because he had received great mercy and compassion but his heart for others that were different had not changed.
The disciple Peter had been one of the three closest to Jesus. He witnessed most if not all of Jesus’ miracles and Jesus spent a lot of time at Peter’s house in Capernaum. Best buddies, right?
After following the crowd to the court yard to watch what was happening, Peter ended up denying even knowing Jesus. Why? Fear can cause us to do terrible things. Peter’s guilt and shame was overwhelming but there was no way to take it back. Later he was with the disciples when Jesus appeared to them and understood there was more to learn. But in the meantime, he and some of the others went back to what they knew best – fishing.
It was in the fishing village of Tabgha that Jesus greeted the disciples with a cooked
breakfast on the shore. Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love ME?” and Peter each time replied Yes Lord – you know my heart. The reply to “feed MY sheep” was his mission. God was not finished with Peter and was giving him a second chance. Peter had been told he would be the “rock” of the Church, one of the founders –and that had not changed because he messed up.
That little beach has an eighth century church built on the rock where it is believed they ate. It is called “Mensa Christi” – “Our Lords’ Table”. The Church is known as “The Primacy of Peter”….Peter was forgiven, restored and called to special service for the Lord as Head of the early Church. He obeyed God’s calling with great courage and fervor. We have copies of his letters to the early believers which hold great teaching and truth for us today. Peter used his second chance to change the world by preaching the Good News.
This should be a great encouragement for us. No matter how far we have gone or what we have done, God is full of love and mercy. We can come to Him with humble hearts and ask for forgiveness. No, not everything broken can be fixed. God often gives us something new and better to reach for with our second chance.
From Veggie Tales – Second Chances
You see God’s a God of mercy
God’s a God of love
And right now, He’s gonna lend
A helping hand from up above
Praise the Lord, He’s the God of second chances
You’ll be floored how His love your life enhances
You can be restored from your darkest circumstances
Our God is the God of second chances!