Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- August 17, 2012
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:22-24
God does not hold grudges. He is quick to forgive and anticipates receiving His children back from the foreign land of foolish living. Regret and pain may haunt the human heart, but heaven loves to love someone who is tired of trying to live without the Lord. Misery is the object of pity, thus the compassion of Christ is pregnant with possibility to a contrite and repentant heart. Second chances await those who seek their heavenly Father.
Once we tire of sin’s consequences there is a righteous reunion we can expect from our loving heavenly Father. He is not waiting with an “I told you so”, condescending attitude. Rather, God our Father can’t wait to wrap us in His arms, weep over our return and rejoice with a great celebration. He saves His best for when we are ready to rest in Him. Second chances are at the heart of mercy. Christ’s love removes our guilt by His grace.
“The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.” Zechariah 3:4
Are you in need of a second chance? Or, do you need to give someone else a second chance? Second chances mirror mercy. Because God has given you a second chance, you can extend a second chance to those who hurt you. Grace and mercy are not about what you or someone else deserves; it is about what your heavenly Father has already done for you in Christ. You get over your guilt by going to God in heart-felt repentance. He forgives you.
Since you serve a second chance God, who can you serve who has broken your trust? Jesus teaches you to extend forgiveness to others in the manner that He forgives you—ongoing and unconditionally. Perhaps your spouse, child or friend needs to know that your love for them is grace based and not conditional on their performance. Create an environment of acceptance at home and at work—then celebrate when loved ones return to righteous living. By faith risk being taken advantage of—offer a second chance. God has!
“At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?” Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22, The Message
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thanks for giving me a second chance, and give me the grace to extend second chances to others.
Post/Tweet this today: Second chances mirror mercy. #mercy
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