The God of Second Chances
“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His nature and promises] and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose] 1John 1:9 AMP
Have you ever wondered why the Lord consistently stood by the Israelites despite their betrayal and stubbornness? That is a question I have asked myself many times. But, one day, I realized that God never stopped loving them despite their repeated betrayal and disappointment. Do you know how I know this is true? Because He did the same for me.
When I first became a Christian, I often questioned whether I was saved. I frequently heard people testify how the Lord saved them from drugs, abuse, and many other things unknown to me at the time. But, because of my lack of knowledge, I didn’t know the true story of who God was and why He sent Jesus.
I often heard stories about Abraham, Moses, Noah, Joseph, Paul, and other “Bible Heroes.” But I never really knew who they were and the things they did before God called them.
Let’s start with Abraham, who is known as the Father of Faith. Yes, He did trust God, but he was still human, like you and me. He lied, was afraid, and had doubts.
Moses was the person God chose to deliver His people from slavery in Egypt. Yet he fled to the desert after killing an Egyptian.” Years later, when God called Moses to return to Egypt and save His people, Moses doubted and asked, “Why me? I’m sure there’s someone else you can select besides me.” God ignored Moses’ reluctance and sent him to do the task.
That reminds me of another biblical figure, Jonah. God gave Jonah the task of preaching repentance to the people of Nineveh. Jonah, however, had another plan, so he ran away. God allowed him to be swallowed by a whale, where he remained for three days, forced to do some thinking. After the whale spits him out, Jonah carries out God’s plans.
David, the beloved King, was a man after God’s heart. David did love God, but he was also human. He lusted after a married woman and slept with her. As a result, she became pregnant, and David tried to cover it up, but when he failed, he decided to kill her husband.
Then there’s Jacob, from whom the twelve tribes of Israel, the Chosen One, would come. Unfortunately, Jacob cheated on his brother and stole his firstborn rights to food.
Next is Solomon, the wisest king Israel ever had. God granted him wisdom, but he was weak against women. So he married many foreign women who worshiped other gods.
The apostle Paul is considered one of the greatest apostles and brought the gospel to the Gentiles. However, before Paul met the Lord, he persecuted Christians and was responsible for many deaths, including Stephen’s.
Many men and women whose lives changed the course of history are mentioned in the Bible. Yet, every one of these people was human. They were not pure or holy; they had no supernatural gifts. No, just like you and me, their lives were a mess. God, however, overlooked their flaws and saw their potential.
God is a God of second chances. He uses people to change the world. God is into details. He knits wrongdoings together and transforms them into a beautiful narrative.
When I reflect on everything that has happened in my life–good and bad–I cannot help wondering why God would want someone like me. Insecure, fearful, a liar, a cheater, and someone afraid of her shadow. Why would He want me? Before this, I was unable to see it. God wants to transform people’s lives. He doesn’t choose those who are qualified to do the work. He chooses people who are humble, gentle, and uneducated and provides them with the tools needed to carry out His work.
Friends, if you wonder why God would want you, remember that He loves you. He knew who you and I would become even before we were conceived in our mother’s womb. Yet, Jesus chose to die for you and me. It is not our past or present that determines who we are; it is Jesus who makes us righteous. Nothing we did or did not do can earn God’s love for us. Only Jesus’ love for us can make us righteous in God’s eyes.
Lord, I am in awe of how much You endured to save so many people and me. Lord, forgive me for allowing the past and the enemy’s lies to bring me down and for doubting why You have chosen me. Lord, I surrender all to You, my past, present, and future. Continue to mold and shape me into the woman You created me to be. Help me to keep my eyes on You and keep running my race. In Your precious name, I thank You for Your love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace. Amen.
Amplified Bible (AMP). 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631.
Editor: Carmen Julia Almodovar, Bristow, Virginia