The God of Second Chances

We are weak like Peter, hopeless like Elijah, and intentionally sinful like David. If we were to be excluded for our many mistakes, there would be no-one left. The good news is that Jesus died in the place of people who don’t only make mistakes but who could be counted as enemies of God. In order to be saved, we need to realise that we are people who don’t deserve it and God in His grace has saved us anyway.

In our culture, if you make a mistake, you’re out. One wrong tweet can mean that people boycott your books. One thoughtless soundbite in a press conference and you might not be up for re-election. It does not take much for the online mob to call for your blood. For a society which likes to pride itself on tolerance, anyone who speaks against the accepted truth can end up excluded forever.

God is not like that. What a wonderful thing! We worship a God of second chances.

The apostle Peter denied Jesus on the night Jesus was arrested. And not only once, not just a minor mistake, but three categorical denials that he even knew Jesus! Only a few hours earlier, Peter had promised that he would never abandon Jesus and would even die for him. It was right for Peter to weep bitterly as he realised what he had done. This was no minor infraction; at the first opportunity, Peter showed his weakness and cowardice.

Yet that was not the end for Peter. He was restored by Jesus at the end of John’s gospel. And he went on to become one of the leaders in the early church, facing much persecution for his faith and teaching. God gave him a second chance.

And this is not an isolated thing for God, either. You can find God acting in this way so often in the Bible.

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