The God of Another Chance

Full Transcript

June 27, 2019

Hi, thank you for joining me today.  I’m Debbie Wallace, and this is Girl Church.  Today we are gonna be talking about something that interests you.  It interests me, and it has something to do with all of us….and that is that God is the God of ANOTHER CHANCE.  Yes!  Not just the second chance, not even a third chance, but God is the God of another chance.  

You know, I’m totally and constantly amazed at God’s nature.  And this is really what this is about.  It’s not about us.  Yes, we do get the benefit of having the benefit of second chance, third chance, however chances we need.  We have God’s support.  But it’s really about God’s nature.  He is a God of love, compassion, mercy, hope…This is WHO GOD IS.  It’s not just things that He does.  It’s not that He DOES compassion, it’s that He IS compassion.  If you were to put compassion in an embodiment, like a person, you would get God.  That’s why God is the way He is.  It’s because of His flawless divine nature.  And we get to reap the benefits of God’s goodness.  

One of the things that we get to do is START OVER.  I want to make sure you understand today what I’m talking about.  I’m not talking about salvation.  When I talk about God giving us another chance, I’m not talking about salvation, I’m talking about YOUR LIFE.  Your life.  You really don’t need another chance with salvation, because salvation is an eternal thing.  Once you’re saved, you’re not gonna get unsaved just because you go out there and mess up.  It doesn’t happen like that.  It doesn’t work like that.  You can go as far afield as you want to go.  But when you come back, you will find that God is right where He was.  If you’ve ever studied the parable of the Prodigal Son, read that (Luke 15:11-32) and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  The Prodigal Son left home, he didn’t want anything to do with the father, he didn’t want anything to do with the estate, but when he came back home, dad was right there, his father was right there.  The master of the estate had never left.  He’d never moved.  As a matter of fact, he’d been watching out for this boy to come home.  

So I’m not talking about salvation.  I’m talking about your life.  And let me back up just one more minute, I want to say one more thing about salvation…If you feel like you have walked out on God, all you have to do is repent.  The Word says that if we will confess our sins to God, He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (1 John 1:9)  So if you feel like you need a fresh start spiritually, that’s the thing to do.  

But what I’m talking about today really is your life.  I’m talking about how many times have you failed.  Really!  How many times have you failed?  And this might be in morality…you know, maybe you have a bad habit of doing things that you shouldn’t do.  Maybe it’s with friendships, “I need to make some new friends.”  Maybe you’ve not been a good friend, and people have left you as a friend because you’re not a good friend.  Maybe you need to learn how to be a good friend and start over that way.  Maybe you need to lose some more weight and go back on your diet again.  Maybe you need to go back to rehab.  Whatever it is that you need, God is willing to give you another chance to get it right.  

Let’s look at…

Lamentations 3:21-23 — But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:  The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 

I was talking to a young lady this week who was somewhat frustrated by her life.  And she felt like she had had to reboot so many times because she feels like she’s made so many mistakes in her life that she’s had to get up over and over and over again.  It can be tiring when you feel like you’re having to constantly reboot your life.  

God does give us any number of reboots, however many we need, but it pays to be smart about your life.  I’m going to give you five things today, just to bear in mind that — Yes, God does give me another chance.  It doesn’t matter how many chances I need, He’s gonna give me another chance.  But I want you to keep these things in mind:

#1 — FAILURE IS A PRECURSOR TO SUCCESS.  You will never succeed in a whole lot of things, including life itself, if you don’t fail some.  Someone said that the more mistakes a person has in their life, the more interesting that life will become.  Well, I thought my life might be pretty interesting, because I’ve made quite a few blunders.  But they’re not fun!  This is not what we like to do.  But typically the things that we regret in life have a lot to do with the sin nature.  And you are going to mess up some.  You cannot help it, you’re not going to be perfect.  Even people that look perfect, they have things going on sometime in here (head) or in here (heart) that you might not see.  But I promise you, nobody’s perfect, nobody’s getting it exactly right, nobody’s batting a thousand.  You have to fail some to get it right.  And that’s the thing, that God will allow you to do it again, hoping that…

#2 — You will LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES.  Learn from your mistakes so that you won’t do this again.  By all means, if you don’t get anything else I said today… You know, God expects us to USE OUR BRAINS.  He didn’t give us a head to sit on our shoulders just to grow hair.  We need to use our brains for more than what we think Christians are supposed to do.  You know. sometimes we quote scriptures, and we act so religious and so holy, and sometimes Christians kind of — Can I say this? — sometimes Christians kinda dumb down the life experience.  They tend to think, well all you need is faith.  No, all you need is not just faith!  You need FAITH AND WORKS.  Did you know that the Bible says that faith without works is dead?  Who’s gonna do those works?  God is not gonna do them.  God gave you your life to live, He is not going to live it for you.  If you need to lose that 20 pounds, He is not gonna come down here and peel that 20 pounds off of you.  You can use your faith to do it.  But you have to do it.  And if you don’t do it, 10 years down the road, don’t be asking, Why has this happened to me?  Why have I always had to be chubby?  Well, because you didn’t do it.  It isn’t God’s fault.  So God gave you a brain.  It doesn’t matter what you need — to lose 20 pounds, or you need to go to school, and you haven’t, or maybe you’ve flunked out two or three times, God will give you another chance to go back.  But whatever it is you need to do with your life, you need to BE SMART ABOUT IT.  Use your faith, use your brain, and create some works in your life that you really do have faith.  

#3 — RECONSIDER YOUR PAST CHOICES.   This is another opportunity to use your brain.  The decisions where you are in your life have brought you where you are today.  I know that you may have had some help.  Chances are, decisions that people in your life have made have helped to get you where you are today.  For example, if you wanted to be a wife and a mother and be married forever, but your husband or your spouse walked out on you, then they helped to make your decision.  It wasn’t just about you.  It was their decision, and their decision influenced you.  But how you handle that has everything to do with where you are today.  So I’m just telling you that when you reconsider your life’s choices, look back at where you failed before.  This is another way to learn from your mistakes.  Make the changes that need to be made, especially with relationships.  It could be that you need to distance yourself from some people.  You might need to cut some people off.  You might need to completely sever some relationships because… if you’re trying to stop drinking, and your old crowd, they party every weekend… You know what, you don’t need to be partying with them.  Just get real about it.  You might need to find some new friends.  Whatever it is that you do, use your brain, be your own best friend.

#4 — ACCEPT THAT THINGS HAVE CHANGED.  Remember that “another chance” does not mean that it will look like “the last chance.”  Sometimes the landscape of your life — the way things look — will change according to how badly you’ve messed up.  They do.  And God doesn’t always fix that.  Sometimes it can’t be fixed.  You know, if you’ve been unfaithful in a marriage, you can’t ask God to make that other person take you back.  Sometimes relationships cannot be restored.  Don’t blame God.  Take responsibility, but just know that going forward, you may be dealing with a different life than you had last time.  Because, like it or not — and this is not being mean — but we do reap what we sow.  And although God gives us mercy, other people don’t always.  So depending on how many times you’ve messed up in any one area, some other people may be ready to kick you out of their life.  And if that’s true, then you’re gonna have to go forward without them.  But God will give you the grace and the mercy and strength to carry on, because it’s your life and you have to live it.  But just remember that you may be dealing with a separate set of circumstances this time, and if you are, it’s okay.  God’s not gonna forsake you in it, and He’ll help you to get through it.  

#5 — Is simply, DON’T QUIT.  Don’t quit!  When you know that God is gonna give you another chance — even if it looks different than the last chance, even if things are not the same as they were before.  And this is really the point about getting another chance anyway, when we have totally messed up so bad that we feel like we’ve ruined everything.  Well, God IS in the restoration business.  And even if you can’t get everything back the way you had it before, God can restore your life if you’re willing to let Him work in you and through you.  

So let me encourage you.  Even as the scripture that we read today talked about hope, it said, “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope…” God will give you hope.  You have hope in God because He’s gonna give you another chance.  It’s gonna be okay.  And you know what, He can take this chance and make your life so much better.  He can make your life better than what it would have been.  So give God a chance!  He’s giving you a chance, you give Him one.  

Thanks for joining me today, I look forward to seeing you next time.