Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The God of Second Chances!

On the editorial page of Friday’s USA Today, a U.S. Army chaplain, Major James Key, wrote a surprisingly insightful article about Ted Williams, the homeless man who gained celebrity by way of his viral video interview on YouTube. Since then it has been learned that Ted Williams not only served time in jail for theft, but moreover, ruined his marriage and career through drug & alcohol abuse. But as Major Key points out, people are rooting for Ted because they believe everyone deserves a ‘second chance.’

Key uses this incident to talk about the God of ‘second chances,' citing the account of John Mark, whom you may recall was the young man who accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, but for reasons unknown dropped out and returned home. Sometime later, Barnabas wanted to give John Mark a second chance. But Paul did not. They disagreed so vehemently, they parted ways. But years later, we read in 2 Timothy how John Mark had became a useful & loyal companion to Paul when he was imprisoned in Rome. Obviously, Paul had given him a second chance.

John Mark or Jonah, Moses or Miriam, Peter or Paul, Ted Williams or Ted Bundy—it is an indisputable fact that human beings have an infinite capacity to mess things up. What a relief that we worship the God of second chances (and third, fourth, fifth…) “The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction; Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day” (Lam. 3:22-23).

1 comment:

  1. Greg,

    In reading about the Kings of Israel and the Kings of Judah there are also two incredible accounts of second chances. Both individuals could fit easily into our human category of incorrigible and unforgivable and unworthy of redemption because of their own personal sins, not to mention how they used their power to influence God's people to enter into some of the most unbelievable apostasy.

    King Manasseh of Judah and King Ahab of Israel both paid dearly for their sins. However, in the heat of their own personal judgment sent by God, they turned from their sins to Him and cried out for mercy by way of a truly repentant heart.

    Amazing grace was manifested to these rulers long before Jesus came to be our Redeemer! And when Jesus came to pioneer the "new and living way" to the Throne of Grace He did so by receiving the full force of God's wrath poured out upon Him on our sins' behalf so that we might be in right standing before His Throne as His children, not just as His people.

    This is staggering grace!