Need a second chance?
The book of Jonah begins with him getting a direct command from God, to go and speak against the wicked ways of the people of Nineveh.
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me”. – Jonah 1:1,2
But then as we know, Jonah was rebellious and went against God, getting onto a boat going in the opposite direction. This could have been the end of the story, or perhaps it could have ended when Jonah was thrown overboard. Many would see this as a fitting punishment for his rebellion. But God was merciful and sent a rescue vessel in the shape of a big fish.
The third chapter of Jonah shows something we all need, Gods grace. It begins with these words:
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.” – Jonah 3:1,2
The exact same message comes a second time to Jonah despite his rebellion. This is a great display of Gods great mercy and grace which Jonah probably did not expect or feel deserving of. Mercy and grace have been described as two sides of the same coin. Mercy is God not pouring out the punishment we deserve and grace is God pouring out the good things we do not deserve.
When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus, He showed mercy by speaking, first to those ready with stones. No one is without sin, so no one should throw stones. He then forgave the guilty woman, in an act of great grace. He gave her a second chance, but did not expect her to continue living the life she had been, instead He commanded her to sin no more. (John 8:2-11).
God still offers His great mercy and grace to us and forgives us today when we come to Him in genuine humility and confess our wrongdoing.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9.
Thank God for His great mercy which does not treat us as we deserve. Instead, His great grace provides the forgiveness we could not expect. Today, His great love allows us a second chance, so that we are not trapped by sin, but can forget our sinful ways and press on to His higher call.
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:12-14.
There is no need to be trapped in a sinful cycle, or feel rejected by God because of the wrong things you have done. We may not feel we deserve a second chance in life, but God provides it because of His great mercy and grace toward us today.
Be greatly blessed