Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Who Deserves a Second Chance?

What would you do with a second chance?

Luke 23:39-43New King James Version (NKJV)
39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ,[a] save Yourself and us.”
40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord,[b] remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

On November 2nd, individuals and smartphones turned their clocks back an hour. At one time, that used to really bother me. That hour was working perfectly fine – why would anyone want to return a well-used hour?

That’s the ironic thing. Many people fail to realize the importance of a moment until it is taken away. Benjamin Franklin, who proposed that daylight saving time would allow people to take advantage of an earlier morning, originated daylight savings or Summer Time back in 1784. It was considered to be a great way to conserve energy and reduce traffic issues by allowing more illuminated evenings. November 2nd ended daylight saving time and now we return to standard time. Only two US properties do not participate in daylight savings – Hawaii and Arizona.

When I turned back my clock, a thought crossed my mind. What if we could actually turn back time? Would we do it? What would we change?

One of my favorite 80’s movies is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. A classic scene in the movie shows Cameron, Bueller’s best friend, running his dad’s classic Ferrari in reverse. Cameron was not supposed to touch the car let alone drive it. But he did, and he figured the best way to get the miles to go away was to put the car on blocks and run it in reverse. To Cameron’s demise, a foot to the hood pushed the car off the blocks, through a glass window, and into some trees behind the house.

His efforts to reverse his wrongdoing were destroyed but Cameron somehow gained a lesson in self-confidence. (You have to see the movie)

Have you ever wanted to just reverse time and erase a circumstance or situation? That’s the cool and tricky thing about life. Even if you could take back time – if it weren’t for the time you spent in that uncomfortable place, would you know the things you know or be the person you are?

Have you ever been given a second chance?

What would you do with a second chance?

The bible is full of people who were given second chances. In their moment, they would have loved to reverse time, but those moments helped define their identity and how we live.

Zacheus was a hated tax collector yet Jesus sought him out of tree and chose to dine in his home. That encounter changed Zacheus’ life and gave him a SECOND CHANCE

Peter walked on water and nearly drowned. He cried out for Christ and immediately he was not only saved but also given a SECOND CHANCE to walk on water. This time he was holding his savior’s hand. Later, Peter openly denies Christ three times after admitting that he would never turn his back on Him. Peter's life should have ended after that. But, Jesus sends a special request for Peter when He rose from the grave. (Mark 16:7)

Moses was a murderer yet that same man led the children of Israel out of the hands of Pharaoh. SECOND CHANCE.

David knowingly slept with a married woman then had her husband killed. He was known as a man after God’s heart. His crime caught up to him but God gave him a SECOND CHANCE when traditional thought says he didn’t deserve it.

It is ok to start over

2 Corinthians 5:17New King James Version (NKJV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

I may not know you personally but I do know that you deserve a SECOND CHANCE! Take this moment to tell God about your mistakes and ask for His forgiveness. God can help you move beyond your past and forgive you. (1 John 1:9). You can start over.

The convicted and rightly accused criminals who were crucified on either side of Christ earned a punishment. Nevertheless it was a simple request by one of them that allowed him a SECOND CHANCE. Your second chance isn’t for everyone else’s pleasure but more for your peace. It’s not too late to get right with God.

Lastly, If God is willing to give you a second chance you should give others a chance also.

Matthew 18:22New King James Version (NKJV)
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

There is a story about Thomas A. Edison creating the “light bulb”. Thomas Edison and a team of men took 24 hours to create one bulb. When the bulb was completed, he gave it to a young man to carry up the stairs. Just as the young man reached the top, the unthinkable happened. He dropped it. It shattered. Like a true scientist, Thomas Edison went back to work. He and his team took another 24 hours to build an exact replica. The boy was absolute that he would not be chosen to carry the fragile invention again. But, Thomas Edison saw things differently and gave the boy a second chance.

If Thomas Edison can forgive that little boy and God can forgive you – whom should you forgive today?