Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2002

Subject: Second Chances

Good Friday Morning Ethan & Emily:

I thought I would conclude this week with another quick glimpse into the “Experiencing God” workbook.  Every section is so good, it is difficult to choose what to share with you, but in Unit 9, the authors address a very important question that is often asked:  “When a person disobeys God’s will, does God give him or her a second chance?”

Blackaby & King answer:  “I am comforted to know that God often gives a second chance.  Some of the great people of God were broken by sin and disobedience, yet God did not give upon them.  If God allowed people only one mistake, Moses would never have come to be the person he was.  He made several mistakes (for example, Ex. 2: 11 – 15).  Abraham started out with a great walk of faith, but He went into Egypt and blew it…more than once (for example, Gen. 12: 10 – 20_.  David muffed it (for example, 2 Sam. 11), and so did Peter (for example, Matt. 26: 69 – 75).  Saul (Paul) even began his ‘service for God’ by persecuting Christians (Acts 9: 1 – 2).

“Disobedience, however, is never taken lightly by God.  You read how Jonah’s disobedience almost cost him his life.  Moses’ murder of the Egyptian cost him 40 years in the wilderness.  David’s sin with Bathsheba cost the life of his son.  Paul’s early ministry was greatly hindered because of his disobedience.  Many people were afraid to get near him because of his reputation as a persecutor of Christians.

“God is interested in developing your character.  At times He lets you proceed, but He will never let you go too far without discipline to bring you back.  In your relationship with God, He may let you make a wrong decision.  Then the Spirit of God causes you to recognize that it is not God’s will.  He guides you back to the right path.  He will clarify what He wants.  He will even take the circumstance of your disobedience and work that together for good (Rom. 8: 28) as He corrects you and teaches you His ways. 

“Even though God forgives and often gives second chances, you must not take disobedience lightly.  Sometimes He does not give a second chance.  Aaron’s two sons, Nadab and Abihu, were disobedient in offering unholy incense to the Lord; and God struck them dead (Lev. 10).

“Moses stole God’s glory in front of all Israel and struck the rock saying, ‘Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?’  (Num 20: 10).  Notice the word ‘we.’  God was the One who would bring water from the rock.  Moses took God’s glory, and God refused to take away the consequences of that disobedience.  He refused to allow Moses to go with Israel into the Promised Land.

“God loves you.  He wants what is the best for you.  That is why He gives you the commands and instruction He does.  His commands are not to limit or restrict you but to free you to experience the most meaningful life possible.”

That concludes this passage, but I would like you to read that last sentence again:  “His commands are not to limit or restrict you but to free you to experience the most meaningful life possible.”  I couldn’t agree more, and I can tell you from experience that this is true, true, true!  Most people think God’s commands and laws “bind” and “restrict”…while the exact opposite is true.  As you obey, you fly like an eagle, with wings freed from sin and its consequences…with great freedom soaring to fulfill all your capabilities and talents. 

Let these truths ‘”sink in” today and bask in the light of knowing God loves you and can turn your mistakes…yes, even your sins…into something good in your life.   What a great God we serve!

Have a wonderful day…