By Lou Coleman
“That was then but this is now, I’m starting all over again. I need a miracle in my life today, ‘Cause I’m tired of walking in the same old way…” [Lyrics Shirley Caesar – Starting All Over Again]
I wonder is there anyone who has been in a situation in which you really wanted something to work out but it didn’t. You felt like if you just had a second chance, you could make it work. I wonder am I talking to anybody today. When you look back over your life, at some of the situations that you have been involved in and some of the choices that you have made, you think, if only I had a second chance. If only I had a second chance, I wouldn’t have married who I married. If only I had a second chance, I wouldn’t have moved where I moved. If only I had a second chance, what might have been? The fact is we all fail. We do things we regret. We say things we deplore. And we hurt people we love. Even the Apostle Paul was no stranger to failure. He said in [Romans 7:15] “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” I tell you; sometimes we are on our “A” game, and other times we fail. Reminding us in our human state how imperfect we are. Yet, because of the LORD’S loving kindnesses, His compassions never fail; they are new every morning… [Lamentations 3:22-23]
I want you to know that today God is giving you another chance to get your life right with Him. The Bible is full of people who received not only second chances, but third and fourth chances: Peter, Jonah, Mark, Samson, David, and others. All trophies of God’s Grace… I tell you, my list of “if only” moans could go on at length, but the common denominator of all the incidents is that when we are given a second chance, we need to make sure that we do not squander the precious opportunity. We have to come to realize that we cause tomorrow’s “if only” regrets by today’s neglects. I tell you, God is willing and able to give us a second, a third, a fourth, and a fifth chance; but we need to soberly reflect on the caveats that accompany these plaintive requests.
As the apostle Peter issued a stern warning in [Luke 19] when you ask for a second chance, you need to commit yourself soberly to following through by truly repenting and changing the outcome to a positive, godly result.” In other words, when you cry out, “If I only had a second chance… “Make sure the sentence ends, “. . . I would not squander it!” Know that if you deliberately keep on sinning after you have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Think about it, if anyone who rejected the Law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses, how much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? I tell you, it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
You see, Jesus made it clear that the gift of another day is not to be taken lightly. Take the gift of another day and don’t squander it. You know David, Jonah and Peter, were three great men of God, yet imperfect like you and me, and they had to hit rock bottom before the scales came off their eyes, and they saw clearly. God wants to bring victory in your life, but you have to make the conscience choice and decision to follow after Him. I am enormously grateful for an opportunity to start all over again… What about you?