I read this week that when surveyed, 48% of millennials do not believe in God. I wish that they were a part of this church and heard the stories as well as the testimony of the power of God.
We need to give God another chance to prove he is the true God and then look on in amazement at what he can do in our lives. Why should we do this? Because by being a believer in Jesus, when we lay our heads down at night, close our eyes, and say our prayers, we ask for forgiveness of our sins. God always gives us a second chance. It is why Jesus died on the cross. Can the Good News be about second chances? Yes, it sure can. This morning we will discuss how God gives us second chances.
What is our worth to God? Let me tell you.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs on your head are numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Sometimes after a failure we decide not to get back up again. We accept defeat. God never accepts defeat in us!
The Danish philosopher Kierkegaard told a story of thieves who broke into a jewelry store but didn’t steal anything. They simply rearranged the price tags. The next morning, the expensive jewelry was sold as junk and the junk jewelry was sold as expensive. His point is obvious. We live in a world where someone has rearranged the price tags. Maybe God has arranged our price tags. Sometimes we loose sight of what is important in life. We value the wrong things. That doesn’t mean that we can’t rearrange them back once we recognize how God’s word can affect our lives. The Gospel gives us a second chance. It is power in practice. It gives us another idea, another method, a means of transforming our lives.
Peter got a second chance. Peter disowned Jesus.
While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. “You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said. But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” He said, and went out into the entryway.
Peter denied Jesus just like He said that he would. He denied the man he said that he would die with. He denied the one he saw perform miracle after miracle. He denied the Savior.
As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe witting on the right side and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, “He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as he told you.'”
To Peter, that must have had a profound effect. The angel wanted Peter to know that it wasn’t over. He’s getting a second chance. The Lord that he had denied had risen and wanted to see him. Peter had been in torment since Jesus had died. Now, he had a second chance. That second chance took him to his death. Now he was making good on a second chance. Peter would never deny Jesus again.
Thomas is another disciple who wanted another chance. First he said, “No way, dead men do not come back to life. I just don’t believe it. I don’t care what you saw with your own eyes. I didn’t see it for myself. Unless I see Him with my own eyes and the nail holes in His hands, I won’t believe it. Then, just one week later, Thomas got his second chance. Jesus came and showed Thomas the proof that he demanded. He could have run out of there in his embarrassment. He could have taken the coward’s way out like Judas. Instead, he made that great affirmation of faith, “My Lord and my God!”
The resurrection of Jesus means that Thomas got a “do over”. He got a second chance. Not only do we get a second chance with God, but through these lessons, we can share those same second chances with others!