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Saturday, May 23, 2009

The God of Second Chances

The Lord is patient and gracious. He could have let Jonah drown in the Mediterranean Sea, but He didn’t. He rescued disobedient Jonah and lodged him in a safe place, the belly of a great fish, where he had time to reconsider his actions, repent, and rededicate himself to the Lord. And then, after the great fish vomited Jonah onto dry land, the Lord spoke to him “the second time, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you’” (Jonah 3:1, 2). Almost déjà vu (see Jonah 1:1, 2), but one big difference is clear. The Lord had not changed. The commission had not changed. But Jonah’s heart and will had changed.

How often has the Lord given you and me a second opportunity to serve Him after we rejected the first opportunity? How often has He used adverse circumstances to change our hearts and wills and prepare us to embrace the second opportunity? Of course, it is always best to respond to the first call as young Samuel did when the Lord summoned him to service. He prayed, “Speak, for Your servant hears” (1 Samuel 3:10).

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