God is a God of Second Chances
It is not our successes in life that make us who we are; but rather, our failures!
By David J. Stewart | March 2014 | Updated April 2017
Jonah 2:10-3:3, “And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey.”
I love that statement, “AND THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME UNTO JONAH THE SECOND TIME.” Jonah had run from God the first time. The Lord has told Jonah to go to Nineveh to preach the gospel, but Jonah fled instead to Tarshish. To understand why Jonah didn't obey God, it is helpful to learn that the Assyrians were infamous for their torturing methods. The Assyrian military would fasten their victims securely and then peel their skin off while they were alive.
Joshua 24:13-14, “And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat. Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.”
While running from his past in a barren desert, Moses ran into his purpose. While leading his father-in-law Jethro's flock of sheep, God was teaching Moses to lead the flock of Hebrews in Egypt and the Wilderness. All of our tears, disappointments, sins, failures, heartaches, embarrassments, burdens, losses and tribulations in life can be used for God's glory to accomplish God's will in ways that we never could have imagined.
Romans 8:28-29 teaches that God takes all the bad things in every believer's life and causes them to work together for good, to conform us into the image of our dear Savior. Only God knows the things that would have happened if the things that happened hadn't happened. God is a good God and everything that He does is right!
Again, our text verse reads, “AND THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME UNTO JONAH THE SECOND TIME.” Has God given you a second lease on life? Have you seemingly cheated death? Have you been given a second chance to restart your marriage? Has God dealt with your heart a second time about your lost condition without Christ? My friend, if God has given you a second chance, jump at it, because you may not receive a third chance!
What has the Devil ever done for you? Nothing! Yet God has created everything! We are all living a borrowed life, we breath borrowed air, in a borrowed body, in a borrowed world, eating borrowed food, wearing borrowed clothes, enjoying things borrowed from God. Revelation 4:11 says, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” We and everything good that we own were created to PLEASE GOD. God is not only the Creator of all things, but He is also the Owner of all things! It all belongs to Him (Psalms 24:1; 1st Corinthians 10:26). God has lent all things to us that we posses. We start life with nothing, and we leave this life with nothing, because we cannot take it with us.
HELPING OTHERS (chapter 42 from Dr. Hyles' favorite book he wrote, 'BLUE DENIM AND LACE')
Thus, when we give to God we are simply letting go of what is already His. How much are you giving God?
And by the way, God wants your time as much as your money. If you only tithe 10% of your income, then you've only given God a little over 2% of your time. There's 168 hours in a week. If you work 40 hours and tithe 10%, then you've only given God 4 hours out of 168 hours total in a week. Giving back to God is our privilege, responsibility and obligation. Any business man will tell you that time is money and money is time. God rewards us for our labours (1st Corinthians 3:8), which includes our time, for time is the essence of labour. We all reach the future at a speed of 60-minutes per hour.
My point in this little discussion is that you will be rewarded far greater for giving God 30-40 hours a week of your time, then those who merely tithe 10% on their income. Has God given you a second chance? If so, GIVE HIM YOUR MONEY AND YOUR TIME. If you're like most people, you have much more time than money.
There are thousands of things that we can all do for God with our time, including: prayer, fasting, publishing a blog or website to proclaim the truth and get folks saved, writing encouraging letters to missionaries, or sending a gift package to missionaries, writing gospel literature, writing a Christian book, volunteer at the church, print the Four Gospels from the Bible, drive a Sunday School bus, teach a Sunday School class, ask your pastor if you can help him, help your neighbors and invite them to church, preach in a Rescue Mission or local prison, teach a Bible-class in a local nursing home, use your music as an opportunity to share the gospel and pass out Christian literature, et cetera. Surely, there are many open doors that we can all go through to do more for God. God will do the great things, if we'll do the small things that God gives us to do.
The World At Our Doorstep!
Every New Testament Church should support missionaries. Since churches are composed of individual born-again believers, then every individual Christian ought to support missionaries as well. We ought to have a GLOBAL, REGIONAL (Acts 13:4; 2nd Corinthians 8:5) and LOCAL vision. Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
If God has ever given you a second chance, then you know fully what Charles Dickens' fictitious character Ebenezer Scrooge felt like after being visited by the three ghosts of Christmas: past, present and future. When Scrooge woke up on Christmas day, realizing that he had been given a second chance to amend his ways and do what is right, Scrooge jumped at the chance. It is a beautiful story that parallels a Christian man who's just got saved. Whereas, he was living as greedy and wicked man, now he has repented and received Christ as His Savior, and now we see the newness of life in Christ in him. END
Repent And Believe To Be Saved
Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”
Mark 1:15: “...repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of me." —John 5:39
HELL FIRE (you'd better get saved before it's too late! by Pastor Danny Castle)
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(a quote from Pastor Jack Hyles' classic MP3 sermon, “FORGIVENESS”