“Second Chances”

There are so many verses in scripture that stand alone and speak to a person’s heart.  That’s why we are told God’s Word is, “Quick and powerful and sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing even to dividing the soul and spirit, and the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).  God’s Word is alive and active.  The Lord speaks to us this very day, convicting us of sin, offering wisdom, guidance, encouragement and provides us with marching orders.  Over and over, you’ve been told, “You may have given up on God, but God hasn’t given up you!”  I can’t emphasize that statement enough.  The Lord knows who we are, where we are, what’s going on in our lives, blesses the obedient and calls out to the disobedient.


Jonah is one who heard the voice of God and received clear directions on what he should do, but blatantly disobeyed.  God asked him to go one direction, he went the opposite.  You know the story.  Jonah gets tossed overboard and is soon swallowed by a big fish.  From inside the fish, he calls out to God and to no surprise at all, God hears him!!  After being vomited upon the shore, “The Word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time” (Jonah 3:1).  This time Jonah obeyed.  The question is, why are we so hard hearted, stubborn, and self-righteous?  Why is it we think we know more than God?  He loves us and desires the very best for each one of us.  I know of no one, other than Jonah that was swallowed entirely by a fish and survived.  But I can tell stories about people , good people who knew better, but still turned their back on God and went their own way.  Most paid some very heavy consequences.


The Lord wanted Jonah to preach a revival in Nineveh.  He did and the whole city turned to God and that mad Jonah angry!  He was mad at God basically saying, “That’s why I didn’t want to go to Nineveh in the first place.  I don’t like those people!”  Who are you are angry with?  Who is it you dislike?  Who in your mind is responsible for keeping you from being the person God wants you be and the man or woman you want to be?  God gave Jonah a “Second chance!”  He may be speaking to you as you read these lines and is offering you a second chance.  What are you going to do with it?  Forget those who influenced you down bad paths.  Forget those who said or did something in a church years ago and because of their behavior you vowed you’d never go back to church again!  Really?  You’re bigger, better, and smarter than that!  It’s time to take responsibility with the maturity God has given you.  Stop blaming others and take personal responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, and actions.  Listen to God’s voice and get back to where you know you belong.  Do the right thing!  Let God forgive you of all your wrong doings and clean you up on the inside.  When that’s taken care of, you’ll find purpose and meaning again.


Pastor Carnes