Altar Call –
September 11, 2016
Everybody needs a second chance sometime
Everybody needs a second chance sometime.
We all make mistakes. We all need forgiveness for wrong and sometimes stupid choices.
We all need someone who will not give up
on us. Having one such person in your life can be the difference between fulfillment
and disaster. A father or a mother can be that person for a son or daughter.
friend Bob made a lot of wrong choices as a teenager. He ignored the curfew set
by his parents, often coming home late at night “drunk as a hoot owl.”
Bob’s father never responded with anger
or chastisement. Instead, no matter how late Bob stayed out at night, he always
found his father fully dressed and sitting in a chair waiting for him to come
“When I came staggering in Dad never reprimanded
me,” Bob said. “He simply helped me to
bed, always patting me on the back as he said calmly, ‘you’ll be a fine man one
He was right. Bob finally gave up
drinking and, as he said, “turned my life over to God.” He went on to college, felt God calling him
into the ministry and finished seminary.
Bob understands the gospel. He
experienced it. His own father introduced him to the God who never gives up on
his children despite their wrong choices. I tremble every time I think about
Bob’s story. It reveals the true nature of God. He is the God of second
Sin leads to suffering. When we insist on
having our own way, defiantly refusing to obey God, we are on the pathway to
suffering. None of us gets away with mocking God. He allows us to reap what we
sow, to experience the pain of disobedience. When we break covenant with God we
suffer the sad consequences of our choices.
Grief accompanies suffering. The Bible
tells the story of the Israelites who in exile sat down by the riverside and
wept, unable to “sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land.” Their harps collected
dust while they mourned their loss. They only realized how much Jerusalem meant
to them after they had lost it.
When the consequences of our wrong
choices overwhelm us, we can sit down and weep – or we can learn valuable
lessons. When we scoff at the moral laws of God, we are spitting into the wind!
We are sliding down the banisters of life with all the splinters pointed at us!
break God’s commandments we are really breaking ourselves! Would to God that
the pain of our sins could teach us that life will work in only one way and
that is the way of the Lord!
When we are suffering because of our
behavior, nothing can cheer us more than having someone refuse to give up on
us. That can be a friend, or a spouse, or a parent, or a colleague at work. Such
a person can remind us of the greater reality – that God never stops loving us!
He never gives up on us, even when our sins grieve him.
Wise parents allow their children to
suffer the consequences of their behavior, but they never stop loving them.
Even when they come in late at night drunk, loving parents will offer them a
second chance, and a third, and a fourth, to get it right!
There are many things you can do today
but none may be more important than to offer your support to someone who needs
a second chance. + + +