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God of Second Chances

I flipped through some old journals last weekend, and as I skimmed the pages, my mind was flooded with memories. Some of them were beautiful. I relived celebrations, answered prayers and moments of true growth and progress. But some memories were painful. They reminded me of times I felt alone. They brought on pangs of guilt and regret. Doubt crept in as I asked myself a question I've asked many times before: How can God forgive, love and use someone with a past like mine?  

Throughout the Bible we see that we aren't the only ones with messed up pasts. Peter, one of Jesus's closest companions, denies knowing Jesus in Luke 22:54-65. You'd think that after denying Jesus not once but three times, Peter would have seen the end of his road in ministry. But our God is a God of second chances. He is full of grace and mercy. He can use anyone, anytime. Even after Peter made a mess, God used him to lead the first church.

When we make the decision to follow Jesus, we are completely forgiven and made new (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are no longer who we used to be! Remembering that God wholly forgives us allows us to move beyond the doubt, guilt and regret. We don't have to let our past hold us back from what God has next for us. Nothing can stop Him from using us for His glory.

Reflect:

  • What is God using you for today that before meeting Jesus you never would have thought was possible?
  • Are parts of your life before Jesus still holding you back from moving forward? Maybe you need to forgive someone. Maybe you need to break old habits to remove temptation. What do you need to do today to move past the past?

Caiaphas' house (grey roof)

Ancient steps leading to Caiphas' house, the same steps Jesus took the night He was arrested. 

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