Second Chances

A funny story printed by Sports Illustrated says a lot about the value of a second chance. It seems “a college-football coach was faced with the possibility that his star player might be declared academically ineligible, so he pleaded with the math professor not to flunk the kid.”

"Tell you what, Coach," said the professor, "I'll ask him a question in your presence. If he gets it right, I'll pass him." The athlete was called in, and the professor asked, "What's two and two?" "Four," replied the player. Frantically the coach cried, "Give him another chance! Give him another chance!" Apparently, the coach wasn’t all that bright…

Some of us are just not ready to embrace the second chance when God extends it. But as we heard on Sunday, Joshua made sure the children of Israel were ready, willing, and able to embrace the grace God was giving them at Ai.

I thought of another good illustration of those principles Pastor Jason was giving us. They are highlighted in Psalm 51. You know the story, David took another man’s wife, then covered up his sin by having the husband killed. After a confrontation with the prophet Nathan, David dealt with his sin, and we get a glimpse into his repentant heart when we read Psalms 32 and 51.
Scholars think that David wrote Psalm 32 first and then penned Psalm 51. Notice the progression in his thinking in Psalm 51, verse 1: “Have mercy...,” verse 2: “Wash me...,” verse 4: “Against You, You only have I sinned,,,,” and verse 7: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean...”

But don’t miss the truth taught in verse 6 where David asks God to teach him wisdom in his secret heart. That secret heart is the concealed part of our lives. It is the intimate place where only God can speak so directly to our hearts.

When He does speak, and we listen; when He does confront, and we repent; when He does offer mercy, there is an opportunity for a second chance. David wrote of that second chance in verse 13. “THEN I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners shall be converted to you.”

All of us sinners want one of those “THENs!” And the wonderful news is that such opportunities are available for the believer who repents, changes his or her direction, and embraces the word and will of the Lord.

THEN—all kinds of great things can happen!
Sherry Worel
Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.