Devotions

Second Chances . . . and More

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“Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy” (Micah 7:18, New King James Version).

Have you ever been around someone who makes the same mistake over and over, and then over again? Frustrating, isn’t it? Gradually (or perhaps soon) our patience wears thin. Why can’t they learn? Why can’t they just get it right? How hard can it be! Perhaps that person is a family member, friend, or coworker. Or you.

We’ve all messed up at some point. Some of our messes are big. Others are not just mistakes but sin. We’ve failed. We feel ashamed. Guilty. And, we may decide, unforgiveable. Have you ever felt such despair? You aren’t alone. All of us have sinned and fallen short of what we should be (Romans 3:23). But the good news is we have a merciful God ready to forgive and restore. Because of His mercy, we don’t receive the penalty we deserve.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

In our humanity, we may lack generosity in forgiving others. In Matthew 18:21, Peter asks, “How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?” This must have seemed a more than generous amount to him, so imagine his surprise when Jesus replied, “I say not unto thee, until seven times: but until seventy times seven.” When Jesus told him 490 times, He was really saying limitless. He doesn’t keep count, nor should we. His mercy is abundant for all our offenses.

But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth” (Psalm 86:5, NKJV).

Never lose hope. Our loving God is a God of second chances—and more. He delights in mercy.

Prayer: Lord, I come to You in humility, knowing I’ve disappointed You in so many ways. Yet, I also realize You freely offer forgiveness and mercy when I come to You. Your love is never-ending, and You don’t keep score. You give me hope for the future because You freely present me with a second chance.

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Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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