We see over and over throughout the Bible that God is a God of second chances and new beginnings and new days. There’s a woman named Rahab in the Old Testament who was a prostitute with a questionable past. Her story doesn’t end there because God gave her a second chance and she went on to become the great- great grandmother of King David and her name is in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. King David was an adulterer and murderer who needed a new day. He committed adultery with the wife of his close friend who served in the army. Then to cover up his actions he had his friend, Uriah, murdered. Not only did God give David a second chance, God said this about him. “He is a man after my own heart.” In the New Testament, we find two men as examples of God’s new day. Peter was a man who did some great things yet he’s the same man who denied that he knew Jesus not once or twice but three times. What’s so amazing is that God gave Peter a second chance and Peter went on to help establish the early church of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul was a man who persecuted and imprisoned Christians. Again, what’s so amazing is that God gave Paul a second chance and he went on to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ over much of the known world at that time.
Matthew 9:9-13; John 3:16; Romans 5:8; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 1:6
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. Matthew 9:9
Matthew was a man who got a second chance and a new day from God in the flesh: Jesus. The Bible lets us know that Matthew was a tax collector and he was Jewish. Tax collectors in that day were the most hated people in all of society because their fellow countrymen considered them traitors for working for the Roman government. Matthew’s story doesn’t end there because one day Jesus stepped into Matthew’s life. With just two words, “Follow me,” Jesus changed everything about him. There are three things that we can learn from Matthew’s story. They tell us not only what happened to him but how God does the same things for you and me. Those three things are: (1) Jesus sees me for who I am but loves me as I am. (2) Jesus calls me to follow just as I am. (3) Jesus won’t leave me as I am.
Can you describe a time when God gave you a new day? Do you believe all people deserve a second chance and a new day? Who are the people that you find it difficult to give a second chance? Do you think most people believe “being good’ is enough to make it to heaven? Have you ever believed someone was beyond God’s mercy? Why do many people believe they have to “clean up their act” before Jesus can call them to salvation? What does it mean that Jesus won’t leave you as you are? Is it true that “All Dogs go to Heaven?”
Take time to personalize and meditate on these three things: (1) Jesus sees me for who I am but loves me as I am. (2) Jesus calls me to follow just as I am. (3) Jesus won’t leave me as I am! Thank the God of a new day for His mercy and grace that is working in your life today and forever.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being the God of second chances and new days. I know that I would be lost if you hadn’t found me and redeemed me. Thank you for calling me to follow you. Because I did follow, you have given me eternal life. I’m so grateful for this great gift of salvation and I will praise you forever for it. Help me to model your mercy and grace in order that I might be a person who extends a second chance to those who are in need of it in my life. I pray in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ. Amen.