Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
John 8:10-11 NLT
Although it was in the 1970’s, I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in a chapel service and Dr. Jerry Falwell introduced his message by saying, “God is the God of the second chance”.
I may have appreciated God’s message of redemption . . . I’m not sure I accepted God’s mastery of restoration.
Religious leaders brought a woman caught in the act of adultery to Jesus. Tradition and law required that she be condemned, convicted and killed. They asked Jesus for His interpretation and instruction. John tells us, “They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, ‘All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!’” (Jn 8:6-7 NLT)
Jesus’ words convicted the condemners. After they left Jesus and the woman, Jesus inquired of her, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you? Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” The condemmed received compassion.
God’s Provision. Love. Grace. Peace. Mercy. Adoption. Acceptance. These are just the appetizers of God’s bounty of provision. He sees our fault and knows our need. He is aware that we need a second chance. His mercy and grace are full . . . full to overflowing. John writes, “And the Word [Jesus] became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Jn 1:14 ESV) A few verses later, John reminds that “God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.” (Jn 1:17 ESV)
When God gives a second chance, we can rely on His provision.
God’s Peace. Because of Jesus, we have peace. Paul told the believers in Rome, “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” (Rom 5:1 NLT) Jesus looked at a woman caught in adultery and condemned by her community and said, “I won’t condemn you. Go in peace and sin no more.” (Jn 8:11) Jesus reminds us “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid”. (Jn 14:27 NLT) God’s peace is found in His presence. C. S. Lewis wrote, “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
When God gives a second chance, we can rest in His peace.
God’s Plan. God’s chosen people experienced God’s second chance. Jeremiah relates God’s wise heart to a wandering nation. He reminds them, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'” (Jer 29:11 NLT). When we have been rejected, He still redeems us. When we have failed, He still gives us a future. When we have lost our way, He will always be there to lead us with His unfailing love. Oswald Chambers wrote, “God never guides us at some time in the future, but always here and now. Realize that the Lord is here now, and the freedom you receive is immediate.”
When God gives a second chance, we can run with His plan.
Juanita Bynum wrote the following lyrics:
Lord, I need to feel the touch of Your hand,
Your will for my life I want to understand.
Lord, forgive me like only You can,
For You’re the God of a second chance.
Show me all of my wrongs,
Forgive me and make me strong.
Oh, save me, restore my song,
For You’re the God of a second chance.
As Doc used to say, “He is the God of the second chance . . . and the third . . .”
He provides, He gives peace and He has a plan.
Condemners are gone. Compassion is given. He is offering a second chance.