A Second Chance

Today’s devotion is about getting a second chance.

Of course, the most basic way we get a second chance is through the saving grace of Jesus.  The truth is that we were lost with no chance to get right with God, but Jesus gives his life that we would receive his mercy and a second chance.

But this java is about the special opportunities for another chance that God sends to us through the special people that come our way.

I think of Mark.  John Mark was his full name.  He was the writer of the gospel of Mark in the New Testament.  And when he was young, he was a ministry intern with the Apostle Paul and Barnabas.  And as many interns do, Mark made a lot of mistakes.  And Paul did not forget it.  Paul was the type of leader who had a no-nonsense style with a conviction and passion that left little room for error.  And so, there came a time when Paul felt that Mark had to go back home, because he felt that Mark was not ready to continue on in the work.

Barnabas, on the other hand, was a more sympathetic type.  He was just as much a leader as Paul, but he had a different approach and perspective.  And so, the story unfolded in Acts 15 where Paul and Barnabas had a sharp disagreement and parted ways.  Paul went his own way with his new partner, Silas.  And Barnabas went with the young intern.

In your small group:  Share your personal experiences of making mistakes and how people approached you in different ways and how you responded. 

Going separate ways, Paul found much success with his dedication and conviction.  And his continuing success would seem to validate his decision to separate from the rookie.  There is a saying:  “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”  But the story does not end here.

The story continues with Barnabas taking the young man and restoring him and teaching him and giving him the chance to make mistakes and grow in the process.  There is another saying:  “It’s not how fast you run, but how long you last.”  And this will be proven in the young intern’s life.  And this will be realized by Paul himself later when in his final days, he asks for Mark to come to him and help him, saying that he has found Mark to be helpful in the ministry (2 Timothy 4:11).

In your small group:  Share your personal experiences of being given a second chance.

Paul would see later what Barnabas saw earlier.  And ultimately, we all see later what God saw before the foundations of this world, that we all need a second chance and even a third.

All of us are where we are because of the mercy of God and the special people whom God has brought to us to restore us and give us another chance.

Consider today the mercy of God and the additional chances he gives.  And give thanks for the people like Barnabas that comes our way.

And consider today, how you can be like Barnabas in giving others a second chance.

In your small group:  Discuss the ways that you can give a second chance – in your home, workplace, school, and especially church. 

Until next time, give thanks to the giver of a second chance and become a giver of another opportunity, for this is part of the greater purpose for your life.

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