Another chance

Another chance

I, yes, I alone, will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again. – Isaiah 43:25  

Micah 7:18-20

 18 Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love.

 19 Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!

 20 You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love as you promised to our ancestors Abraham and Jacob long ago.

Second Chance Bikes refurbishes, repairs, and donates used bicycles to needy kids, needy adults, including the homeless, the disabled, and military veterans.  Ernie Clark is a retired New Jersey police officer, who founded Second Chance Bikes in 2006. Hundreds of impounded and donated bikes are sent to Ernie Clark and his team of volunteers to restore and donate each year. Second Chance Bikes has provided over 4500 bikes to others since it began its nonprofit work.  

Every bike deserves a second chance. Not only do the bicycles get a second chance, but many of the recipients do as well.

If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down (Mary Pickford).

When the Father gives second chances, they can transform people’s lives. In the eighth century BC, times were very dark. The nation of Israel was mired in personal, social, governmental, and religious sins of all types. Under the circumstances, we might expect that the Father, who is holy, righteous, and just, would be harsh and punish. Rather, the Father chose love and forgiveness. He offered the people another chance.

The Father called the prophet Micah to serve Him. Micah was sent to the people to offer grace, loving kindness, and mercy. Micah cried out and lamented, “The godly people have all disappeared; not one honest person is left on the earth” (Micah 7:2).

Frankly, Micah was astonished by the Father’s loyal love. Micah was humbled and awestruck by such remarkable compassion and gentleness. Rhetorically he queried, “Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people?” (Micah 7:18).

Why is this important? The Father who was willing to offer forgiveness 3700 years ago to rebellious, defiant, and sinful people is the same today as He was then. He makes the identical offer to us. The Father will never abandon us even as He did not abandon them. The Old Testament prophets continually were sent to the Father’s wayward and rebellious people. The prophets identified the people’s sinful behavior and called them to repentance.

Micah 7:19 Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!

The bottom line is quite simple, the Father is loving, forgiving, and full of grace and acceptance. In spite of all we do, He alwaysoffers another chance when we repent and seek Him.

2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

Sadly, sin and consequent repentance are not one-off events but seem to recur throughout our lifetimes. The more we sin, the more discouraged we become. But the Father never changes. He is always gracious, faithful, and reaches out to us.

REFLECT & PRAY

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat (F. Scott Fitzgerald).

Father when I reflect and consider the rebellion and all of the sins I have flippantly done before you, I realize that only a gracious, kind, and forgiving God could offer another chance. And so You do! Thank You.

INSIGHT

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending (Carl Bard).

Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave (Mary Tyler Moore).

Micah 7:18 There is no other God like you! You forgive sin and pardon the rebellion of those who remain among your people. You do not remain angry forever but delight in showing loyal love.

What is the heart of the Father truly like? He delights in showing loyal love, grace, mercy, kindness, and gentleness. He genuinely loves people. Because of His great love, He sent His son to die for the sins of the world. His mercy is not deserved or earned. Judgment and death are the natural consequences of our actions. The Father has no obligation to forgive our sins or pardon our iniquity. Who besides our Father in heaven is like that? He doesn’t just forgive; He loves to forgive.

In Micah 7:18 The prophet asks the rhetorical question “Who is a God like you?”

To such a question, the intended reply is “No one.” The Father’s matchless nature is affirmed. When it comes to forgiving, loving, and sharing grace, the Father is incomparable. Any effort to compare the Father’s grace to puny human grace, utterly fails. When it comes to grave sins, no one is like Him pardoning and forgiving. It is totally contrary to human nature.

Exodus 34:6-7

 6 The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, “LORD! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.

 7 I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.

The answer is spelled out again and again in the book of Micah. The Father alone has hesed, loyal love, lovingkindness, unflappable grace. The Old Testament book of Micah opens with the anger of God and closes with the grace of God. Micah begins with God treading on the earth and melting mountains and ends with God treading our sins underfoot and melting human evil. Micah starts with wonder about what God is like and concludes affirming that nobody is like him (Shank).

Our heavenly Father is the only God who works on the behalf of His people. All other gods demand that people work for them. Regrettably, people project on to him their own traumatic life experiences and expectations. Many envision Him as a hard, mean, and cruel ogre who seeks to uncover and punish every violation and imperfection.

Nothing could be further from the truth! The Father is loving, caring, and welcoming! All wayward children of the King are sought after and beckoned to return, come, and experience the warm embrace of His outstretched arms (Matthew 11:28-30).

The Father is not merely willing, but eager to forgive any and all kinds of sin. 

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