What If You Need a Second Chance?

By Charles R. Swindoll

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Acts 13:2–5; 15:36–41

Each of us can remember a time when we failed to do something we said we would do. We started strong. We had every intention to follow through. And others were relying on us to stick to our commitment. To make matters worse, we gave them our word that they could count on us. And then, somewhere along the way, our good intentions got sidetracked. Circumstances became difficult. And we failed to follow through. Those who counted on us were disappointed in us, and we felt guilty.

At that point, two things likely happened: 1) having lost trust in us, some of the disappointed people determined to never rely on us again, and 2) having had time to think about how we would handle things differently, we longed for a second chance.

The Bible includes several examples of people who blew it and later longed to be reinstated. Peter needed a second chance after he was disloyal the night of Jesus’ arrest (Mark 14:66–72). Jonah needed a second chance after he ran from the Lord’s command to carry His message to Nineveh (Jonah 1–2). The adulterous woman needed a second chance to prove her character (John 8:1–11). Esther needed a second chance to respond to Mordecai’s plea to help their people (Esther 4:10–17). And as we’ll learn in this lesson, young John Mark needed a second chance to prove himself to Paul and Barnabas after deserting them on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:13; 15:37–38).

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