The God Of The Second Chance

The story of Joseph in the book of Genesis is one of my favorites. Sold by his brothers into slavery, taken to a foreign land, unfairly accused and imprisoned, and with little hope or expectation of ever seeing his family again, Joseph was in what seemed an impossible situation. Despite all that, the Bible says, “The Lord was with him.”

God allowed the testing to build character in Joseph. Joseph went through years of waiting and suffering before he saw God’s plan in it all. God used Joseph to save Egypt, the surrounding nations, and Joseph’s own family. God’s plans and purposes are so much bigger and greater than our own.

At the end of his story, Joseph says,

“You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day” Genesis 50:20

 That same truth is reconfirmed in the book of Romans in the New Testament.

“All things work together for good to those who love God” Romans 8:28

God is indeed, the God of second chances.

Thank You, Lord for the constant message of restoration that runs throughout Your Word. Thank You for the glimpse of Your handiwork that is so much bigger and more beautiful than I could have imagined. Help me to be faithful in times of testing. Align my life with Your will. Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. In Jesus’ Name I Pray, Amen.

Be A Sheep – Not A Goat

In Matthew 25:31-46 you can see that The Lord Jesus speaks of a day when He will judge the earth. Verses 31-33 state this:

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.” Matthew 25:31-33

Jesus goes on to clarify what He means. In the story, the sheep represent true believers and goats represent those who claim to be believers but are not. The ‘goats’ show they are not true believers by their lack of action.

I’m not saying that anyone earns his or her way to heaven, not only is that impossible, and it’s not Biblical. I’m just sharing with you what God’s Son, Jesus said.

And what The Lord Jesus says is important. Life-giving. His Word clearly defines life eternal and death eternal in damnation – like that passage.

In a world where people mention God or Jesus or spirituality, it’s important to understand what it means – or perhaps, what it doesn’t mean.

When people mention god, it doesn’t mean they are speaking of the God of the Bible. People like to dress god up to look like them. Kind of like the Greeks did — a god who is okay with promiscuity or lying or cruelty.

The Great Jehovah far, far transcends all of that.

These ‘goats’ today and throughout history talk about Jesus as a great man or a prophet, or one way to God. Yet Jesus says

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6

Jesus demands exclusivity.

Someone might say, “I’m a spiritual person.”

My response is “But are you a Born-Again person?”

You might receive a shocked face if you say those words to someone — even an angry face, and in some countries, you may receive imprisonment or torture or even death. That simply means you’re a sheep.

And then some of you who are reading this may be goats and may not even be aware of it. You may be serving in your church and receive a perfect attendance Sunday School pin. But it means nothing because you do it all for the wrong reasons. Perhaps pressure from your family, or tradition, or church is another form of social networking for you.

I have one word for you now – repent! Turn from trusting in your works or your idea of God and turn to Jesus Christ today.

Or face His judgment tomorrow.

Listen to verse 41 in the last part of our Matthew passage:

“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;” Matthew 25:41

Don’t be a goat, be a sheep.

Your eternal life depends on it.

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