Second Chances

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:17-24 ESV). Before your read today’s devotional, please take a few minutes and listen to the song by Hillsong, “What a Beautiful Name.” You can find it at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQWFzMvCfLE. I have often seen people who have come to believe that it is too late for them. Whatever they had done or failed to do, they had reached a point where they believed God could not give them another chance at life. I want to take you to one of my favorite parables in the Scripture. Most would call it the “Parable of the Prodigal Son”; however, I prefer to call it the “Parable of the Loving Father.” This parable is one of the best-known stories in the pages of Scripture. It clearly shows us that God gives second chances. It’s a story that illustrates God’s attitude toward us, even when we have miserably failed Him. It reveals what God is like. The Bible says God is love. It doesn’t merely say that God is loving. Rather, it says that He is love. The apostle John wrote, “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16). God is love personified. He is love incarnate. Now that doesn’t mean He is not righteous, because Scripture certainly teaches that He is. But He loves us. This parable also teaches us two things: the sinfulness of man and the love of God. It tells us that we have all run away from God, just as the son took his inheritance and left his father’s house. When he realized his mistake, “He arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him” (v. 20). This tells us that God loves us and is willing to go to any lengths to get us back again. This story demonstrates God’s great love toward us, even when we have miserably failed, and His willingness to forgive us because He loves us. Whatever you have done, remember the beautiful name of Jesus. He has provided the work of grace for God’s second...

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