Jonah 2:10-3:1 tells us that while Jonah was inside the whale’s belly God spoke to it and at His word the whale beached itself and vomited Jonah out on the sand. Then, the word of the Lord came to Jonah, watch this – “the second time…”. That ought to be enough to make the crustiest old dignified Baptist run and shout Hallelujah Glory! I personally wish Jonah had got it right the first time around. I wish he’d have taken just a moment to think to himself “self, we don’t deserve one of the wonderful things God has done in our life so let’s honor Him by going and doing what He asked us to do”. But he didn’t do that.
If you and I would be plain and honest with the great and terrible God with whom we have to do, we’d admit that like Jonah, we don’t deserve one thing He’s done in our life either. But Jonah didn’t think about it. He made a terrible mistake and did exactly the opposite of what God said. In our younger years we tend to think Jonah was quite a scoundrel for acting like that. But as we get a little deeper in our Bible we start seeing our own life in the mirror of God’s word and we admit that we’re the scoundrel amen?! Maybe you’re thinking ‘well pastor, since Jonah blew it, why did God even record Jonah’s story in the Bible?’ So you could see that God is a merciful God of second chances. Even when we don’t deserve it. So you could see that even if you blow it God, who is rich in mercy, still loves you! Oh let’s take a look at Adam and Eve…they blew it bad and it cost them a high price but look close and see that God still used them, still loved them and gave them his mercy again. Who all can we see in the Bible who got a second chance? I would tell you Adam did! Eve did! Job did! Moses did! Noah did! Rahab the harlot did! Peter did! Paul did! On and on and on the list goes and my name is on it just like yours is! Abraham lied but God still used him! Job questioned his torment but God still used him. Sampson got sideways over ungodly women but God still used him after he repented. Lot moved to wicked Sodom but God still loved him and called him righteous! David committed adultery and murder and he paid dearly for it but God still loved him and gave him a second chance! John Mark turned his back on the ministry for a time and went home. Peter said Lord, I’ll follow you even to death if it comes to it and the Lord looked at him and said ‘Peter you won’t make it to breakfast before you deny you even know me’. Still though even after that Jesus loved Peter and gave him a second chance!
Maybe you’ve blown it and you’re out of church and out of God’s will. Maybe you’re in a mess. Maybe something has been missing from your life so long you think its just how you are…no, what that is sir, is the absence of your walk with God. Its your soul longing for a relationship with Him. Can I tell you from the Bible – our God is a God of second chances and His love is as strong for you right now as it was when he laid you in your mother’s womb. We’re a church that welcomes folks who need a second chance!