January ushers the world into a brand new calendar year, and for many, a new beginning. These new beginnings often come as a New Year’s resolution where people vow to change something in their lives, whether it’s exercise more, eat less, quit smoking, or spend more time reading the Bible. It is a time when people look for second chances.
Today, you can usher in a brand new beginning that will change your life forever and far exceed the borders of your wildest imagination. Now is the time for your spiritual awakening and a second chance for a bold, fresh new start in life and a fresh new you! That is what the birth of Jesus Christ, more than 2,000 years ago, was about — giving humanity a second chance. God can do that, and in fact, He already has a plan for each person’s life. All one needs to do is willingly accept Jesus as his or her Savior and Lord.
When it comes to relationships, the world tends to use the rule of one, two, three-strikes, and you’re out. There is even a growing trend of a one and done mindset where there is no chance for reconciliation. For many of us, we have been on the receiving end of someone’s unwillingness to forgive, but before we feel all victimized, let’s admit that we too were unwilling to forgive others at one time or another, and perhaps some still are unwilling.
In the spiritual sense, that is the same hopeless state of mind that Satan wants us to have when seeking God’s forgiveness. Satan wants us to believe that we have crossed that line in the sand or traveled beyond the point of no return. In other words, the devil wants us to think we have committed an unpardonable sin, one that God would never consider forgiving. All of which is nothing more than sinister propaganda invented by Satan and company.
In modern terms, Satan’s words are nothing more than fake news, but the word of God is the only real news you can use. The Bible teaches: “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion” (Pro. 28:13). It also tells us that God is always faithful to forgive those who faithfully confess their sin.
Perhaps you have heard the phrase, “I can forgive, but never forget.” It is a mindset that people have when it comes to those who have hurt them. However, the phrase is contradictive because if a person is unwilling to forget, it is likely that person is reluctant to forgive someone who has genuinely apologized. Such a mindset will never lead to reconciliation in a relationship because the memory and reminder are everpresent.
True reconciliation never focuses on the rearview mirror of life; instead, it focuses on the possibilities of the open road ahead.Darryl Orrell
God stands ready to forgive those who are willing to confess and turn from their sins. He does this lovingly, not begrudgingly, and He said, “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more” (Heb. 8:12). God so loves His children He not only forgives their sins and chooses to remember their sins no more. He gives us one second chance after another, not because He does not care, but because He cares and desires to see us become spiritually mature.
When Jesus taught the importance of forgiveness to His disciples, Peter asked, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus replied, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:21-22). The notion here is that one will either lose count or lose interest in counting long before reaching the sum.
There is, however, in fact, a point of no return. That point is one’s physical death, and for those who chose not to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord in this life will not stand before God in the next as a forgiven soul, but a condemned soul. Once a person’s soul crosses the threshold between this life and the next, it is too late to accept Jesus and be forgiven. Here is the good news! Until that point in time, God stands ready to give one second chance after another and forgive those who genuinely seek Him.
Therefore, be encouraged to take the time to talk to God, ask Him to search you to reveal any unconfessed sin in your life. Apostle John wrote, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Now, let us take time in the privacy of our thoughts and talk to God.
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“God never leaves you nor forsakes you.” I’ve heard that before. “Jesus will leave the 99 to come after you.” I’ve heard that one too. Meanwhile, fear creeps up when life hurls a season of loneliness our way, and poof! Churchy sayings hold as much weight as thin air. Believe it or not, God is cheering us on and inviting us to thrive amidst the loneliness. Yes, it’s weird and scary, but this emptiness is a safe space where you get to hear the God of everything speak the loudest. You’re safe because God is so good at owning goodness amidst our dank, confused, lonely seasons, and because of Him, you aren’t so by yourself.”