Sunday, January 31, 2010

Second Chances


When we talk about Second Chances, we all know that we like getting them.

We certainly want God to give us Second Chances and third and fourth and so on and so on…. In fact, throughout Scripture we see that God demonstrates this patience. The book of Judges is one example of God giving multiple chances to get it right.

Pattern for Israel during the time of Judges “In those days, there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” This happened 7x as recorded in the book.

Read Acts 15:36-41

The Players

  • Paul
    • Saul of Tarsus
    • Background (Philippians 3:4-6)
    • Task oriented (“Git-r-done”)
  • Barnabas
    • Joseph of Cyprus
    • Background (Acts 4:36-37)
    • Relational/People oriented
  • John (also called Mark)
    • Cousin to Barnabas
    • Family Background—Mother was a believer (Acts 12:12)
      • Prayer meeting when Peter in was in jail held at their house

The Problem

  • John (Mark) deserted the missionary team to return to Jerusalem (Acts 15:38—cf. Acts 13:13)
  • Barnabas wants John (Mark) to join them on trip #2, Paul does not
  • “Sharp disagreement” results in separation

Truth is, following Christ is not a nice neat package that looks the same for everyone. Our uniqueness and our freedom to choose how we live our lives, makes Christianity a bit messy at times. In his book Messy Spirituality, Mike Yaconelli writes:

    Spirituality is not a formula; it is not a test. It is a relationship. Spirituality is not about competency; it is about intimacy. Spirituality is not about perfection; it is about connection. The way of the spiritual life begins where we are now in the mess of our lives. Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of spirituality not because the spiritual life will remove our flaws but because we let go of seeking perfection and, instead, seek God, the one who is present in the tangledness of our lives. Spirituality is not about being fixed; it is about God’s being present in the mess of our unfixedness.

The Process

  • Recognize the risk
    • Betrayal—Disappointment—Loss
    • Willing to absorb the cost
  • Acknowledge & Affirm
    • Acknowledge the past (mistakes, sin, betrayal, etc.)
    • Affirm the progress (baby steps)
  • Restoration
    • We are called to restore a brother/sister (Galatians 6:1) with gentleness
    • Forgiveness and acceptance

Rest of the Story

John (Mark) returns to the team

  • To be welcomed in Colossae (Colossians 4:10) if he arrives
  • Found to be helpful to Paul in ministry (2 Timothy 4:9, 11)

What’s Your Story

  • Have you accepted God’s Second Chance?
    • 2 Timothy 3:9
    • First time salvation
    • Repentance from sin
  • Do you need to give a Second Chance to someone?
    …or receive a Second Chance from someone?
  • Are you willing to commit to the journey from Risk to Restoration?

No comments:

Post a Comment