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Daily Devotional with Pastor Jon

December 2

And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time . . .

Jonah 3:1 (a)

Our God is the God of the second chance.

I remember reading that General Motors Corporation only gave one chance. That is, according to the article, candidates for executive positions were taken out to lunch where their every move was scrutinized - down to the seasoning of their soup. If they salted their soup before tasting it, they supposedly demonstrated the behavior of one who makes decisions before having the facts. One false move like that, and they’d be out!

I’m thankful God isn’t like that because we would all be dust, curtains, toast, finished. We wouldn’t have a chance! And, lest you think Jonah was an exceptional case, please note that giving people a second chance is God’s usual mode of operation . . .

Abraham denied that Sarah was his wife and watched her carried off to kings’ harems - not once, but on two separate occasions (Genesis 12:15; 20:2). Moses murdered a man and tried to cover his sin by burying the body in the desert sand (Exodus 2:12). David committed adultery and subsequently murdered Uriah (2 Samuel 11:4, 15). Peter denied Jesus by the enemy’s fire (Matthew 26:74). John Mark left Paul and Barnabas stranded when he ran home to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13). Yet in each of these cases, God used these men after their mistakes.

Why? Because giving people a second chance is God’s delight. God loves to use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise and the weak things to confound the strong (1 Corinthians 1:27).

God loves to use people like you and me - with flaws, failures, and shortcomings. And here, He’s about to use Jonah who, only three days earlier, had been sailing in the opposite direction from where he should have been going.

But maybe you read this account and say, “That’s nice that God gave Jonah a second chance. But what if Jonah would have blown it a third time or an eighth time? I understand that the Lord gives second chances, but what about a tenth chance or a hundredth chance? What would have happened if, after being deposited on the beach, Jonah went to the nearest port and bought another ticket to sail as far away from Nineveh as he could get?

I think the Lord would have had another whale for him, another situation all set up to bring him back again - a third, a fourth, a thirtieth, a fortieth, a three hundredth, a four hundredth time. God’s mercy is inexhaustible. He just keeps working with us and remaking us. He doesn’t give up on us. He just doesn’t.

This Daily Devotional is an excerpt from the book "A Day of Feasting" by Pastor Jon. "A Day of Feasting" is a collection of 365 short devotions from the Old Testament books of Joshua through Malachi. If you would like your own copy of "A Day of Feasting" you can order one from the SearchLight Store.

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