Today, the year is ending, and I want you to take a look at your life and access yourself before the Lord, to see whether you match up to His standard. Do you desire to free from the wrath that is to come?
Beloved in the Lord, sometimes when we make mistake in life, it feels so final, you may think it is all over for you. But the game of life is not like a game in which you only have one chance to win before it is over. Just because we make mistakes does not mean that God is finished with us. God will give you a second chance.
When we look back over our life, at some of the situations that we have been involved in and some of the choices that we have made, we think, if only I had a second chance, I could make a difference. Many people would say, if only I had a second chance, I would not have married who l married. If only I had a second chance, I would not have moved into the area of enterprise or work where I moved.
If only I had a second chance, I would have finished school of my choice. If only I had a second chance, I would not have gotten involved in the things that l was involved in.
Sometimes when we make a mistake in life, we feel that is the end. When you make a serious mistake, you might think it is all over for you. But I want to let you know this evening that, if Jesus tallies, the game of life will not be like a game in which you only have one chance to yourself.
Let me inform you that when you make a mistake in this life, the good news is that, as long as Jesus has not yet returned, God gives a second chance. But you must use that chance wisely because God will not forever allow that.
The passage read, tell us that the God we serve is the God of mercy. The word mercy means to extend help to the most undeserved. It implies compassion that overshadows punishment, even when justice demands it.
Justice demands that each and everyone gathered here should have been dead by now, but Jesus' mercy stepped in and said, no not so. So great is God's mercy that it knows no limit. There is none who is beyond His saving power. His mercies reach to the highest mountain and flow to the lowest valley.
The Bible clearly teaches that God is the God of mercy and compassion, and that His mercies are new every morning. With that confidence, we find our hope, our joy, and our life. Beloved in the Lord, tomorrow is going to be a new day of a new year, yet many people’s lives will remain the same. But something must change in your life.
Your attitude, habits and lifestyle will have to change to the desire of Jesus. Do not fail to realise that there is new life in Christ Jesus. He alone can wipe away the old and bring in the new. He alone can give people a new start in life. He alone can give anyone a second chance. I want you to know that even if you have messed up, God still has a plan for your life. The Bible teaches about many men and women who messed up, yet with God's mercy, they got another chance.
Thankfully, we serve the same God of a second chance. Adam and Eve sinned in the garden yet God covered their nakedness. Moses murdered an Egyptian, but God called him to deliver His people from Egypt. Elijah quit and complained, he got out of faith and went into fear, but God recommissioned him.
David murdered Uriah the husband of Bathsheba, yet God gave him a second chance and even was described as a man after God’s own heart. Jonah disobeyed God, but he received a second chance to do what God called him to do. The sin of that adulterous woman in John 8:1-10, was forgiven by Jesus and was given a second chance.
Peter denied the Lord three times, but God used him at Pentecost day to preach the salvation message that brought about 3,000 people into the Kingdom of God. Paul the prosecutor of the believers, on his way to Damascus met Jesus and was given a second chance. John Mark deserted the mission team at Pamphylia, yet God moved upon him to write the second Gospel, Mark.
And that has been the story of the Church through the ages. We have all received a multitude of opportunities to return and serve God. Just like Jonah, many times we go our own way and do what is convenient instead of what God wants us to do.
The good news is that God is the God of a second chance. The passage read, the keeper of the vineyard said, "Sir, leave it alone for one more year, and I will dig around it and fertilise it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down."
In this story, the owner of the vineyard is God, the keeper of the vineyard is Jesus and the tree represent God's children. God has every reason to expect His children to produce good fruit. What kind of fruit? Things like love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, self-control and kindness. Sometimes we do not produce that kind of fruit, but we have a loving and forgiving God.
Just as the owner of the vineyard gave the fig tree a second chance, God gives us a second chance too and it is important for us to know that we do not have to do it alone. The keeper of the vineyard helped the tree by working the soil and adding fertiliser. When we allow Jesus to work in our lives, He will help us to produce the kind of fruit that God desire. Are you not glad that we have a loving and forgiving God who gives us a second chance?
My prayer for all before the year-end is,” Dear Father, we are grateful that even though we do not always produce the kind of fruit that you desire, you give us a second chance. Help us to allow Jesus to work in our lives so that we will produce the kind of fruit that you desire from us.
Grant us in the name of JESUS l pray a second chance!