What’s important is what’s inside

Don't write yourself off, God gives second chances

Some people feel that because they have sinned, they are shelved.

That God is not a God of second chances.

“God doesn’t shy away from people who have failed. Second chances abound for the man or woman who wants to serve Him faithfully.”

Let’s look at some failures in the Bible.

Father Abraham was a liar. He uttered blatant lies on more than one occasion to save his skin.

Abraham tried to jumpstart God’s plan by conceiving a baby with Hagar when his wife Sarai could not do the job.

But even after he lied, he came to be known as a friend of God, an intimate with the Almighty.

Jacob was a chiseler and a cheat who talked his own twin brother out of his birthright. What a sneaky, despicable thing to do to your own brother.

Yet even though he was a deceiver, God lifted him to such heights that his old name couldn’t even contain the glory; he was given a new name – “Israel”.

Remember Rahab?

She had been a well known resident of the red light district. That’s correct, Rahab was a prostitute.

Yet God selected her as His choice instrument to preserve the lives of the two Israeli spies.

Following that, she was accorded the unspeakable dual honors of having her name listed in the Believers Hall of Faith and being included in the very ancestry and lineage of Jesus Christ.

John Mark was another man who needed a second chance. He went on a crucial missionary journey with the Apostle Paul.

Half way through, he bailed out and went home. He just could not take the travel and the demands of that kind of lifestyle.

The Apostle Paul was ready to write him off as a bad investment. But not God. He came back into the ministry with a roar. He authored the second gospel, the one that bears his name, and some years later was reinstated by the Apostle Paul.

Paul writes: Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry – 2 Tim. 4:11.

Paul writes: We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.

This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves – 2 Corinthians 4:7.

That’s a reference to our bodies and our abilities in the strength of our flesh. That is all you and I have to offer God – a pot; broken, cracked, scarred, and not very attractive.

Ray Stedman writes: “We’re all clay pots, and all of us are being molded. Only some are moldier than others.”

To tell you the truth, it isn’t the condition of the pot that’s most important. What’s important is the treasure inside – the light of the glory of Christ’s salvation. What’s a few dings, or even a crack or two. If others can see the glory inside through the cracks, so much the better.

Harry Loewen is pastor at East Ridge Community Fellowship.