Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "How Sweet The Name Of Jesus Sounds"1 (Lyrics)
I have two old dogs. One is over sixteen. The other, though not quite as old, is severely affected with arthritis. Not long ago, the eldest took a bad fall and was unable to get up. Even with help, she could not stand, much less walk. The time had come, I concluded, after many tears and much agonizing, that I would take both of them for their last journey to the veterinarian, a two-hour trip each way.
My daughter said that she would drive down and help me, but unfortunately, the vet's office was closed due to taking inventory, so I could not make an appointment for that day. The next day, though I called several times, my calls were not answered until too late in the day for us to make the trip.
In the meantime, however, the eldest dog had begun to rally. Perhaps the pain medication that I had been administering helped more than I could know. Whatever the case, three days after her fall, she was up and about, even making her way, along with her arthritic buddy, down to the corral with me. By the fifth day, she was running as opportunity allowed. So they both received another chance at life.
King Nebuchadnezzar also received another chance. His came from God. As king, he had grown hard-hearted and vain:
Daniel 4:30 – He said, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?" (NIV)
In response, God took away Nebuchadnezzar's royal authority as well as his sanity. However, once he acknowledged that the Lord was indeed the Most High, God, in His mercy, restored both his sanity and his kingdom:
Daniel 4:34 – At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. (NIV)
God gave him another chance. God still grants people another chance today, as they need it. I know that He has certainly done so for me, and not just once, either!
Perhaps you, too, need and want another chance spiritually. Your heart has grown proud or hard. You have chosen your own way over God's way. Sin has crept into your life, and now, you wish that you hadn't allowed it to do so. Or you have suddenly become aware of its presence, and you wish you had another chance to deal with it. Well, my friend, I have good news for you, for indeed you do, for God has said:
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (NIV)
So, act now. Believe it. Embrace it with sincerity. Accept that it is done. And then, go forth in obedience and joy, for through God's mercy and enduring love, you have just received another chance.
Prayer: Father God, how grateful we are for another chance. We are such frail creatures who can so easily fall into sin. Bless us with hearts of truth, that we might recognize when we fall and be quick to confess our sins and embrace the forgiveness which is ours in Christ, now and forevermore. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.