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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - The God of Another Chance

Joel Osteen - The God of Another Chance

Joel Osteen - The God of Another Chance
TOPICS: Second Chance

I want to talk to you today about The God of Another Chance. We all have opportunities that we've missed, times that we failed, we had something important, we knew God's calling was on our life, he'd given us a dream, a great spouse to love, the door opened for college, but we let distractions, compromise and other people cause us to get off course. We look back now and think, "What could I have become if I've been more disciplined, if I'd controlled my temper, if I'd finished school, if I'd forgiven that person"?

It's easy to live in regrets and think our life is limited because of past choices. We knew better, if we'd only done better. The good news is: God has taken into account every mistake you would ever make. He's already calculated the times you'd fail, the times you'd shrink back, the times you'd compromise. That should stop your destiny, it should keep us from our purpose, but we serve the God of another chance. He's full of mercy. When we don't deserve it, it was our own fault, he could have said, "Too bad, you blew it, I'm done with you", but he steps in and says, "I've got you covered. I'm going to give you another chance". Another chance to have a great relationship, another chance to accomplish your dream, another chance to step into your purpose. It's not too late. You haven't made too many mistakes. God's calling is still on your life. He never changes his mind, he doesn't disqualify you, now don't disqualify yourself.

See, the enemy is called the accuser: he'll remind you of every mistake you'd ever made. He'd love for you to live down on yourself, thinking that you don't deserve anything good. He'll whisper, "You had God's blessing, but you squandered it. You had his favor, but you mishandled your marriage, didn't treat it with respect. You mishandled your dream, you got distracted and compromised. You mishandled your talent, your potential. You weren't focused, you didn't develop what you know is in you". That may all be true, but what he doesn't tell you is there's another chance coming. That God's mercy is bigger than your mistakes. That God doesn't give up on you because you mishandled what he gave you. He has another opportunity, so you can prove to him who you really are. You're not defined by your mistakes, you're prepared by your mistakes. Every failure can teach you something. Don't live in regrets, learn from your mistakes, get the lesson out of it, so you don't keep repeating it.

When Moses was leading to Israelites toward the Promised Land, God told him to go on top of mount Sinai and he was going to speak to him. Moses was up there for 40 days. And at one point there was this great cloud that encompassed the mountain, and a huge lightning and thunderstorm. That's when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, these two stone tablets where the hand of God inscribed instructions for the Israelites. It was a powerful, holy, majestic moment. I can imagine seeing two pieces of stone, and suddenly these letters begin to be written. I'm sure Moses was standing there in awe, amazed at what he was seeing.

Well, the cloud passed by, the thunder stopped and Moses went back down the mountain. As he got closer, he focused in and saw a gold calf the people had made. They were dancing, partying, worshiping this idol. He couldn't believe it! He'd just been gone for 40 days, and the people had already turned away from Jehovah. When he got to the bottom, he was so angry and so frustrated: he raised up these two stone tablets, something sacred God had given him, something amazing he had been entrusted with, but in his anger he threw the tablets down, and they smashed into pieces on the ground. I can imagine God thinking, "Moses, I just gave you something incredibly valuable, one of a kind, something that I've never done, and you just threw it down? You let your anger, your frustration throw away the priceless gift that I gave you"?

It's easy to judge Moses and think, "Man how could he mishandle something that important? How could he throw away a one-of-a-kind gift like that"? But how many of us have mishandled something incredibly valuable that God has given us? Maybe not stone tablets with his writing, but we mishandled a relationship: we let our anger, our pride, having to be right tear us apart. We mishandled the position God gave us: we weren't focused, we didn't give it our full effort, it's like we threw it away. Or how about the calling on our life: we knew God destined us to set a new standard for our family, to break negative cycles, to come out of lack and defeat, but we gave in to compromise, we hung around the wrong people, we didn't take it seriously. The truth is: we've all mismanaged some things. We've all that anger, disappointment, self-pity cause us to not value the gifts that God has given us.

It's interesting that Moses was frustrated because other people wouldn't do what's right. He threw down this priceless gift because the Israelites were compromising, and giving into temptation. And sometimes we can let what others are doing, how society is acting: the division, the dysfunction around us to cause us to become angry and bitter, where we mishandle what God has given us. You can't make everyone do what's right, you can't make the culture live according to God's word. Yes, we're going to be bright-lights, we're going to do what we can, but don't throw down what God has entrusted you with because of all the chaos around you. Protect your gift, protect your family, protect your integrity, protect your holiness, protect your peace.

It's easy to mishandle the tablets, live frustrated, angry, mad at people, divisive. That's the trick of the enemy to try to get you to smash what God has given you. God could have said, "Moses, you threw down something sacred. Is that how you're going to treat what I've given you? Then fine, I'm done with you. You're never going to have that again. That was a once in a lifetime opportunity". If God gave us what we deserve, Moses would have been done. But here's how good God is: Moses asked for forgiveness, he prayed for the people for their compromise. God said to him in Deuteronomy 10:1-2, "Prepare two stone tablets like the first ones. Go back up the mountain and I will write the same words that were on the ones you smashed".

Think of the mercy of God! This wasn't a loaf of manna that Moses threw down, it wasn't his walking stick, this was a one-of-a-kind gift that God had given him! God said in effect, "Moses, I know you blew it, you let your anger get the best of you, you smash something sacred, you mishandled something priceless, but if you'll go back up that mountain, I'll give it to you again". He's the God of another chance. You may have mishandled some things, missed opportunities, had relationships soured, mismanage the blessing and favor on your life. God is saying to you what he said to Moses: if you'll go back up that mountain, if you'll start believing again, God's going to give you back what you thought was done.

What was broken, what you messed up, what you mishandled, God has another chance coming. You may have thrown it down, but he knows how to put it back together. Your anger, the compromise, the frustration may have set you back, but God's waiting for you up on the mountain. Don't let guilt keep you from going back up, don't let regrets, what you should have done, what you smashed convince you that it's too late, it's never going to happen. No, God is saying, "Meet me on the mountain". That means quit thinking these low thoughts, defeated thoughts, guilty thoughts, "Seen my best days" thoughts. If you'll come up higher, God is going to fix what you smashed, he's going to restore what you threw down, he's going to give you another chance at what you mismanaged.

I can hear Moses saying, "God are you sure? You want me to go back up on the mountain? You saw me throw down the tablets, you saw them shatter into pieces, you saw my anger get the best of me, it was my fault". God said, "Moses, that's what my mercy is all about. I don't give up on you. I don't write you off. I give you another chance to become who I've created you to be". Like with Moses, there's another chance waiting for you. But how many of us won't go back up the mountain? We're down on ourselves, "Look what I've done, I mishandled the relationship with my children, now we're at odds. I mishandled my gifts, didn't pay attention in school, didn't put forth the effort it worth. I mishandled the calling on my life, I used to be close to God, I used to pray read my Bible and pray, I used to keep in first place, but I've drifted away". It's not too late: God's waiting for you up on the mountain! He has another chance, he's going to write those same words that were on the first tablets you smashed. Not a watered-down version, not almost as good. No, you can still reach the fullness of your destiny!

I talked to this mother, she and her daughter had always been the best of friends. They loved hanging out together, but when the daughter got in her late teens they started having conflict, just contentious, and the mother didn't like some of the choices the daughter was making. She was constantly riding her. She'd get upset and say things she shouldn't, make hurtful comments. Well, their relationship came to an end. The daughter moved out and they didn't speak to each other anymore. This mother was so heavy and so heartbroken. She loved her daughter more than anything in the world, but she knew she didn't handle things like she should. She let her emotions get the best of her, and she was carrying all this guilt, and living in regrets, thinking, "Look what you've done, you're a terrible mother. You've ruined the very thing that you loved the most, now your daughter won't even see you".

Like these sacred tablets, our relationships are sacred. God gives us people in life to love. Don't treat them like they're ordinary, just common: they're a priceless gift from God. He has entrusted you with his most valuable possession. Not a stone tablet, but someone he made in his own image, someone he calls a masterpiece. Don't throw around hurtful words, saying things that wound and degrade, and make them feel not valuable. Use your words to lift, to encourage, to push people forward and not to set them back. When we recognize something is sacred, we should treat it with more respect. But this is the mistake that Moses made: those tablets with the fingerprints of God, that wasn't common, that was one of a kind. You would think Moses would be super cautious and extra careful to make sure that they weren't damaged. But sometimes like Moses we mishandle the sacred, we let pressure, stress cause us to let our guard down, and not treat the people the way we should.

Well, several years went by, this mother and daughter hadn't spoken to each other. And the mother was praying and believing, she knew God could restore, but there wasn't any sign of it. One day I was having a book signing in Chicago, the mother and daughter showed up at the store. They didn't know it, but they had both been watching us on television. When they saw each other in line, something supernatural happened. All the hurt, the bitterness, the anger was suddenly washed away. Their hearts were filled a freshing anew with love, with joy, with friendship. They came up to the table weeping. With tears of joy the mother said, "I never thought I would see this day. I never dreamed I would feel what I feel". Today they're back to being best of friends just like they were before.

But maybe you've mishandled a relationship, mishandled your finances, mishandled your dream. God is not holding your faults against you. Moses threw down the Ten Commandments in anger, he couldn't pick them up to just dust them off, they were shattered. It looked permanent, no way that could ever happen again. Like this mother, we all have times where it looks like this relationship is done, too much water under the bridge, "I blew that position. Joel, I shattered that dream, I wasn't disciplined growing up. I missed my opportunity". No, God is going to give you another chance. He's going to write the same words that were on those last tablets, what he originally purposed for your life. You may have mishandled it in some way, but the mercy of God has you covered. Go back up that mountain. God's about to rewrite what you threw away. He's about to restore something sacred, something priceless, something that you should have handled more carefully. What you shattered he's about to put back together.

There was a lady in the scripture named Hannah. She had been praying for years to have a baby, and she told God, "If you'll give me a child, I'll take him to the temple and dedicate him to you". She finally had a son that she named Samuel. He was 12 years old, living in the temple, serving the priest eli. One night while Samuel was sleeping he heard a voice saying, "Samuel, Samuel". He got up and ran into elI's room, said, "Yes, sir, what do you need"? Eli said, "I didn't call you, I don't need anything". Samuel went back to bed, he heard it again, "Samuel!", jump back up, ran into elI's room. Same thing, "I didn't call you". It happened a third time. This time when he came in elI's room, eli realized what was happening. He said, "Samuel, the next time you hear that voice, answer back, 'yes, Lord, your servant is listening'". Went back to bed, a few minutes he heard the voice calling his name. This time he stayed there, and said, "Lord, I'm listening". God spoke to him and told him what was going to happen, and gave him instruction for his life.

But what if God would have thought, "Samuel, I called you the first time, but you didn't recognize my voice. I had something great for you, it was important, but too bad, you missed it". No, our God is the God who calls back. You may have missed it the first time, you didn't obey, you were too busy, that's okay. You missed it the second time, you were off course, compromising, that's all right. You missed it the third time: usually three strikes and you're out, but not with our God. He called back the fourth time, then Samuel recognized his voice, then he obeyed.

But if Samuel would have missed the fourth time, God would have called the fifth time, the sixth, time the 20th time. Some of you are on God's call number 6233! God is not going to give up on you, he's going to keep calling back, giving you opportunities to step into your purpose, to break negative cycles, to set new standards, to accomplish your dream. Maybe you didn't answer the first time, the second time, the third time, neither did Samuel. He was a great prophet. Quit beating yourself up, quit thinking you're disqualified: another chance is coming, he's the God who calls back.

A few years ago, a person I grew up with wanted me to be a part of his event. He called the office and asked to talk with me about it. And I knew I didn't have time, it was on the weekend and we have services, and asked them to tell him respectfully that I couldn't do it. I thought that would solve it, but somehow he got my cell number. He kept calling and calling, I just let it go to voice-mail, because I'll have a hard time saying "No". Well, when I wouldn't answer, he started having other friends that we know call me. He calls so much, I ended up saying "Yes, I'll do your stinking event... I'll do your great event". That's the way God is: he's not going to quit calling. You ignore him, he'll call back. You say you won't do it, he'll call back. You say you're too busy, he'll call again. He's going to keep giving you opportunities to become who you were created to be.

Now, maybe the reason you're not answering that call is like Samuel: you don't recognize his voice. You have all these other voices telling you what to do, where to go, who to be, but there is a still small voice on the inside: that's your Creator speaking to you, that's the voice of your Heavenly Father. And sometimes with all the noise, and distractions, and opinions that voice can be drowned out. You have to be still and listen. God knows what's best for you. The reason he keeps calling is he has something amazing in your future. When you answer that call, you'll step into purpose, peace, fulfillment that you've never known. Next time you hear that voice, instead of ignoring it, pushing it down, say like Samuel, "Yes, Lord, I'm listening. Show me what you want me to do".

Friend of mine went to a concert where this famous jazz drummer was performing. He's 75 years old, and very well known in the music world. An hour into the concert he started playing and singing "Amazing grace". He normally didn't do that, but for some reason this night he did. He got halfway through, and couldn't remember the words. He asked if anyone in the audience knew it, and would come up and sing it. My friend raised his hand, and they brought him up on the stage, he began to sing "Amazing grace". He looked back, and saw this man had tears welling up in his eyes. He was so moved, he asked my friend to come backstage after the concert.

What my friend didn't know was this man's father was a minister. As a little boy he was raised in church, but at five years old his father left him, and all of his siblings. He was so hurt, and so angry, he determined to never have anything to do with God. For 70 years he had ignored the call, wouldn't listen to anything about faith. All that time he had a praying mother back home, believing that one day he would come back.

My friend knew nothing about this, but he looked at this man in the eyes, and he said, "Sir, God's calling is still on your life. You need to return to the faith you had as a little boy". He began to weep and weep. That night after 70 years he finally answered the call, and gave his life to Christ. But here's my point: you would think at some point God would quit calling, "You've had so many choices, you've ignored me so many times, I'm done with you". No, he's the God who keeps calling back, the God who gives you another chance.

He's calling you today! You may have ignored him, you put it off, you don't think you deserve it. Or you're angry at the past, what didn't work out, who did you wrong. God is the one who's going to heal the hurts. He's the one that has beauty for the ashes. People may have done you wrong, but God knows how to make it right. What happened in your past has not stopped the great plan God has for you.

Think about Samson in the scripture. His birth was prophesied: an angel appeared to his mother, and said that she was going to have a baby, that would be a deliverer. There was a calling on his life even before he was born. Samson grew up with incredible strength. One time he was trapped inside a city, and was surrounded by high walls, the gates were locked. Looked like he would be captured, but in the middle of the night he went out to the city gates, these huge iron entrances, he ripped them out of the ground, put them on his shoulders and carried them up to the top of the hill.

He couldn't be contained. He had something unusual, something sacred. He knew it wasn't common, he knew God's hand was on him, but he got sloppy, he started hanging around the wrong people. They tried to figure out the secret of his strength. Instead of protecting what God had entrusting him with, valuing that gift, he let his guard down. He started telling riddles to the enemies, playing with them, seeing if they could figure out the source of his strength. It's significant that he used riddles, that's showing us that he didn't take seriously what God had given him. He was playing with his talent, playing with his potential, playing with his strength.

If you don't see that as valuable, you'll end up mishandling it. Moses in anger threw down the Ten Commandments. Samson in compromise threw down his potential. Well, the Philistines figured it out and cut his hair, he lost all of his power. They not only captured him, but they gouged out his eyes, they put him in chains. This once powerful man, prophesied to do great things, supernatural favor on his life, now he's blind, chained, and grinding at the mail. It's nobody's fault except his own. He had the strength, but he squandered it. He had the favor, but he mishandled it.

What do you do when you brought the trouble on yourself? You had the stone tablets, but you threw them down. You had the strength, the marriage, the position, the children... God gave you something sacred, but you let it slip away. God could have said Samson, "You're getting what you deserve, man. I should have found somebody more disciplined, that wouldn't compromise, I'm done with you". No, God never write you off. He's going to call you back again and again.

These Philistines were out having a big party, celebrating their victory. They brought Samson out to make fun of him. Looks like that's how his life would end: in defeat, in shame, but the scripture says that the Spirit of God came on Samson one more time. Look at the mercy of God: after he squandered the strength, mishandled his calling, walked away from what he was prophesied to do, you mean God would give him another chance? That's the God we serve! The God who calls back when you don't deserve it! The God who rewrites what you threw away!

As they were making fun of Samson, he felt this supernatural strength come on him like before. He pushed over these two large pillars that were holding up the building. It came crashing down. He defeated more Philistines in his death than he did his whole life. Like Samson, you may have mishandled some things, you think, "If I could do it over, I'd make better choices, I'd treat my spouse better, I'd be more focused, I wouldn't let my emotions cause me to throw down the sacred in my life". You don't have to live in regrets, God's going to give you another chance! Another chance for that relationship to flourish, another chance to accomplish your dream, another chance to answer the call on your life.

It's not too late! You may have missed the other times, that's okay, he's calling back today! You wouldn't be hearing this if he wasn't about to do something amazing in your life. Now, you have to do your part and go back up the mountain! Quit living guilty, thinking you've blown it too many times. Nothing you've done has stopped your purpose: another chance is coming! I believe and declare: like Moses, God is going to rewrite what you shattered. Like Samson, his spirit is going to come on you one more time. New doors opening, relationships restored, dreams coming to pass, the fullness of your destiny in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen?
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