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The Power of Second Chances

Throwing stones or giving grace?

”Most of the time, second chances don’t come easily—but when it comes to grace and forgiveness, Jesus is all about it.”

—Mark Jobe


“When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her’” (John 8:7).

We all love stories about second chances. One such story is depicted in the beloved classic film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” George Bailey, a man who had always wanted to do great things and travel to far-off places, was never able to do so because of his needed role in his small town. At a point of despair, he planned to end his seemingly meaningless life, but an angel gave him a second chance by showing him what the world would be like if he had never been born. Through this revelatory experience, George learned his own irreplaceable value among his family, friends, and community and regained his vigor for life.

At the core of every human being, we want a chance to start over, learn from our mistakes and failures, and get up again. If you’ve ever been given a second chance at work, life, or with someone you love, you know the power of forgiveness. In spiritual terms, that’s called grace—undeserved favor that is freely given to us by God for our salvation and sanctification.

One of my favorite second-chance stories is found in the Gospels in John 8. A woman who was caught in the act of adultery was brought before Jesus by the Pharisees, who were hoping to catch Jesus in a trap. In cases of adultery, Jewish law called for stoning. Instead of stepping into their snare, Jesus stooped down, began tracing His finger in the sand, and said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Knowing they too were sinners, the men all slowly left until Jesus and the woman were left alone.

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:10–11).

What a beautiful picture of grace! For both the woman in adultery and for us today, our past mistakes fall away at the foot of the cross with Jesus’ words, “I do not condemn you.” Friend, we’ve all been given the ultimate second chance in Christ. Will you accept that free gift of grace, mercy, and forgiveness?

Listen to the sermon series: Failure Doesn’t Have to be Final

Part 1Part 2

Ministry Update from Mark

One of my favorite days of the year took place just a few weeks ago—Moody Bible Institute’s 2024 graduation! Hundreds of students walked across the stage to the proud applause of thousands of supporters at the historic Moody Church in Chicago. Caps, gowns, tears, cheers, hugs, and prayers were abundant at this wonderful celebration. Many times, it felt less like sad goodbyes and more like a massive commissioning service for the Class of 2024! May God bless them and keep them and make His face to shine upon them both now and forevermore!

Next Step Gift

Called to Cultivate: A Gospel Vision for Women and Work by Chelsea Patterson Sobolik

Called to Cultivate:

A Gospel Vision for Women and Work

by Chelsea Patterson Sobolik

The message that most women get from the world today is hustle, hustle, hustle. If you’re not climbing the corporate ladder or standing on a stage, you’re not doing enough. But the message we get from the Bible couldn’t be more different. That’s why we want to send you a copy of Called to Cultivate. It’s a book that equips women to see every sphere of influence as part of a bigger mission.

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