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Second chances

by Lauren Petty, Entrust women's ministry training learner

When was a time you received a second chance at something? 

Was it a shot at a big dream, another chance on a test to pass a class, or a conversation with someone you love?

When I close my eyes and think about a second chance, I think of my grandfather. He tried out for football in high school and missed his shot. He played on the “C” team, but his coach told him he would make “somebody’s team someday.” So, for more than ten years, he kept trying for that second chance at making the team. Eventually he did make “somebody’s team” as he donned the maroon and white uniform for Texas A&M. Then, eight years later, at 30 years old, he tried out for a professional football team and got the chance to play for several years. He missed his shot at his dream, and he got another chance. My grandpa was a big fan of the underdog because he knew what it felt like to get another chance where he had failed.

Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, also knew what it meant to fail. 

Let us take a journey with Peter through his own story.

Read John 18:12-18, Luke 22:54-62.

As you read

· list all the characters in these passages from John and Luke

· name all the places that appear

· What are some of the things these gospel passages reveal about Peter?

Then read Acts 4:5-22.

As you read

· add characters from this passage to the list of characters you found in John and Luke

· Name any places identified in this passage.

Imagine. Peter’s heart pounding as he stands before the great council of men in Acts 4. The same men who condemned his teacher to death stand before him. If he closes his eyes for a moment, he can probably still picture that cold night in the courtyard where he denied Jesus. He can probably see the fiery flame of the servants and almost feel its warmth. He may still be able to see the face of Jesus looking at him after his denial. His friend of three years was arrested, beaten up and mocked. And then Peter denied he even knew him three separate times. What might it have felt like for Peter in that moment?

· Compare and contrast Peter’s behavior during Jesus’ trial and Peter’s own trial. What is similar and what is different?

· What are some reasons God may have allowed Peter another chance in the court of the High Priest?

If you were to ask Peter, “How does God respond to our failures?” what do you think he would say? Take some time to summarize what Peter might have learned about God’s heart towards his children in their failures.

What we think about God in our failures reveals a lot about who we believe God to be. God has called us to think about what is true (see Philippians 4:8), so let us be faithful to think about the truth of who God is even in our failures.

Take some time with the Lord and ask him to reveal where in your life you lack courage. Where do you feel like you have failed or messed up? What circumstances in your life do you wish you could redo or have a second chance? Meditate on the truths you learned about God through Peter’s story.

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