Second Chances


In college I made some poor choices. For example, when my professor reminded us that the take-home test that he passed out would not be an open book test, it was a true expression of trust to his class of pastors-in-training. Back in my dorm room, I crammed the final pages of notes from my review guide into an envelope and sealed them up. Then, while taking the test, that one question surfaced, the catalyst to a small temptation to just peek at my “sealed” notes for the answer. My poor choice: I cheated on my test. The consequences of poor choices can be detrimental. They can change the course of your life.

  • Think about the poor choices you have made in your life. In how many of them did you experience the grace of a second chance? How did that second chance impact your life?


34:1 The Lord said to Moses, “Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain. 3 No one shall come up with you, and let no one be seen throughout all the mountain. Let no flocks or herds graze opposite that mountain.” 4 So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone. 5 The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. And he said, “If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Tell the story of this passage in your own words. What stands out to you about it?
  2. What do you learn about God’s character or his nature? Make a list. What do you notice?
  3. Moses quickly humbled himself in worship as God reminded him of his supreme characteristics—holiness and abounding in love. How has the reminder of what God saves you from caused you to respond to him?
  4. What are some recent ways that you have experienced God’s grace in your life? How has grace impacted you to live your life set apart from a lost and broken world?


Conviction after sin is gut-wrenching, often enough to give you the courage to make things right. It made me walk into my professor’s office, uncertain of the outcome, to confess that I had cheated. In a display of grace and mercy, my confession resulted in three things from my professor: forgiveness, a second chance to take the exam, and a reminder that he would personally kick me out of school if I did it again. The second inscription of the Ten Commandments was a reminder that sin against a holy God never goes unnoticed or excused. It is also a reminder that only God can forgive our ever-present sin. God alone gives grace to the humble, and he alone gives a thousand second chances.

  • Take some time to quietly bow low in worship before a holy God who has provided you with a mediator through Jesus Christ, enabling you to live by grace as holy and righteous before God.
  • Thank you, Jesus, for being a mediator for me. You stood between my sin and a holy God. Thank you for taking on my punishment so that I may live forgiven now as a trophy of God’s grace.