Read Acts 4:1-22.

It would have been natural for Peter to think that after denying Jesus three times, the Lord would disown him: The Lord is going to reject me for good now. He can never use me again. Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you feel you’ve sinned beyond redemption, that you’ve done something so terrible, you can never be restored.

If that’s you, know this: God’s second chances are irrevocable. They’ve been paid for at the cross and assured by the resurrection. For all who are sincerely repentant, like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, God runs to embrace His lost children who have turned back to Him (see Luke 15:20).

That’s the heart of God toward the broken and repentant. No matter how terrible their sins, the power of Jesus’ resurrection assures every repentant sinner of a second chance. In fact, our God is not only the God of the second chance, but also the third chance, and the fourth chance, and the thousandth chance—even the millionth chance.

After Peter denied Jesus, the Gospels tell us he left the high priest’s courtyard and wept bitterly (see Luke 22:62). Peter’s tears were not wasted on Jesus. Likewise, your repentance is never wasted on the Lord. Can you imagine Peter’s elation when the women came and said to him, “Peter, the angel mentioned you by name. Peter, the Lord wants you to meet Him in Galilee.”

Think about this for a moment: Judas sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. It was not really a bigger sin than Peter’s. But unlike Peter, Judas allowed his pride to take hold of him. He would not repent. He would not return. As a result, Judas was lost. But not so with Peter.

Peter went on to be a leader in the early church. He shared the Gospel with his fellow Jews and also with Gentiles. He took the second chance God gave him and held onto it with all he had. The man who was once afraid to admit he even knew Jesus became someone who could stand before the Jewish ruling council and say, along with the apostle John, “As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).

No one is too sinful for God’s grace, and no one is too good. Jesus didn’t give up on Peter, and He won’t give up on you.

Prayer: Lord, thank You that the gift of salvation is irrevocable. Your faithfulness in the face of my sinfulness is astounding. May Your love and goodness change me more and more into Your likeness for Your glory. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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