A few weeks ago, I was flipping through the channels and saw a pastor playing the organ at his son’s church. I was a bit shocked as this pastor had a spectacular and highly public fall from grace in the late 1980’s. I had pretty much assumed that he was out of the ministry or at least the public eye. You know, kind of the “one and done” philosophy…one mistake and you are done.
I thought about him for a while and I realized that although that might be how the world looks at people, it is not necessarily how the Lord operates. If a person repents, gets counseling, does their time (if there is any to do), and is accountable to the church leadership and has proved over a period of time that he has truly changed course, there is the possibility that he or she may be restored to some type of ministry.
Why would anyone take the time to restore a person who had made a large mistake? This would be about love and grace, which are subjects for a different day. Besides the love and grace aspect, one would think that the Lord would just wipe his hands of someone who had blown it in a big way, but that is not true. The Scripture says that, “For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:29
So, what exactly does that mean? Well, let’s look at what irrevocable means: “not able to be changed, reversed or recovered. Final.” Oxford Languages. In other words, when the Lord gives us certain gifts and calls us to do certain things, He doesn’t take them back.
What does that mean for us? Is there someone sitting out there reading this who feels like they have blown it too badly to ever be used by God again? Have you failed Him or quit on Him in a big way? Can He or will He forgive you? Do you think He has given up on you…you know, one and done?
Unbelievably, when we read the verse above, we know that God is not in the business of taking back what He has given us. Not the gifts that allow us to serve Him, nor the calling to do it. They are ours to do with what we can. Have you turned your back on God or do you think He has turned His back on you?
You are the one who needs to turn around and look into the face of God. You will find His grace and love waiting to restore you. If you are willing, He is certainly willing. Is that kind of grace hard to believe in? Do you need an example from the Bible? In Acts 15: 36-41, we find two disciples arguing over John called Mark. He had deserted them in Pamphylia and Paul, the apostle, was not willing to take him with them again. You know, one and done; but Barnabas wanted him to go and he eventually took John Mark with him to minister to the fledgling church in Asia Minor.
So here’s the takeaway if that’s you. Turn around and take heart. God is not done with you yet. It is still not too late to be used by Him.
Image by Harry Strauss. Courtesy of Pixabay