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By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted November 21, 2013

RELIGION – I get flustrated sometimes. Now, some of you grammar types will look twice and think that I did not run spell check. But, I did and frankly I don’t care that it picked up that misspelled word in the first sentence. Some of you are wondering which word was misspelled, there are only four think hard. Well, I have been saying flustrated for a long time in my sermons, and people have evidently been making fun of me behind my back and now to my face over my blending of the words flustered and frustrated. I claimed to have the poetic license to do so, but they said I never had a poetic license and if I did it would now be revoked.
So it was mistake. It is not my first and will not be my last. I have made mistakes in bulletins that I print and people usually laugh and move along. I read this week that the government of Lebanon is flustrated. They were planning to issue a special release currency to honor their 70 years of freedom for from French colonial rule.

The problem is a spelling mistake on the bill. The French-language face of the special issue 50,000 pound note, which is worth about $33, spells "independence" as it is written in English, rather than the French "independance". Lebanon will go ahead with plans to issue the banknotes despite a spelling mistake on the commemorative currency. The bank said it regretted the mistake, which it blamed on the printing company.
I commend their courage; don’t let spelling and grammar hold you back! The reality is that we all make mistakes. I have made my share. You know one thing I absolutely love about God is that He is the God of second chances. Think about Peter. He was one of the best known of Jesus' disciples, and he served as an unofficial spokesman for the group. Peter was brash and outspoken, but he was intensely loyal to Jesus. But we all know sadly Peter became a tragic moral failure.

You know what happened. Jesus was arrested and put on trial. Peter lingered outside the courthouse warming himself by a fire. As he stood there trying not to be noticed, a young woman spotted him and accused him of being a follower of Jesus. Peter was probably frightened by the accusation so he denied it. But the young woman wouldn't back off. She accused Peter a second time. Again Peter denied any association with Jesus. Then as he made his loud denial the crowd picked up on his accent. The accent was a dead giveaway. Peter wasn't from their part of the country. He was from up north. So the crowd joined the young woman in accusing Peter of being a disciple of Jesus. Then Peter cursed and swore and denied that he even knew Jesus. In that hour of crisis, Peter betrayed his good friend.

If you had been there and heard Peter utter a stream of profanity to deny Jesus, would you have written him off? If you were Jesus would you have given up on Peter? If a friend did that to you, would you forgive him?

That was a sad episode in Peter's life. And later, when he realized what he had done, he wept bitterly. Peter must have wondered if there was any hope for him. After all, he was really no better than Judas who had betrayed Jesus. Peter had betrayed a friend, someone he had once sworn to protect.

Yet after his resurrection, Jesus went looking for Peter. You see, Jesus had died for Peter. He died so that Peter's sins could be forgiven and so that your sin and mine could be forgiven. That is why Jesus forgave this man who had vehemently denied him. What is more, Jesus restored Peter and set him free. In a matter of a few weeks Peter preached the first Christian sermon. That sermon was about the forgiveness of sin. Out of his defeat, Peter learned something. He learned that God is the God of second chances.
So today if you feel you have failed God too much or blown it, know God loves you, and know God is not through with you. You must do as Acts 3:19 tells us, “turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

Grateful for all the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth…Chances God has given me! I know that I can never flustrate His grace and love for me!

Pastor Phillip

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