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The God of Second Chances

By Justin Stone, Director of Rooftop's Service Team

Do you find yourself quick to judge others and question their motives? I did.

When I was in college in Chicago, I found myself frequently confused by a homeless man named  “Froggy” who stood on the corner asking for handouts. Even though I gave him provisions and bought him food, I couldn’t understand why things didn’t change for him. He would frustrate me and push me to question his motives.

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Fastforward 12 years to when I find Christ molding my path daily. Today He is refining my character to love the very types of people that confused, even frustrated me. In the past 11 months of serving the homeless in the St. Louis region, God has put into my life many homeless brothers and sisters to love on like “Froggy”.  Through them, He’s showing love and patience without assumption. And it’s working.

Many times, I have made assumptions that turned out to not be true at all. God has shown me that I should assume a great deal less and let Him show me where my trust and thoughts should dwell. I now understand our homeless friends have physical challenges and health conditions. Others have histories of abuse, spiritual neglect, and other things that weigh them down. Every time the Lord brings me a moment to listen and serve them, I am reminded that my actions speak louder than words. With each connection and relationship planted on the streets, He is revealing more of Himself to me. God wants to take that weight from us. Whether we are home-full or home-less, we have the same struggles. We are brought together to sharpen one another, and our homeless friends need us.

Often times, I find myself in awe of what the Lord is doing around me and in me. And lately I’ve been reminded of one very important thing - we serve a mighty God determined to give us a second chance, and often more than that.

I rely on the God of second chances. He stays with me and never leaves my side. I am the one that chooses not to listen to Him. Through our homeless outreach, I am always reminded that while some friends act like knuckleheads, I too am stubborn in my own right. In moments of speaking truth of the gospel and helping our friends navigate their difficulties, God brought me to a point of repentance in my own life. I am often looking for the grace that only comes from the Father. I praise God for his grace daily.

I have been humbled beyond belief by those around me and seek to remain humble before the Lord on an hourly basis. With God’s grace, I am free from questioning motives. I can focus on His love and amazing grace while extending that to my homeless friends. Hallelujah is the highest praise … He rescues me every day. This video reminds me of His grace. See what it’s like to let God move in steps throughout your day. http://youtu.be/tjjNu1nj0lc (Carlos Whittaker & Danny the homeless man)