CLERGY CORNER: God allows mulligans, do-overs and second chances

Posted on 18 July 2019 by LeslieM

Bad choices, broken hearts, shattered dreams and irrevocable failures are all part of this thing we call life. Satan can use these things to paralyze us with guilt, but God can use these things to draw us closer to Him. He is willing to forgive our failures and to offer us a mulligan, a do-over or a second chance. Too often, people feel destitute after making one bad choice or experiencing a failure in life. I am so glad that God does not define us by our failures and is even willing to offer second chances. The Bible provides many examples of good people who were restored after making bad choices.

Moses is one of the great heroes of the Bible, but did you know that Moses failed in several areas? He was a murderer (Ex 2:11-12), he threw a righteous temper tantrum (Ex 32:19) and he directly disobeyed God (Num 20:8:12). In spite of Moses’ sin, God still used him to lead His chosen people to the edge of the Promised Land and to author several books of the Bible. God gave Moses a second chance and several more.

King David had an affair (2 Sam 11:4) and murdered the woman’s husband (2 Sam 11:15-17); but God still used David to lead the nation, to write many of the Psalms, to prepare for the building of the Temple, and to be in the bloodline of the Messiah. David’s broken and contrite spirit is recorded in Psalm 51 and God calls him a man after His own heart in Acts 13:22-23. God gave David a second chance and chose not to define him by his failures.

Scripture also records the story of a woman caught in adultery (John 8). According to Jewish Law, this sin was punishable by stoning; but Jesus stopped the religious hypocrites that were pointing out her sin and called attention to their own. The accusers left, Jesus forgave the woman and instructed her to go and sin no more. Again, we see a sinner, her repentance and God’s grace that extended to her a second chance.

Remember the story (I Cor 5:1,11) of the man having an illicit relationship with his stepmother? Paul instructed the church to break fellowship with him until he repented; but, following his repentance, Paul told them to receive him back into the church family and restore him (2 Cor 2:6-11). This man was given a second chance.

Finally, for now, we find the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-25). The boy spent his inheritance on parties and prostitutes. When he hit rock bottom, he repented and returned to his father. The father welcomed his son and celebrated his return. The father lovingly gave his son a second chance.

The chorus to one of my favorite songs reads as follows: “I don’t know what a sinner you are, but I know what a Savior He is. I don’t know where your feet have taken you, but His climbed up Calvary’s hill. I don’t know what kind of words you’ve spoken, but His words were Father forgive. I don’t know what a sinner you are, but I know what a Savior He is.” That song reminds me that God is still offering mulligans, do-overs and second chances. According to 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Dr. Gary A. Colboch is Lead Pastor at Grace Church located at 501 NE 48 St. in Pompano Beach. For more information, call 954-421-0190 or pastor@gbcfl.org.

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