As a golfer who tries to get his money’s worth out of a course, I am quite familiar with the term “mulligan.” A mulligan is a second shot taken because the first shot went awry. It is meant to be a second chance to hit the shot better. It should not surprise you to learn that our God believes in mulligans. He gives second chances to His children.
Consider the plight of the Apostle Peter. Peter failed the test miserably. He had pledged his undying devotion and loyalty to Jesus. In Matthew’s gospel, Peter declares, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.” Jesus challenges that grandiose gesture by telling him he would deny him three times before the cock crows to which Peter declares, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You” (Matthew 26:33-35). We know how that turned out. Peter denied even knowing Jesus three times and weeps bitterly when he realizes his failure.
The gospel is the good news for failing disciples and the rest of us failing sinners. God gives Peter a second chance, a mulligan. In John’s gospel, Jesus asks Peter three times, “Do you love Me?” Why three times? Because Peter denied Jesus three times. With each answer Jesus calls Peter to “Tend My sheep” (John 21:15-17). Peter had to declare his love for Jesus or Jesus would have denied him before His Heavenly Father (Matthew 10:32, 33).
The next scene we see Peter stepping up to lead the disciples and to preach on the Day of Pentecost the most powerful message in church history. He had been given a second chance by God!
What about you and me? We are starting a new year, a fresh 365 days. Do you need a second chance from God? Have you failed Him and you need to declare your love for Jesus a second time so God can use you in power and holiness? Our God delights in giving His children second chances. There is no better time to ask Him to give you one than right now! It’s time to start the new year right with God!
Happy New Year!