Summary: This promise was made to the Jewish nation when they were reeling from judgment and the consequences of their own actions. Have you ever had to face the consequences of your own actions? Wouldn't it be nice if, at that time, you got handed a mulligan?
God Gives a Mulligans
PPT 1 Title
First I want to discuss when we give a mulligan.
For those who don't know let me explain mulligans. Mulligans are do-overs for bad shots in golf. I am not a very good golfer so I have become a connoisseur of mulligans out of necessity. The guys I play with have 3 kinds of mulligans:
1. First hole first shot You are just starting out and need to get warmed up. Since this is the first Sunday of the New Year we could call that the New Year's mulligan. In other words if you make some sort of resolution, and slip, give yourself a mulligan and start over. It's nice to allow yourself a mulligan.
2. During the round if you mess up a drive. We will call that the whoopsie mulligan
3. Pastor privilege mulligan. Since I am usually the worst golfer when I play with the men of the church, they give me a couple extra mulligans during the round, if I need them. We will call that the we don't want you to quit mulligan. (Or preach an mean angry sermon on Sunday!) But even to some of the better players if they are having a really bad day we may tell them not to count a shot. It's better to give a mulligan that to have someone quit in frustration. God would rather give you a mulligan than for you to quit the race, and throw in the towel.
So we give mulligans because we know we will mess up, because it takes some of the pressure off, and if we don't make allowances friends may quit. Now let's talk about when God gives mulligans. We are going to look at two short passages of scripture, here is the first:
PPT 2 - 4 Text
Isa 43:15 "I am the LORD, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King."
Isa 43:16 Thus says the LORD, Who makes a way through the sea And a path through the mighty waters,
Isa 43:17 Who brings forth the chariot and the horse, The army and the mighty man (They will lie down together [and] not rise again; They have been quenched [and] extinguished like a wick):
Isa 43:18 "Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.
Isa 43:19 "Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.
This promise was made to the Jewish nation when they were reeling from judgment and the consequences of their own actions. Have you ever had to face the consequences of your own actions? Wouldn't it be nice if, at that time, you got handed a mulligan? That is exactly what God is doing to the Jewish nation. Turn to your neighbor and say, "God gives mulligans." Now add, "and so should you!"
That is a good sermon right there.
1st thing I want you to know about when God gives a mulligan, is that it is a clean break with the past.
PPT 5 text
Isaiah 43:18 "Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.
It is of no benefit to live your life in the broken pieces of yesterday. God says let it go. Don't bring it up again. You can't go forward looking backwards. (Illustrate by trying to walk forwards while looking backwards.) Some people want to live in the mistakes of yesterday. (Either yours or theirs.) God on the other hand prefers to leave the past on the cross. (Yours and theirs!)
Here is an interesting passage that I think fits nice with this point.
PPT 6 text
Exodus 12:1 Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
Exodus 12:2 "This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.
In this passage God is saying I don't care about the calendar you have, I don't care about the history you have, I want you from this point forward to make a clean brake with the past God was saying that He was making:
1. A Line In the Sand, a demarcation of time. A rewriting of the calendar!
A now and a then. The past and the future which never are to meet.
An exact point of reference. "THIS MONTH shall be the beginning of months for you." Not next month, not next year, this month. This is a word for someone today. A fresh start, a mulligan, a new beginning.
It is personal in its application. This month shall be the beginning of months for YOU.
It speaks of wonderful opportunity ahead. Do you remember where this word beginning is found in the bible?