Divine Mulligans


I'm so thankful that God says, "You'll never measure up, so accept the gift of grace from One who did. It's the one key that will unlock heaven's door." Listen to these liberating words of grace: "Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people-free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!" (Ephesians 1:7-8 MSG).

Have you ever wondered what would happen if certain Bible characters sent letters of application for ministry positions in a church? Would the Thursday night search committee meeting sound something like this?

"Let's talk about this Adam."

"Well, he seems like a good man, but he takes bad directions from his wife. And you don't even want to know what he wears in the woods."

"How about Noah?"

"He's prone to taking on huge building projects without a permit. He's a pessimist too."

"What about Joseph?"

"Brags too much. Has a prison record. He's even been accused of adultery."

"And Moses?"

"Are you kidding? He's a lousy communicator. He stutters and stammers. He has a bad temper and has been known to hit things with a stick."

"So he's a golfer then?"

"That's another of his shortcomings."

"What do you know about Job?"

"Well, he's loaded, so he won't need a salary. But he's pretty gloomy. He complains too much."

"David looks like he has promise."

"Yes, but his kids are out of control, and his wives are a handful. To make matters worse, he's a strong proponent of instrumental music in worship."

"Tell me about Solomon."

"Well, he has a good head on his shoulders, but he's got problems when it comes to building projects. It took him seven years to complete the temple and thirteen years to build his palace. I guess he was trying to please all those wives."

"What about Elijah?"

"No way. Prone to depression. Collapses under pressure. Spends too much time by himself in the wilderness."

"And Samson?"

"Hair's too long."

"Jonah?"

"Good runner, but he makes up big fish tales. Has been disobedient to God."

"Matthew?"

"Not a chance. Works for the IRS."

"What about this John the Baptist?"

"He sure doesn't dress like a Baptist. Strange diet. Makes the Pharisees mad."

"And Peter?"

"Bad temper. Curses sometimes. Claims to have visions."

"Paul?"

"Powerful preacher and a good leader. But he's short on tact and has been known to preach all night. Puts people to sleep. Controversial on women's issues. He's single too."

"What about these others on the list?"

"Lazarus is dead."

"Zacchaeus is too short."

"Timothy is way too young."

"Methusaleh is too old."

"Sarah laughed too much."

"What about Judas?"

"Well, let's talk about him. He comes with good character references. Good connections. He's conservative, so he won't rock the boat. Handles money well. Maybe he's the one."

Aren't you glad God in His mercy chose to use the likes of these? They literally shaped the course of human history. And He will do it again through you.

All of us have sinned. But we don't have to live with the guilt. When we truly repent, God forgives and restores us to favor.

Phil Callaway, Golfing with the Master. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2006, p. 170-173

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