GET TOGETHER- Praise God For Fresh Starts
Isa 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.
I promise that this will not be a message about failures to keep New Year’s resolutions. But hopefully it will be a word of encouragement for all of us as we go into the New Year. As a matter of fact, the other day I was praying that our congregation would be a place for people who need another chance no. For those who feel like they have blown every chance that they had. I can remember when that is what I thought about my own life. That there was no chance that I could serve God ,or be saved. I my sins were to many and that they were to bad.
I am thankful that as the New Year comes that we do get to look forward to a new year with new opportunities. I am always excited about the new things that God has in store for His people. So, I consider the beginning of the calendar year to be a time for a fresh start in a lot of ways. One of the blessings of being a Christian at age 67 is that you can still get to do new things and still experience a fresh start.
I remember in January 1990 when I needed a fresh start. I was going to quit smoking that day. I had tried several times in the past. We had some good friends come over that day to watch our favorite college football team play. These were wonderful godly friends. Well the first half didn’t start out so well. At the time I was smoking two and one half packs of Vantage cigarettes a day. I would have normally gone through about a quarter of a back the way that the first half started out. I can remember J.J. had cooked some pecans in the oven and I think that every time that I wanted a cigarette that I reached for one of those pecans. I was thinking that our guests were probably thinking that I was a pretty rude host by the way that I was gulping them down and not offering anyone else any.
Well I survived the game. Our team eventually came back and won. And I went a month without smoking. I had gone that long before. I then went on a Christian Retreat the first weekend in February. It was at this retreat that I gave my life to Jesus Christ. It was now time for an eternal fresh start. While I was at the retreat the Holy Spirit took my desire to ever go back to nicotine away. This Sunday will mark twenty seven years ago since I have smoked a cigarette.
Since that first weekend in February there have been more fresh starts than I can remember. There have been some days that I feel like I may have blown it as a Christian, as a Pastor, as a husband, as a dad, as a brother, as a son, as a friend and in many other ways. But Praise God that He is the God of fresh starts!
He promises us that He will be with us in the wilderness. Perhaps today you feel like you are in the wilderness. He promises that He will make a way. The way that He makes could be a fresh start by not letting yesterday’s mistakes and shortcomings hold you back from what God desires to do in your life and how that He wants to use you. Your fresh start could be making a decision to let Him deliver you from a habit or addiction that is robbing you of the life that God wants you to live.
I have a feeling that all of us need a fresh start at some time at various times in our lives. If you read the Scriptures He is always giving fresh starts to people whether they be old, young, or in between . Where and how do you need a fresh start? God is ready to give you one today? You don’t have to wait until Sunday. Go ahead and let Him show you and help you get ready for what He has in store for you in 2017.
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus I remember one a prayer that I saw right after I gave my heart to You. It said I come to you O God of second chances. Lord I pray for those who need that second, third, fifteenth, or one hundredth chance that today will be a time of fresh starts for them. And Holy Spirit blow on us in a way that each day we start out fresh on every assignment that You have given us. Thank You Jesus for fresh starts.
In Jesus Name
HAVE A HAPPY AND BLESSED NEW YEAR!