New Beginnings

NEW BEGINNINGS

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

I)  INTRODUCTION – THIS IS THE TIME OF THE YEAR WHEN MANY REFLECT ON THEIR LIVES AND THE NEED TO MAKE CHANGES.   MANY MAKE NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS THE ARE USUALLY BROKEN AND DISCARDED WITHIN A FEW DAYS OR A FEW WEEKS.

A)       WE FIND THAT OLD HABITS AND WAYS ARE HARD TO BREAK.  JESUS EXPRESSED IT THIS WAY “THE SPIRIT IS WILLING BUT THE FLESH IS WEAK”.   GOD HAS GIVEN EACH OF US A CONSCIENCE, A SENSE OF WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG, AN INNATE KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT IS GOOD AND WHAT IS EVIL, A KNOWLEDGE OF HIS LAW, BUT WE CANNOT LIVE UP TO IT’S STANDARDS.

B)      WE FIND THAT THERE IS NOTHING IN THIS FLESH THAT HAS ANY DESIRE OR ABILITY TO PLEASE GOD:  Gal 5:17 (nas)  For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

C)      WE SEEM DESTINED TO LIVE OUR LIVES LIVING UNDER CONDEMNATION.  PAUL EXPRESSES THIS FRUSTRATION FOR ALL OF US: (ROMANS 7:14 –23 (NIV)).

D)      PAUL ALSO GIVES US THEY WAY OUT OF THIS DILEMMA:  (ROMANS 7:24 – 8:4 (NIV))

E)       WHEN WE COME TO BELIEVE ON JESUS CHRIST, CONFESS OUR SINFULNESS, ACCEPT HIS FORGIVENESS AND PARDON, HE GIVES US A NEW BEGINNING.- A NEW START.  WE ARE FORGIVEN, BUT NOT PERFECT.   WE HAVE BECOME A NEW CREATURE, WITH THE SEED OF GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT HAVING BEEN SOWN INTO OUR HEART, WITH A AWESOME POTENTIAL FOR A NEW LIFE IN CHRIST.

F)       HAVING COME TO CHRIST, WITH THE HELP OF HIS SPIRIT, WE MORTIFY (PUT TO DEATH)  OUR OLD NATURE (ROM 8:13), ENABLING THE NEW GODLY NATURE TO GROW AND MATURE.  THROUGH RECOMMITTING OUR LIVES TO CHRIST ON A DAILY BASIS, THROUGH READING AND OBEYING THE TRUTH AS REVEALED IN HIS WORD AND ASKING THE HOLY SPIRIT TO STRENGTHEN US AND EMPOWER US WE BEGIN TO GROW.   WE START OUT WITH THE MILK OF THE WORD AND THEN AS WE GROW BEGIN TO CRAVE THE MEAT OF THE WORD.

G)      THE DESIRE TO CHANGE OUR LIVES FOR THE BETTER IS DIVINELY MOTIVATED, BUT WE CANNOT DO THIS FOR OURSELVES; WE NEED GOD’S ONGOING HELP TO LIVE THAT LIFE IN THE SPIRIT AND GOD GIVES US THAT HELP – THE HOLY SPIRIT THE PARACLETE, THE ONE WHO COMES ALONG SIDE TO HELP US, WHEN WE DECIDE TO FOLLOW CHRIST.

H)       GOD CANNOT HELP US TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS UNTIL WE RECOGNIZE THAT WE HAVE A PROBLEM.   ONCE WE RECOGNIZE THAT WE HAVE A PROBLEM AND THAT WE CANNOT SOLVE IT ON OUR OWN THROUGH NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS, GOOD INTENTIONS OR OUR OWN WILL POWER, GOD CAN HELP US.   SOME SAID “MAN’S EXTREMITY IS GOD’S OPPORTUNITY.

I)         WE SERVE A GOD OF NEW BEGINNINGS AND AWESOME POSSIBILITIES AND UNLIMITED POTENTIAL.   2 COR. 5:17 “THEREFORE, IF ANYONE IS IN CHRIST, HE IS A NEW CREATION; THE OLD IS GONE, THE NEW IS COME.”

II) THE BIBLE HAS NUMEROUS EXAMPLES OF NEW BEGINNINGS THAT OCCURRED WHEN STRUGGLING INDIVIDUALS CONFRONTED GOD, AND GOD GAVE THEM A NEW BEGINNING, A NEW LIFE IN HIM.   SOME OF THESE INCLUDE:

A)       JACOB – A DECEIVER, WHO STRUGGLED WITH GOD UNTIL GOD.  RUNNING FROM HIS BROTHER ESAU WHO WANTED TO KILL HIM.  WHEN GOD PINNED HIM DOWN HE CONFESSED WHO HE WAS.  IT WAS THEN THAT GOD CHANGED HIS NAME TO ISRAEL – PRINCE WITH GOD, ONE WHO HAD STRUGGLED WITH GOD AND OVERCOME.

B)       RAHAB (THE HARLOT) – WHOSE HOUSE WAS UP AGAINST THE WALLS OF JERICHO.  SHE FEARED THE GOD OF ISRAEL AND HIDE THE SPIES FROM ISRAEL WHO HAD COME INTO SPY OUT JERICHO.  SHE AND HER HOUSEHOLD WERE SPARED WHEN ISRAEL ATTACKED JERICHO…SHE BECAME THE GREAT, GREAT GRANDMOTHER OF KING DAVID, THE GREATEST KING ISRAEL EVER HAD.

C)      SAUL (PAUL) – ONE WHO WAS PERSECUTING THE CHURCH, KILLING CHRISTIANS, UNTIL GOD CONFRONTED HIM ON THE WAY TO DAMASCUS…

D)      EVERY CHILD OF GOD HAS A STORY TO TELL.  WE ARE ALL SINNERS, SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST.

E)       THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS STILL AT WORK IN THE EARTH TODAY;  I WOULD LIKE TO SHOW YOU A FEW CLIPS OF LIVES THAT HAVE TOTALLY TRANSFORMED BY THE POWER OF GOD.  WWW.NOTHINGSTOOHARDFORGOD.ORG (ERIC’S STORY, MAYLINES STORY)

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