What does the Bible say about a fresh start? God doesn't remember our past, he gives us a fresh start. Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!
How do I ask God for a fresh start? Replace the old and broken ways of my heart and restore me with your grace and strength. Fill me with new blessings, joy and peace. Help renew my heart so that I can be ready for a new beginning. In Jesus' name, Amen.
When God gives you a fresh start? The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that God promises a fresh start to anyone. Through Jesus Christ, we can have forgiveness, freedom, and a future filled with hope and purpose. He loves you more than you know and has an incredible plan for your life!
What a tremendous privilege to serve our neighbors alongside our neighbors! We are blessed to live in a community filled with such wonderful servant hearts!
Other Requests & Giving Opportunities
As long as I can remember, I have always made my bed each morning. It was requested by my mother when I was a child and a teenager. As I got older, it just became a habit. A few years ago, I read a book called, Make Your Bed, a New York Times Bestseller by Admiral William H. McRaven based on a commencement speech that he gave at The University of Texas. In his book, Admiral McRaven says that “if you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” I really admired his philosophy, “If you can’t do the small things, you will never be able to do the big things.”
Recently I had someone share with me that the reason they make their bed every day is because it is such a gift to have a warm bed to come home to each night. They went on to say that they make their bed in the morning so they can “unwrap the present” that having a bed is to them every night.”
It’s all in the perspective. My attitude has changed from something that was simply a habit, to a feeling of accomplishment to have performed my first task of the day, to gratefulness for a home and bed to return to at the end of each day. I am so thankful that God has put people in my path to help me see things with new eyes. The book, Dynamite Prayer, on day 4, talks about having “new eyes.” I pray that I will continue to “view everything and everyone with potential for God’s transformation” ----- including myself.
Mark your calendar--Our next Emmaus gathering is Monday, February 5th Come prepared to have dinner, commune with everyone, worship God and be filled with the Holy Spirit. @Light On the Hill - Nutrition Center
This month I have been sharing a lot about fresh starts and setting goals for the new year. Here are some KEYS to help us be successful in sticking with our goals. These are helping me and I hope they will help you, too.
KEY #1: PRAY FIRST.
Before you commit to anything, spend some time asking God: “What areas of my life do I need to focus on during the upcoming year?” Let Him guide you to what resolutions to make, and ask Him to help you follow through.
KEY #2: MAKE REALISTIC RESOLUTIONS.
Many of the resolutions I made over the years were embarrassingly unrealistic. I think that is why I didn’t make them “stick.” Don’t make that same mistake. Instead, aim for targets you can reasonably hit in a year—perhaps memorize one scripture verse a month, share the Gospel with one neighbor, walk or run a 5K before you tackle a marathon, show up and help serve at one in-reach or outreach opportunity.
KEY #3: MAKE SPECIFIC RESOLUTIONS.
“I will spend 15 minutes in God’s Word every morning at 6 a.m.” is way better than “I will spend more time reading the Bible.” If you want to lose weight, set a specific, numeric goal, as well as a date you plan to reach that goal.
KEY #4: MAKE A PLAN.
A resolution without a plan is like a car without fuel. It will get you nowhere. Want to lose weight? Or just want to get healthier? Then figure out your workout and nutritional plan. How many times are you going to exercise every week and what types of exercise will you do? How are you going to get more heathy foods in your diet this year? Want to go deeper in your relationship with God and others? Maybe you are already doing that by participating in the Dynamite Prayer book with many others in our church family. Maybe you are joining in a covenant discipleship group on Wednesday nights at KFUMC or during the week with others.
KEY #5: MAKE SPIRIT EMPOWERMENT YOUR BIGGEST RESOLUTION.
When you’re filled with Christ, everything else falls in line. The fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22–23 will be evident in your life. If you’re producing the fruit of the Spirit, you’re going to have great relationships (love, peace, patience, kindness), not overeat or overspend (self-control), and exhibit a more positive attitude (joy). It’s hard to imagine a successful resolution that’s not covered by the fruit of the Spirit. So, if we make being filled with the Spirit part of our daily routine, everything else will take care of itself.
KEY #6: GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER.
The Navy Seals have a saying they use during their super-high-intensity training: “Get a swim buddy!” Seals in training need someone to push them when they’re slow, temper them when they’re rash, and help them when they’re in danger of drowning. For Navy Seals, it’s a serious offense to get caught without your swim buddy. What’s true of the Seals is true of the believer. We need “swim buddies” in our ocean of busyness. I count on my “swim buddies,” and I encourage you to find one or two of your own.
I hope and pray that these six keys will help me and you make and keep better resolutions this year—all for the glory of God!
A HUGE thank you to Regan and Stephanie Land and K&R Heating and Cooling for contributing to the All Faith Build at Habitat for Humanity on Saturday!
I read a good article in Outreach Magazine from Michael Kelley. He is the author of the book Growing Down: Unlearning the Patterns of Adulthood that Keep Us from Jesus. I was reminded of this article as I am praying about how to make this year the best ever as many of you are, too. And here we are…it’s the beginning of a new year! And because we are, most of us are considering resolutions. There are the standard promises of healthier diet, more exercise, more reading, and a host of others. Chances are if you are like me, you’ve made one of these resolutions before. Maybe it worked out, and maybe it didn’t. If it didn’t work out, then perhaps you’re doubling your efforts this year. Maybe you have some kind of plan that will make this year different. And maybe, because you do, you are like me and you are repeating the same resolution you’ve done before.
As followers of Christ, there is one resolution we should indeed repeat over and over again. There is one thing we need this year as much as we did last year.
Share the gospel this year.
Share it with yourself and share it with others. Share it with the Christian and non-Christian, share it with the one who has believed for decades and to the one that is still considering. Share about the hope and the love and the grace and the mercy of a Savior that gave His life for even a wretch like me and you. And then, do it again. And again. And sometimes even use words.
And when we’ve done it for a year, we will turn around and do it again.
It is for the child and the adult, for the student and the retiree. It is for the people who are so much like us and for the people that are very different from us. The life-giving message of Jesus Christ is for everyone.
This is the message we need to hear in 2024 just like we did in 2023. This is what’s most important for our forgetful hearts and lethargic souls.
Make a resolution, then, but let it be a lasting one. Resolve to do the same thing you did yesterday and then to it again tomorrow. Share the gospel over and over again until faith becomes sight.
I love fresh starts and new days and do-overs! I cherish the fact that God gives us each a fresh start each and every day… a new opportunity to love Jesus and share the love and hope that only comes from Him. I only need to take it one day at a time and He provides everything I need for each new day. May God bless you as you start afresh each day in this new year! I also wanted to share a gift from Millie Goode, a poem she wrote to encourage us all: Just for Today.
Just for Today
When worries seem too strong and problems last too long,
When darkness smothers your hope and crushes your joy,
Seek the One who lit the heavens with sun, moon, and stars,
And, just for today, He will give you the strength you need.
Rejoice in each new day as God’s blessing just for you;
With faith accept the task that He has given you today;
Assume any burden or trial He allows without doubt or fear,
And, just for today, God will give you the strength you need.
Worry not for what care or problem tomorrow may bring;
For our Savior has felt your pain, your fear, your doubt.
Arise and begin each day with a strong and abiding belief that
Christ, just for today, will give you the strength you need.
As the years hurry on, take each day as a sacred trust
To lift up those who are troubled, have fallen or lost their way;
To offer hope, build a bridge, share love not hate, give not take.
And, just for today, God will give you the strength you need.
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