New Start? - New Life!
Stuff happens! Life's like that! Get over it! Words like that are no help to someone who is experiencing difficult.
But what about when a person is feeling that life has no purpose? It's then that questions like, "Is this all there is?", come to mind.
And questions keep on calling to be answered. But the New Testament of the Bible has these words:
"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life," John 3'16.
How much does the promise of everlasting life have to do with a new start in life? The answer is "Everything".
First of all, the old ways don't provide peace. And having lived life according to your own choices you realise you have made some bad ones. Perhaps some very bad ones.
These may result in shame, guilt, disappointment, dissatisfaction and hopelessness hover around every day. Perhaps you feel that you don't deserve a new life.
However, those New Testament words go on to say:
"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved," John 3'17.
Saved? - Yes, saved! From the consequences of all the old things. Does any person that? The fact is, no one actually deserves the chance of a new life because, it cannot be deserved.
Nevertheless, God offers a new life and a new start. And it's FREE! How does He do that? He does it through the dedication of one man who came to earth to achieve it, Jesus.
When He completed it He was killed, by being crucified on a cross. His death paid a price so that every sin and wrong thing (which is basically against God) could be forgiven and erradicated.
He lived a perfect life in our place. That means, you can leave your past behind and receive the power that God offers - and live a new life. Only He can make this offer
It's life-changing. It's different. It's Gof'd love and power.
The idea of a life of freedom is just a dream for some. But freedom can only be given by one who is truly free. That one is God.
The point is, His way of living is the right way of living. However, everyone has lived their own way. And that's called sin. Sinning is the barrier that hinders their reconciliation to God. And that's where freedom lies.
It is shown in many things. Self-centredness and selfishness are common examples. The New Testament says:
"all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" and
"the wages of sin is death" (Romans 3'23 and 6'23).
So, sin is the barrier that no human being can overcome. But, the Good News is that God sent Jesus to overcome it for us. And more that, He guarantees us freedom from sin.
This freedom comes in a free gift, eternal life: "the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord," Romans 3'23.
1 Corinthians 15'3-4 explains exactly what was done to enable sinners to receive this gift:
"Christ died for our sins
according to the Scriptures and
He was buried and He rose again the third day
according to the Scriptures".
The free gift of life that God offers is immeasurably far above our own. The gift of eternal life comes with Him because He is the gift!
Here's the New Teastment again:
"... as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name," John 1’12.cause He is the gift!
With these things in mind, why not take the opportunity and change your mind about your present way of living, believe, and receive Him.
To receive Jesus you could say a prayer like this:
Dear God, I know my lifestyle has not been acceptable to you. I realise I have committed sins that really are against you.
Please forgive me.
I change my mind about my life. I turn my back on my self-centred ways.
I believe Christ died for my sins - that He was buried - that He rose again on the third day - and that He sets me free from sin and self-centredness.
Thank you Father for forgiving me.
Jesus, come into my life - I receive you now as my Lord.
Thank you, for coming into my life and bringing eternal life.
From now on I will follow you and learn of you, firstly in the New Testament and then in the whole Bible.
KNOWING AND GROWING
The Bible may be unfamiliar to someone who has received Christ. For the new Believer there are some really great Bible scriptures to know, learn and grow from. Here are a few:
"This is the testimony that God has given us eternal life and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life," 1 John 5'11-12.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast," Ephesians 2'8-9.
"As many as received Him to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name," John 1'12.
"If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; old things have passed away ... all things have become new," 2 Corinthians 5'17.
When you have learned verses off by heart the Holy Spirit can bring them to your mind to encourage and strengthen you.
Read the Bible regularly. The Gospel of John is a good place to start reading the Bible. Read it in comfortable amounts. Then go on to the Book of Acts to be familiar with the early Believers.
Then go back to the Gospel of Matthew and read the letters that follow the Book of Acts.
The first eleven chapters of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, are very significant indeed. They are foundational understandings that lie behind every Believer's godly life.
As you read, let the words sink into your mind. Anything you find too difficult to understand, just leave it and continue with what you do understand.
A particularly helpful translation to use is the New King James translation. It's set out in verses, which makes it fairly easy to memorise.
First steps. As soon as you can, tell another person that you have received Christ into your life and that you intend to follow Him and His teachings. Don't get into an argument!
When you received Christ you were born again, spiritually, by the Holy Spirit. At that moment you became part of God's family.
It is important to be among others who are also born again. So find a congregation of people who believe these things too.
Especially that Jesus calls His new followers to be immersed ("baptised") in water, just as He was.
Learn what being immersed in water means by clicking the Immersion in Water button on the Menu. Begin reading the New Testament (see below).
THE FATHER AND YOU
As you read the New Testament you learn about Jesus. He shows our heavenly Father to us. Also, you will also discover a lot about yourself as a new person.
In learning of Jesus' character, His power and His authority you'll find out that, following the Day of Pentecost, these things became available to His people.
It's good to remember, too, that those early Believers who feature in the New Testament were people just like you.
Prayer. Heavenly Father, thank you for privilege of receiving Christ into my life.
Thank you, too, for your word, the Bible and all the love, power and authority that comes from it by the Holy Spirit.
In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.