New Start? - New Life!
Stuff happens! Life's like that! Get over it! How many times are those words said to someone who is experiencing difficulty?
But what about when they are feeling that life has no purpose? It's then that questions come.
And they keep on wanting to be answered. And we keep on wondering if this is all there is.
"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.
But what does that have to do with having a new start?
Well, for the most part the old ways don't work. And having lived your life according to your own choices you have made some bad ones. Perhaps some very bad ones.
Guilt, disappointment, dissatisfaction and the sense of hopelessness hover around every day. Perhaps you feel that you don't deserve the chance of a new life.
However, the Bible words above 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. The fact is that no one actually deserves the chance of a new life because it cannot be deserved.
But, God offers a new life and a new start, for free.
How does He do that? Through the man Jesus Christ! Jesus lived a life that was perfect and acceptable to God.
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.
You can leave your past behind and receive the power that God offers - and be really alive. Only He can make this offer.
It's life-changing and it's a revolution with a difference - love.
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: God.
The point is, everyone has sinned. And sin is the barrier to reconciliation between you and God which is where freedom lies.
Sin is shown in many things. Acts of 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 is the truth:
"... 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!
Just change your mind about your present way of living, believe, and receive Him.
RECEIVING THE LORD
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 but not been among Believers before.
For a new Believer there are some really great Bible scriptures to know, learn and grow from. They are very encouraging and inspiring.
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 at times to encourage and strengthen you.
Read the Bible. The Gospel of John is a good place to start reading the Bible. Read it in comfortable amounts. After that read through the Book of Acts.
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 to the truths 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.
The New King James translation is a particularly helpful translation to use and it is set out in verses, which makes it easier 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.