Theme of the Week: All Things New: New Beginnings
Bible Verse: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” Hebrews 12:1-2, NLT
Scripture Reading: Romans 8:26-30
As long as you’re dwelling on the past, you’ll miss the new things God has for you. New beginnings propel you forward, not backward, and it’s hard to focus on a positive future when we can’t let go of a painful past.
In my case, it was a bruised ego, self-doubt, and a feeling of betrayal after 25 years of faithful service and working my tail off. What was it all for? All those years, everything I did for the company, all the sacrifices I made. It was all about what I did, and I couldn’t see what God wanted to do in and through me. Correction was needed, and God was shaping and molding me like clay on the potter’s wheel. It was uncomfortable at times, but God was at work, preparing me for the new beginnings that lie ahead.
There’s lots of baggage we can hold onto that hinder new beginnings. We can feel the shame of the past, like Peter, who disowned Jesus. We can feel like we’re not good enough, like Moses or Gideon. We can carry hurts and offenses when we feel we’ve been wronged or led astray, like the children of Israel in the desert. We can become consumed with self-pity and even fall into depression, like Elijah. We can also blame others like Adam blamed Eve.
We have to let God strip off the weights that slow us down and the sin that trips us up, keeping our eye on Jesus and what he wants to do in our lives and the new beginnings he has in store. It’s not easy when you’re in the middle of it. The key is pressing deeper into our walk with Jesus and trusting that he has a plan for our lives and live for his purpose and not our own.
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