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Summary: The Christian life is one of ongoing transformation, when discouragement derails our progress we need God’s grace for a fresh start.

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Dakota Community Church

January 7, 2007

A Fresh Start

I want to begin today by asking you two questions.

Question 1:

To what degree are you the person you believe God created you to be?

I submit that deep down in the core of our being we know who we are supposed to be. I think we have parts of that picture that we are fulfilling and parts that we are falling short on. How close are you to the image God has placed in your heart?

Question 2:

Have you given up on reaching, or on attaining that ideal?

It is another New Year and with it comes that never ending question about resolutions. Did you make any this year? Have you tried and failed at something so many times that you have just quit? Even if making New Years resolutions is not your thing, you know what I mean. Have you been worn down to the point of resignation, to being less than you were created for?

This morning I want to reawaken that desire within you to fulfill Gods dream for your life.

The Christian faith is a message about making a fresh start, it’s about a new life in God and with God; an abundant life.

Isaiah 44:22-23

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."

Sing for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done this; shout aloud, O earth beneath.

Jeremiah 24:7

I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.

Hebrews 4:13-16

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

We have a high priest who sympathizes with our screw-ups, who knows all of it and who is willing to extend mercy and help when we come seeking a fresh start!

If you want a fresh start this morning:

1. Re-examine your excuses.

Proverbs 28:13

"A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance." TLB

He gets a fresh start!

Have you been making excuses?

From the movie Rocky Balboa:

Rocky’s son is frustrated from living his life in his dad’s big shadow after a heated rebuke from his son Rocky gives this little speech.

"You ain’t gonna believe this, but you used to fit right here. I’d hold you up, to say to your mother, this kid is gonna be the best kid in the world. This kid is gonna be somebody better than anybody ever knew. And you grew up good and wonderful and it was great just to watch you everyday - it was like a privilege. Then the time come to be your own man, and take on the world, and you did! But somewhere along the line, you changed, you stopped bein’ you, you let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good, and when things got hard, you started lookin’ for something to blame, like a big shadow.


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