Summary: This message was preached 5 years @ Elim Bible Church, a "start-over" Church. I am thrilled to say is still moving foward, after nearly closing her doors.
A Fresh Start Ph.3: 13-14
Have you ever felt like you just needed a fresh start…a do-over?
Sometimes we are given an opportunity for a fresh start but how we handle the fresh start will determine how we finish.
Let’s look at three things that I believe will help us when we find that we have been given a fresh start.
In order to have a fresh start:
1. You Need to Let Go of the Past: v. 13
Paul wanted, so much to be “like” Jesus and I believe this should be the goal of every believer in every church.
Paul also understood that he had not accomplished his goal, according to verse 13.
I have met, in my life, a number of Christians who act like they “are all that” and more. They give the impression that they have arrived and there is nothing more that can be done to perfect them any further.
Paul also knew what it would take to reach his goal. In verse 13 he says “but I focus on this one thing”
Elim Bible Church has been given a chance to start over. The doors were nearly closed and the number has been grown down to 6 BUT God has given you and me a chance at a fresh start and how we handle this opportunity will determine how we finish.
We must let go of the things that have happened…forget the pain…forget the suffering and focus on the one thing.
A runner in a race cannot look back and run his race. If we look back at the glory days of 30 years ago and focus on what we used to do and what we used to be, we’ll run off course and crash.
2. Focus on the Goal: v. 14
What is the goal for your life? What is the goal for this Church? Are they the same?
What prize would be better than an unbroken, unhindered relationship with Jesus Christ that is so vivid that the whole community can see it…in the way you live…in the way we serve.
I want to see a body of believers living their lives, as individuals and corporately in such a way that many will come to Christ and get in the race.
The finish line is heaven and race is not over until we step on to those golden shores.
Forget the past, you can’t change it…focus on the goal and run your race.
3. Change Your Perspective:
Paul wrote a letter to the church in Corinth that stung. Paul said that he was not sorry for the letter because it caused them to change the way they thought.
If we change the way we think we will change the way we act…we’ll have a more glorious outcome…
2Cor 7:8-9 I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while.
9 Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way.