Summary: Last week I talked about how we may need a fresh start. But it's not so easy. We may have a hard time making the changes that are necessary for a fresh start. But sometimes, we may not need a total fresh start, we may just need a restart.

A FRESH START (part two)

Last week I talked about how we may need a fresh start for various reasons-relationship problems, job loss, trouble with the law, etc. So, we change locations, find a new job, start getting connected with new people, etc. Obviously the best fresh start we can make is becoming born again.

But making a fresh start isn't so easy. We see that we need one, but we have a hard time making a clean break from the people, places or things we need to. I also talked about how a fresh start can feel rotten at first. Going through the pruning process or having something cut off hurts, but it's necessary if we are going to blossom and grow.

Things like discipline hurt at first but if we learn from it the bible says it produces a harvest of righteousness. A fresh start often starts out slow; it might take some time before we start seeing the rewards of our efforts. But the fruit will come if we stay the course.

Sometimes, we may not need a total fresh start, we may just need a restart. We like the idea of being refreshed. Refreshment feels good; it's invigorating. Quote: "a great sermon helps people in two ways: some rise up highly motivated while others wake up highly refreshed. Hopefully my sermon today will be refreshing but not quite in that way.

1) A fresh restart.

We may have had a fresh start but somewhere along the way we became weary and tired. We may have gotten off track; we may have lost our spiritual sizzle. We can get bogged down spiritually; maybe even have become dissatisfied with how our lives are going. We're in need of a jumpstart. We need to be ready to shake off the cobwebs and get moving again.

And God is ready to refresh us. Jer. 31:25, "I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” What do we do when we need to be physically refreshed? If we're hungry we eat. If we're dehydrated we drink some water. If we're tired we lay down and get some rest. But what about when we're spiritually tired? How do we get refreshed then? Pretty much the same remedy.

Maybe we haven't been taking in enough spiritual food. Are we run-down because we've gotten away from the word? If we're spiritually dehydrated we need to drink in some of that living water.

John 7:37-38, "On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

If you read on you'll see that he was talking about the Holy Spirit. If we are in Christ streams of fresh, living, spiritual water will flow from us. We drink Christ in, we get filled up and satisfied and then we let it flow from us. If nothing is flowing from you lately then it's a good indicator your tank is low.

Maybe the streams of living water aren't flowing through us as much as they used to because we haven't filled ourselves up with the things of Christ lately. Have you taken in things that fit into the category of spiritually healthy? Have you stayed connected to his people? Have you listened to spiritual music? Have you watched spiritual programming or videos?

What about being spiritually tired? Have you been doing too much? Have you taken on too many roles? Has your busyness caused you to move away from your quiet time? How is your prayer life? God said he will refresh you; he will satisfy you. Are we looking to him to do that or are we relying on something else?

If you need some fresh air you have to open the windows. When we go away on summer vacation we usually close all the windows and curtains and such. After we come back we walk into a house filled with hot, heavy, stale air. So what do we do? We push back the curtains and open the windows, letting all the light and fresh air in. Soon the whole house feels and smells better.

It's the same with us. After a period of inactivity we get stagnant and stale. We need to open the curtains and windows to our souls and take in the light and fresh air of the Holy Spirit. And when you open your windows you don't need to go outside and force the fresh air in; it will come right in as if it's been waiting to enter.

The Holy Spirit is waiting to come right in and start freshening us up. But we need to open the window. We may need to plug in a fan or two to help circulate the air. But, we do what we need to do to get that freshness to permeate the whole house so we can feel much better.

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