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Summary: In these message we will continue to look to the book of Nehemiah for more priciples for having an awesome new beginning.

"A NEW BEGINNING PART 3"

TEXT: NEHEMIAH 2

"Early in the morning Joshua and all the israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over..." Joshua 3:1

Have you ever experienced what people call Da Ja Vu? You know when you feel like you’ve been somewhere or done something before.

Well, God’s people had been there before -- camped on the east side of the Jordan river. However the last time they were there they didn’t do so well. You see, God after freeing them from slavery and delivering them from Pharaoh offered them a new life in a new land (a land flowing with milk and honey), but for fear of the unknown because of a bad report by 10 spies, and due to their lack of faith in God they refused their new beginning, choosing rather to hold on to the old ways and the old life.

And it cost them, boy did it cost them -- they were forced as a people to wander in the barren wilderness for 40 years. 40 years of never staying put, always moving about, of sleeping in tents and living out of a suitcases.

And now they find themselves once again at the same spot, and God is once again offering them a new beginning.... A second chance to live in that promise land and to bask in His blessings. And this time under the leadership of Joshua they would get it right - they would cross over the Jordan and start again..

That second chance for God’s people occurred over 3,000 years ago and you can read about it in the books of Deuteronomy and Joshua.

POINT; our God has always been a God of THE second chance.

And today we (you & I) are just like those Israelites camped on the east side of our new beginning. God is offering me, He is offering you and he is offering Central a new beginning - a chance to live in a better land.

Sure He may have offered it to us before and yes we may have made the wrong choice in our past but here we are again and the choice is ours as whether or not we begin again; whether or not we cling to the old or embrace the new.

New beginning’s are great to have, second chances in life are a gift from God, but they are not always that easy to bring bout to see through. It’s great that we can have a "do over" with God, but many times we do not take advantage of it. Often times our new beginning becomes hauntingly like our old ending... Instead of moving forward we end up moving backward. And we find ourselves wandering n a barren wilderness - living out of suitcases.

It is because of this tendency we all have of messing up not only our 2nd chances but our 3rd & 4th as well that I am convinced that every one of us needs help in order to make our new beginning possible this year.

You know this time of year people naturally think about new beginnings; new diets, new exercise programs, new hopes, new dreams, new habits, new attitudes..etc.

And this really is a year of New Beginnings here at Central that is why our theme for 1998 is just that A NEW BEGINNING -- if you noticed our sign out front says, "Need a new beginning, we’ve had one so can you."

The people in this world those driving by this church need to know that this is a place where they can have a new beginning, Regardless of how long or how far they have been wandering in the wilderness..

Personally, I am really excited about my new beginning in 1998, I’m beginning a brand new fresh ministry here in good old Georgia - in what is probably one of the hottest growing spots in the country.. And it’s a New beginning for my family (for Lauire, Chelsea, John & Leila), we have a new home, new lives, new friends.

And it is also a new beginning for you; a brand new year has dawned, full of new experiences, new opportunities and 2nd chances.... 98’ can be the year when you become the husband, wife, parent, child, worker, servant, it can be the year where you become the Christian you’ve always wanted to be. The year God finishes the good work he began in you.

And in order to help us make our new beginning a reality we began a study last week from Nehemiah, a study where as we dig into the text we are finding principles that will help us and hindrances that we need to avoid.

And if we as a church, and if we as individuals embrace these helps and avoid these hindrances our new beginning in 1998 will be a successful one, a very successful one.

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