Summary: Purpose a "new beginning" for the Lord as we look at two areas in the Bible to help us improve our Christian walk using Saul and Jonah as examples.
A New Beginning
Let’s talk about “new beginnings” this morning!
The kind of “new beginnings” that really mean something.
Starting fresh again...with a new awakening in your Christian walk.
And why not! ...we’re still in the very first few weeks of an entire new year.
To help show you ...and convince you that you need to consider a “new beginning”, we will look at two main areas in our Bibles.
If you received a church bulletin and have already peeked at the back,
you have found the two areas to which the Lord will direct your attention to this morning.
The books of Acts and Jonah.
Let’s pause, and take a moment to go to the Lord in prayer.
PRAYER: “Lord you have set before us today portions of you Word to reveal to us important life changing scripture. Life changing if we let the Holy Spirit work It’s way. We find these wonderful verses in Acts CH 9 and in the entire book of Jonah. Reveal the true meaning of your Word to us Lord, for it’s in Jesus name we ask, Amen.
Before I launch into scripture this Lord‘s Day...I ask you...
Are you an individual who is in need of a “new beginning”.
Has your Spirit-led life become colder than desired.
Have you become increasingly indifferent with your Christian peers?
Are there any of life’s un-necessary baggage that needs discarding?
Have you noticed that your Christ-like walk is sadly un-spirited?
Tell me then, has God wanted you to go in a certain direction ...a direction that would have clearly benefited His Kingdom,
...but you went in another direction, an opposite direction, or no direction at all?!
Maybe, just maybe, it’s time for an awakening in your lukewarm heart.
Maybe it’s time for self examination, today, now, this morning.
Maybe it’s time for a “new beginning” or a re-visit to a previous “new beginning” that needs re-kindling.
A re-visit that will set things back on track and back on spiritual fire with you, your fellow Christians and the Lord.
For I’m not only calling for possible new conversions today concerning this “new beginning” such as illustrated with Saul’s conversion; but also for the saved Christian who needs a spiritual awakening.
Why a “new beginning”...?
Well, because we all could use a little improvement in our daily walk.
We could all use ...a meaningful spiritual boost.
I’ll let your own minds discuss with yourselves whether the words or terms like “spiritual lazy” or “backslider” or “lukewarm Christian” or even “unsaved sinner” mean anything in your life.
If you have a heart that is crying out for change this morning, the message found in the books of Acts and Jonah, will be of vital concern.
All of you know that in a congregation of any size,
in any given church or denomination,
there are individuals who need to improve their relationship in Christ.
I know there are some here today.
It is so easy and common for us to slide into this spiritual laziness.
So let’s set our minds and our hearts to purpose a change before leaving this place today.
No more taking the easy road.
No more automatic wide-path decisions.
No more brushing-off the Holy Spirits’ conviction.
Our old nature sees to it, that we should struggle,
and at times this old nature seems stubbornly unshakeable...
This old nature is in constant conflict with our new nature...the one secured in Christ -if you are a believer.
So I present to you, two different men in two different areas of our Bible, from the Old and the New Testaments.
We will look first at Saul...who became Paul; an excellent example for us all. Saul had an amazing conversion on the road to Damascus.
And then we’ll finish with a revealing look at Jonah for help with our “new beginning” concept. Jonah, who quickly re-directed his own “new beginning” with the Lord while out at sea.
These two examples “cover the bases” between beginning anew:
--either as a new convert or
--a current believer who is in need of more than just a little prompting from the Lord.
I wonder which example best describes the place where you’re at today?
Both biblical stories are dramatic and very much worth looking at.
If you’re currently perfect as Christ, neither scripture reference is for you.
If you are not perfect...this message is for you.
But you say Brother Mike,
A “new beginning??”
“I am doing just fine in my Christian walk.”
--“I attend church every Sunday.”
--“I never miss Sunday School.”
--“I’m in the church choir.”
--“I assist with preparation of the Lord’s Supper.”
--“I take a shift in the Nursery”
--“I help collect the offering.”
That’s only a minute portion of the overall picture in our daily walk...
just a smidgen!