Summary: A contemporary message for the "Make a Fresh Start" Series inspired by Outreach. This is part one of a four part series. It’s focus is on the hope we have through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was given on Easter Sunday night.

Make a Fresh Start Series

Are You at a Dead End?

Remember when you were a kid and you’d play some game and something would happen while you were playing that messed you up and you’d cry out “do-over”. Well, in life sometimes we’d like a “do-over”. We’d like to make a fresh start.

Do you remember the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”? You remember – George Bailey – the dis-hearted and disillusioned businessman that thought his whole life was a waste and that it would have been better that he’d never been born. In the end of the movie, after seeing what life would have been like had he not been around, George gets a do-over. We all like that movie because deep down, we could relate to George Bailey. We’d like to get a do-over. (Ladies quit looking at your husbands that way).

There have been numerous occasions in my life that I believe God gave me a chance to make a fresh start. The latest of course is sending me here to be your pastor.

One very significant fresh start was when Joyce and I moved from Colorado to Ohio. I wasn’t much in favor of the move, but I was willing to turn it over to God and follow His leading. Little did I realize at the time that God had brought me to what appeared to be a dead end road only to provide me with a fresh perspective of His will for my life.

As we start this series on making a fresh start, I want to encourage you to think back on a time that you felt stuck, or that you were on a dead end road. Then realize how God pulled you through that time and set your feet on a new path that was a blessing to you and ultimately gave Him glory. All of us need a fresh start now and then. My prayer is that at the end of these next 4 weeks that we will have freshness in our faith, find restoration where there is brokenness, look positively to God’s plan for our life and make the most of the opportunities God gives us. Thankfully, we serve a God who specializes in fresh starts.

Tonight the question is, “are you at a dead end?”

My brother and I were bringing a bunch of teens back from Ichthus one year and we took what appeared to be short cut through a parking lot so that my brother didn’t have to make a sharp turn pulling a 24’ camper. His trailer handling skills left much to be desired.

Eventually, he rounded a building at the end of the parking lot only to find that it was a dead end.

Sometimes that happens with our life. We take what appears to be a short cut then lo and behold – we’ve turned down a dead end road.

It could have been a career choice. Maybe it was a relationship choice. Maybe it was a financial decision. But there we are. Stuck! At a dead end with no easy way to get out of it.

Tonight we’re going to begin with a story of Biblical proportions – literally. Turn to Exodus 14.

Exodus ch. 11 – plagues

Exodus ch. 12 – the Passover

Exodus ch. 13 – the exodus. God leads them the long way through the desert to the Red Sea.

Exodus 14:10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. 11 They said to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ’Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!"

The people were at a dead end. (sounds like a bunch of backseat drivers – “I told you it was the wrong way. You should have asked for directions…)

Exodus 14: 13 Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

15 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen."

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