Summary: Here are 4 people who needed a new beginning, perhaps you can realate to them.
By: Chuck Henrix
I think most of us like January first. Celebrations have been planned for tonight all over the place. Why? So we can celebrate, and if you will bring in the New Year. We look forward to the beginning of the New Year. We look forward with great anticipation to see what things will be better in the year 2001. It gives us a chance to forget the past and look forward to the future.
This morning I would venture to guess that all of us are ready for a new beginning. A new start in at least one area of our lives. We make New Year’s resolutions. We think about how next year will be better than last. We could use a fresh look at things. So in anticipation of the coming year, I want to look at four people who needed a new beginning. They all needed a new beginning for a different reason. I hope you will be able to relate to at least one of them.
The first person I want to talk to you about is one who suffered burnout. Elijah had just had a great victory. He proved that the prophets of Baal were serving a false god. He had the 450 prophets of Baal slaughtered at the Kishon Valley. Ahab reported to Jezebel everything Elijah had done. Needless to say Jezebel wasn’t very happy about this and put a price on his head.
1 Kings 19:3 ff says, 1KI 19:3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba (BE-ER-SHE´BA ) in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors." 5 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.”
Then Elijah was really “touched by an angel”. The angel told him to get up and eat. Then Elijah traveled for 40 days and 40 nights to Horeb, the mountains of God.
The Lord spoke to Elijah and said, “What are you doing here?” Listen to what Elijah says and see if you think it sounds as if he was burned-out.
1KI 19:10 He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." – WOE IS ME, RIGHT.
Elijah was then like some of you are today. He was tired and burned out.
Elijah, like you needed a new beginning.
At a workshop I went to in Ft. Wayne, a counselor said burnout was a natural result of not being fed spiritually. In other words the only people who experience burnout are people who are not in a proper relationship with God. They have lost their God perspective.
When he first said that, I had a hard time believing it, but the more I evaluate my own life and study the scriptures I think he is onto something.
It is true here of Elijah too. How do I know that? After an encounter with God, by being encouraged of God’s presence Elijah was able to go one.
This morning if you need a new beginning because you are burned out, God is ready to help you have a close relationship with Him.
The second person I want to talk to you about is one who needed a new beginning because of failure.
We all know Peter by name. In fact, I will be starting a series through 1st Peter tonight. Peter new about second chances. He knew about new beginnings. On more than one occasion he need to start over, if you will.
This morning, you might need a new beginning because of some failure you had this last year. You might feel like a failure as a parent. You might be concerned that you messed up as a spouse. You could have blown your finances this year. No matter what you feel your failure is, there is still a new beginning for you.
When we talk about Pete’s failure we could mention the time Christ looked at him and said, “Get behind me, Satan.” (Mark 8:33).
We could speak of the time when Jesus was washing the disciples feet. When he got to Simon Peter, he said to Jesus, “JN 13:8 "No, you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me." JN 13:9 "Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"