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Summary: Isaiah 43:18-19 (NRSV) 18 Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. 19 I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

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New Beginnings

Grant van Boeschoten

January 20, 2007

There are a lot of golfers out there who have convinced themselves that it is OK to cheat, they even came up with a name for it so that it didn’t sound so bad. It’s called a Mulligan, a do over, a second chance.

Here is how it goes. You step up to the tee box to hit the ball and you’ve been having a pretty good day so far. 14 holes are done and your only 12 over par, which is by far the best score that you can remember achieving. So you get into your stance, you take a few practice swings and then it’s time to tee off.

But just as you are going through the swing something goes wrong. You can’t really put your finger on it but for some reason the little white ball is slicing heavily to the left, hooking towards the man made pond as visions of your best game ever are quickly dissipating in your mind.

What do you do? You cheat. You call for a mulligan; something outside of the rules. You want a do over, a second chance.

In Golf its called a mulligan, bending the rules, but in life it’s called salvation.

Salvation is a gift that comes to us from God, it is a gift that should not be available to us solely based on the fact that we don’t deserve to be saved. We are sinners and we don’t deserve life. We don’t deserve a second chance.

But God’s love reaches right through what we deserve and he shows us mercy and he shows us grace. And Jesus says, “For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.”

And that’s the truth. If you believe in Jesus and accept him as the Lord of your Life then he forgives your sins and gives you the gift of salvation.

That means that the old has gone and the new has come. That means that your sins won’t be held against you in heaven’s court on judgment day. It is a New Beginning for Life.

Salvation is wonderful reality, but there are some people who are still living in discouragement. They have been saved from there sins, they have been given the gift of eternal life, but they remain discouraged.

This is not good.

• Discouragement robs people of the future that God created them for.

• Discouragement forces people to live in yesterday, constantly worrying about tomorrow.

• The Discouraged person finds it difficult to accept encouragement

The encouraged person wakes up in the morning and says, “Good Morning God.” The discouraged person wakes up and says, “Good God, Morning.”

The Israelites were a people living in discouragement. They were living in captivity in the land of Babylon, taken from the Promised Land because of their many sins against God.

They were at the lowest point that a nation could go. It felt as if the control had been taken from them, another King gave them their orders, another culture was forced on them.

And the Israelites were living in discouragement.

God spoke to his people through the prophet Isaiah. He said:

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NRSV)

18 Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.

19 I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Prayer – God help us to hear from you, speak & we will listen.

Do you remember back a few years when the Todd Bertuzi incident took place? Todd Bertuzi was a hockey player for the Vancouver Canucks. He was trying to pick a fight with Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalanche, who had injured one of Bertuzi’s teammates earlier in the season.

When Steve Moore refused to fight, Todd Bertuzi punched him from behind, causing Steve Moore to fall to the ice awkwardly. Mayhem ensued as two players from the Avalanche and two players from the Canucks dogpiled on top of Bertuzi who was on top of Moore.

What nobody knew at the time was that Steve Moore had been knocked unconscious and that there piling on along with the actions of Todd Bertuzi had caused serious injury to Steve Moore. Fans watched horrified as lay motionless on the ice for 10 minutes before being taken off by medical staff.

Well, this shook the Hockey World. Every News Station and every sports highlight show replayed, and analyzed the incident. It seemed like you could find it on any channel that you looked.

Replay after Replay of Todd Bertuzi taking down Steve Moore filled the TV sets all across Canada and much of the United States. Instant Replay technology is great, but this was overkill.

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