Summary: About leaving the failures of the past behind and fearlessly starting over.
2 Cor. 5:17
Negative Starting Lines:
In most cases “starting over” means PAIN. Divorce for example brings devastating results. Having to start over again without your spouse and with the responsibility of having to be both the father and the mother is a very painful process. Loosing a loved one especially an immediate family member is an other example. Even in the simplest of things such as a mistake on an expensive project. I used to be a cabinet maker and at one point made a 3 inch mistake. When I went to install the cabinet I couldn’t believe it. I had to take it back to the shop and redo it costing me several hundreds of dollars in both material and time. So to some starting over may mean a pile of inconvenience.
Positive Starting Lines:
However, there is a God-given opportunity to those who have messed up their lives. Starting over can mean the best thing that ever happened to them. A chance to erase the past and shape the future. In Jesus Christ we all can start a new life leaving all our failures behind.
I. You Have A Chance To Start Over Again
When Moses led the people of God out of Egypt the previous night they celebrated the Passover and God told him this will be the beginning of months to you (Exo. 12:2). This no doubt signifies the beginning of the Christian life. It means that all their toil and abuse was to be left behind in Egypt, never to haunt them again. It was a time of a new life. One that would be guided and protected by God himself. This is the kind of life that God offers us in Christ. Satan has lost control of our lives just like Pharaoh lost control of Israel. As the people marched out of Egypt so have we marched out of worldly bondage. We have been birthed into a Kingdom of royal freedom. No one else will rule our life anymore but God himself. For this purpose Jesus Christ came to make sinners free form the powers of darkness and to translate them into the kingdom of light.
Peter was fishing all night and could catch nothing, but at the command of Christ he launched to the deep waters and was not able to load all the fishes, for they were many. Upon seeing the power of Jesus he kneels down and says “depart from me, for I am a sinful man”, Jesus responds saying “Fear not, from this day forward you will be a fisher of men”. What a wonderful statement spoken over him. And God speaks that over every one is willing to start again. Their purpose in life has been modified from one of tiring efforts to one of purpose and power. Our lives are now to be utilized for his eternal purposes. There is a vast difference between trying to do something and sitting back and watching God do it. As long as Jesus is in our boat He will work for us through us and in us.
God will never remember your sins again. This is a great jump start at the beginning of our new life. We no longer have to walk with our past failures and sins lingering over us like a dark shadow of yesterday. In fact God didn’t reform us or overhaul us. He has made us new. We are a new species that never existed before. The Bible calls us “New Creatures” (2 Cor. 5:17). This can only mean that all our past sins are forgiven and forgotten. We must not walk with our heads hanging low, because we should not remember what God has already forgotten.
In the 8th chapter of John vs. 1-11 we see a prostitute brought to Jesus who was caught in the very act of adultery. According to the law of Moses she was to be stoned to death. Jesus ignoring her accusers stoops down and writes on the ground, as they insisted asking him Moses says, she must die, what do you say? This they did to trap him in his words. Jesus gets up and says, “he who is among you without sin let him first cast a stone at her”. One by one convicted by their own conscience they left and the woman remained alone, Jesus asks her “Where are your accusers, has no man condemned you?” She said “ no man Lord”. And this is the punch line “Neither do I condemn you: go and sin no more”. If a prostitute was spared who else can resist the forgivable healing power of Christ?
II. You Will Never Fail Again
God starts as well as finishes everything in and about you. What He started in you He Himself will finish (Phil. 1:6). From the beginning of repentance to the final day of judgment for our rewards it will all be the work of God in us. We need only surrender and the rest will be His doing. God directs the paths of those who trust Him (Prov. 3:5-6). He is the one who leads us in the paths of righteousness, (Psa. 23:3) not us. We are prone to go astray with our own agenda. Even in times of trouble we cannot consider ourselves a failure. For the Bible says that our troubles only lead us into the victor’s hall of faith (Rom. 8:35). In this we know that we can never fail again, for we are more than conquerors through Christ in our daily struggles.