In an earlier post this week, I mentioned that we were at the CrossPoint Church in Florence, Alabama on Sunday morning. We saw many people who were a part of the church we served. We left that church sixteen years ago. Now sixteen years later, we are older. It was amazing to look at some of these people and see middle aged men and women instead of the way I remember them.
During the eight years we were there, I encountered one question over and over. This question would be voiced in a number of different ways. However, the question basically came down to this:
How can I have a new start?
Maybe you have asked similar questions:
- Why have I made so many mistakes in my life?
- Why must I seem to always learn the hard way?
- Why has my life not turned out the way I envisioned?
- Why have I experienced so much disappointment and pain?
- Why do I sometimes feel so different from everyone else?
- Why have I become so cynical regarding life?
- Why is life such a struggle for me?
- What has happened to the joy I once experienced as a Christian?
Meanwhile, some of us believe we really don't matter to God very much. Oh we would say that he loves the world and that he is a loving God. However, we are convinced that we are somehow disqualified to fully receive his love. We don't seem to know his love on an experiential level. We say he loves the world but we are not so sure that he loves us personally.
- Sure God forgives, but I had an abortion and I know he will always hold that against me.
- Sure God forgives, but I had an affair a few years ago. I never dreamed I would do something like that.
- Sure God forgives, but my whole life is littered with a string of broken relationships.
- Sure God forgives, but I feel like such a failure as a parent. I can't believe the way my kids turned out.
- Sure God forgives, but I know I have always been one big disappointment to God.
Do you know that God really will give you a fresh start? The Biblical writers remind us that many in the early church received fresh starts. Read again Eph. 2:1-9 and I Cor. 6:9-11. Do you know that his care for you is greater than your failure? Do you know that Jesus’ work on the cross and his resurrection have given us hope for a new start?
It is not too late to have a fresh start
No matter what.