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"Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household." Acts 16:31

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


“New Beginnings  Begin With Endings”
By Pastor Mark Taylor 

"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”   (John 12:24).

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.  (Mark 8:35)

Life is full of changes.  Some are expected, while others are not.  Some are pleasant, while others are not.  The question I would like to help us with today, is “How do we deal with change?” in a way that will help us.  I think the Bible gives us some tried and true strategies to use to move from one point in our lives to a better point.

One of the most difficult steps with new beginnings is being in denial that we need change in our lives.  Other people can see it.  However, it is hard for us to admit it to ourselves that change is needed.  It will will require that we will have to do something in making a change that will help us.  It is easy and comfortable to simply do nothing.  Today I want to talk to those who are willing to make changes and allow God to help you.  To those in denial, just keep this sermon somewhere so you can refer to when you are ready.  “… this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before".  Philippians 3:13

The first group of people I want to talk to today are those who need to make a spiritual transition.  That is to those who have never accepted Christ as their personal Savior.

Jesus has given us specific statements regarding spiritual “rebirth”.   Many of us have heard the invitation to come to Christ and have been asked to give our hearts to the Savior.  We have read and heard the verse Jesus said to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3).  Some people try to add Jesus without having a true ending of allowing Satan and their flesh to control them. 

Don't fool yourself.  You are either born again or you are not.  It is not a process or “turning over a new leaf”, it is a transformation by the power of God.

How are you "born again?"   That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10

There are people that our Lord Jesus can not develop a relationship with because they are not willing to have an "ending" of their old way of life.   They are not willing to 
receive what He has to offer in a new beginning.  We all have to accept "endings" as a way for God to help us have new beginnings. 
The second group of people are those who are born again, but have never understood what you received when you gave your life to our Lord Jesus.   When you start living a life pleasing to God, He will bless you with answered prayer, peace, and the ability to love and be loved.  

Three steps we all go through:  

Letting go of the old ways and the old identity we have. If you have been born again, you are someone special.  Accept yourself as God accepts you.  When Our Lord Jesus enters your heart and life by means of His Holy Spirit, you begin the process of becoming a new creation.     "Therefore if anyone  be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passing away; behold, all things are becoming new.        (2 Corinthians 5:17).    "For I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well". (Psalms 139:14)

Going through an in-between time when the old is gone but the new isn’t fully   operational.  We call this time growing in grace and knowledge. This is where prayer, Bible Study, and Christian fellowship are so important. 

Coming out of the old life and making a new beginning.  This is when you develop the new identity, experience the new energy, and discover the new sense of     purpose that make the change begin to work.”

The most difficult step is the first one.  Accepting that there must be an ending before their can be a new beginning. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2).  This can be done through prayer, reading God’s Word, thinking differently, walking by faith, and surrounding ourselves with positive people who love God.  Sometimes this will require spending time with  other dedicated Christians, and in some cases possibly seek counseling or professional help.  God has given people gifts and training to meet these needs for you.

The second step requires waiting on the Lord. “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalms 27:14). We have to plant new seeds and then give them time to grow and produce the good things we have been praying and working toward.  It takes awhile for a seed to die and start its new life and produce fruit.  God can align people and situations in your life to help you make the “transition”, but it has to be in “His” timing.  This is when you develop new patterns of thinking, new attitudes, and living your life according to God's value system.

Finally, “…but if it dies, it produces much grain.” (John 12:24).  Finding that person who will love us, the job that we love to go to each day, being able to look at the death of our loved ones as temporary, or being able to retire from a lifetime of working to enjoy our family.  This can happen for you.  It is happening for many people who have learned to have “endings” and are giving God time to work.  May God bless you as you allow Him to help you in your “New Beginnings”.