Need a FRESH START?

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“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”” 1 Peter 1:13-16

I was having one of those mornings. You know the kind. Or maybe you don’t. Anyway, I was grumpy. Irritable. Tired. Not because I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Bless the Lord, I had had a wonderful night’s sleep in my warm cozy hotel room on a cold fall night. But I was tired, exhausted to be honest, of circumstances I had faced for a very long time, tired of a responsibility that never seemed to end and seemed like it never would, well, you get the point. Maybe you can even relate. I knew I should be thankful, to God, for so very much. I was fighting hard not to whine, not to moan and complain and throw a pity party, but despite my attempts, I felt yucky, icky, and I knew by God’s Spirit I was grieving Him with my attitude. I also knew He wasn’t pleased with me for being really hard on myself again, as I had been known to do for years, always wanting to do more, and better, not to stumble, not to fall, etc. It was still early morning, and I was not off to a good start. I had been known to ruin, and to waste, and to thoroughly not enjoy days like that one. I had been known to grumble my way through them and do anything but be glad and rejoice in the Lord as He in His Word commends us to do. That’s when it came to me. What? The beautiful gift God has given us. And the message. For me. For you. For us all.

If I wanted, because of God’s love, grace, and mercy, smack dab that early morning, I could have a fresh start. Yes, a brand new beginning. To that day. And to my life. How so? I could repent! I could be sorry for my sin, I could go to the Lord for forgiveness, and receive it, His glorious grace and mercy, my sin would be washed away, and I could begin that day all over again. With a fresh and clean slate! With the right perspective. Turned back to Him. With a changed heart. And the actions to go with a changed, and new, fresh and clean, purified heart. A heart and actions pleasing to God!

Repentance begins when we repent and place our trust in Christ as Lord, believing He died on the cross for our sins and was raised from the dead, devoting our lives to Christ, such that we are forgiven, promised eternal life, and born again. But repentance does not end there; it begins there. Christ’s followers, those who will spend eternity with God, now on earth and forever in heaven, are to practice a lifestyle of holiness, of godliness, of becoming Christ like, of being transformed by God’s Spirit through His Word, of repenting along the way when we fall, getting up, and pressing on in becoming holy like God is, of being changed by Him, of learning in all that we do, and say, to bring Him honor, praise, and glory.

Repentance is a key ingredient in the life of a Christ follower. When we repent the first time and give our lives to Christ, God gives us a new beginning and we are spiritually reborn. We are saved from God’s wrath at us for our sins and the accompanying penalty of death, hell, and the lake of fire forever, and come into His Kingdom as His adopted kids.

Once born again, we grow in the image of God and begin to enjoy our forever relationship with Him. Repentance along the way as His Spirit convicts, chastens, and leads us to repent, is part of the purification process, of the refining, of the sanctification, we undergo as we learn to walk forever in intimate fellowship with our forever God.

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