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A fresh start

Who hasn’t made mistakes and longed for a do-over? To be human is to make a mess of things. We’re born making messes and we never quite grow out of the habit.   The great thing about New Year’s is the opportunity to start over. And the great thing about Jesus is that he promises a fresh st…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Who hasn’t made mistakes and longed for a do-over? To be human is to make a mess of things. We’re born making messes and we never quite grow out of the habit.
 
The great thing about New Year’s is the opportunity to start over. And the great thing about Jesus is that he promises a fresh start. “Anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new!”*
 
We go through life plagued by thoughts like “this will never change.” We face an enemy who whispers, “you’ll always be this way.” But these thoughts are holdovers from an old way of living. They are lies that deny the reality that Jesus is in the business of giving his followers makeovers.
 
The fact is, we get to choose how we live. Richard Rohr said it well:
We do not think ourselves into new ways of living.  We live ourselves into new ways of thinking.  In other words, our journeys around and through our realities, or “circumferences,” lead us to the core reality, where we meet both our truest self and our truest God.

It seems that we Christians have been worshipping Jesus’ journey instead of doing his journey.  The first feels very religious; the second just feels human and not glorious at all.  Prepare yourself for the beginning of a new stage in your own journey of doing and being tomorrow.

What do we have to do to make a fresh start? A few small suggestions:
 
1. Identify the behavior that you want to change. For example, most of us are a little too comfortable and too wrapped up in a lifestyle that focuses on meeting our own needs. Decide to change.
 
2. Ask God a question or two. “Lord, what do you think about this behavior of mine? Is this something I should change and if so, how?” Listen to what he says and write it down.
 
3. Share whatever he says to you with a friend and ask for accountability.
 
4. Take a step this week. I’m doing that myself and I’m hoping you’ll join me. I’ll be cheering you on and praying that your fresh start feels exhilarating!
 

Comments (9)

  • Happy New Year, Seth!
    I always look forward to this time to reflect as an opportunity to reflect on the past year and to plan for the coming year. Inevitably, reflection on the things that I want to change in myself comes center stage.

    After many years of trying to change myself through my own efforts and/or thinking and even with the understanding that these are things that God would want to see changed in me; I am completely persuaded of the fact that I had to come to the point of my own powerlessness and simply turn it over to God and be willing to have him change me. This was one of the gifts of the past year that God gave to me…that in my weakness his power is made manifest.

    It reminds me that I am to take his yoke upon me and learn of him and that his burden is easy. In 2010, I made the conscious decision to come under his yoke, to allow myself to be completely broken and to surrender absolutely everything and to focus on simply learning from him. When I decided to do it Jesus’ way and not my way, everything became easier.

    I believe that is when transformation through Christ really happens.

    God bless for 2011,

    Andrea

  • Seth,

    Blessings to you in the New Year, excellent reminder!

    For me, I mean the year 2011 to be a year of grace. As Paul emphasizes in Galatians 5, grace calls us to live a life of freedom. He says, “don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” What a world we would have if everyone was willing to do this.

    Peace!

  • Awesome thoughts and action steps… we live ourselves into new ways of thinking… Amen, let it be so in 2011, Lord…

  • Yes, I have thought about fresh starts for this year also, and have decided to take steps. Thanks for the encouragement. The last two years have been hard, but have helped shape me into a much stronger person who can stand firm, persevere and choose the action steps of living into new thinking.

    Happy New Year.

  • Want to get uncomfortable this year. So I’ll be reading this blog and responding to challenges you put out here.

  • Another reference from a new age teacher (this one is pro-homosexual also). Why look for truth from these blind readers of the blind? Jesus is the truth. We have His word to go by.

    Don’t be fooled into believing that Jesus implants “truth” into our heads whenever we ask Him. He said “you will seek me and find me if you search for me with all of your heart”.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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