Saturday, February 16, 2013

Six Bible Verses on New Beginnings

1. Ephesians 4:21-25 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

This passage is a great way to start us out on new beginnings. New beginnings come through Christ! We were taught the truth through Christ. In the new beginning we receive through Christ we are to put off our old deceitful ways. Then it says we will be made new in our attitudes. I have personally found this to be absolutely true. Attending mass, groups, and reading the word slowly changed me into a better person. At first I didn't even want to do these things, and I have to pray to God to want to want them! And indeed I still didn't want them, so God put into my mind the provocation to get up and drive to the church. He inclined me to pick up his word and read it. He suggested in my mind to attend groups and listen to Christian radio. And just as he promised in the Bible, these things were added to me. We are told to put on the new self in 4:24. This new self is created through Christ, to be truly righteous and holy. This takes work, and we put it on one leg at a time! And it does take effort on our own parts. For me it was intense honesty, seeking truth, and humbleness which God gave me through suffering in my sin for so long. It can happen with dedication, a dedication supported by God!

2. Isaiah 43:18-19 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

This is part of a message from God to the Old Testament Israel, but it illustrates how God helps us. We are ordered not to live in the past, but the present. Look therefore to the future! God asks us if we can perceive the new path he makes for us. Our sin was a desolate wasteland of misery, barren. God makes a straight path for us to walk, as long as we follow him. Is it easy? No, it's not. It's not easy at all. But it's worth it!

3. Luke 7:47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven-for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little."

This is a great tip for achieving a new beginning. Seek forgiveness ardently! Many of us choose to hide our sins in our minds, and don't confess them honestly! This is a quote from Luke in which Jesus was teaching Simon. The woman showed great love and compassion to Jesus. We are taught to seek forgiveness and repentance. Through doing this we search out our own character flaws and become more full moral human beings. By doing this, our love for all increases. This is such a wonderful message, especially for those who assume the Bible is full of hate and condemnation. The Bible is full of love, but your heart cannot see it!

4. Malachi 4:2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.

This passage in Malachi is extremely powerful. Those who fear the Lord will have the sun of righteousness rise on their lives! People assume the fear we ought to feel for the Lord is rooted in negative things. It is not! Fear denotes our submission and obedience to God. Only a fool would not have a righteous fear of the Lord, for that fear informs us when tempted with immoral action. We see that through this obedience the sun of righteousness rises on our lives and through it we are healed. Sin causes a lot of post traumatic stress and sadness. Those are wounds that need healing. We are told then we were are healed and living as God wants us to, we will be excited for the new life we have!

5. Psalm 121:1-8 A Song of Ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord , who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.

This is a wonderful piece from Psalms. Where does our help in this process come from? Is it from self help books or from our determination to change? No, it is not. Those things can be helpful overall, but the power to do these things comes from God. Acknowledge him and thank him for his help. I had a friend who was troubled just as I for years. She was brilliant and creative, yet lacked in self control and morality. She sought out God and prayed for redemption. A year or so later she was in Colorado learning massage therapy, with new friends, a new place, and a new life. She had just been welcomed into a beautiful place to work full time. I asked her how it had all been achieved, for I was struggling at the time. She told me she had willed it to happen, and that it was all by the power of her own mind. I remembered her desperate prayers and asked her, "What about God?" She replied, "There is no God, I am the God of my life." I find it so ironic that she called out to the Lord, he helped her, and then she claimed the victory as her own. We ought to remember our prayers and the one who helps us! That one is God.

6. Isaiah 58:12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.

This is another passage that Isaiah, involving a message from God to Israel. I find it a powerful message of hope to those who struggle. It especially rings true to me, as I once had been brought to the true path by God, but I slipped away through backsliding. It is wonderful hope to know that even if we fall away into terrible sin once again, God still offers chances to repent and be saved once more. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt! You shall be called the repairer, and the restorer. I love that so much! I often thought of my struggle in metaphors inside my own mind. It was like a giant battle. I had seen my strong defenses turned to ruins by evil and my own lack of faith. I thought it was truly over. Yet God tells us that he will rebuild our defenses and make us strong once again, just as he did for Israel. God be praised!