I LOVE NEW BEGINNINGS. Easter was an incredible celebration of hope and joy all across our globe. Never before during Holy week have I been so aware and moved by the kingdom of God across the WHOLE EARTH. I had the privilege of celebrating Palm Sunday just a week earlier on the continent of Africa in a small church with a Kenyan pastor, with a Danish preacher that met in a Hotel. A church without a building. Sound familiar? I wish you could have seen the children dancing to “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” I wish you could have seen the absolute joy on the faces. I wish you could have heard the message of the hope of Jesus in a small church in a rural countryside with people who have great hope. I wish you could have witnessed the worship in their beautiful native tongue with drums and exuberant, unrefined, authentic and raw expression. It changed me, forever.
Post baptism celebration from Easter weekend
“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.“ Matthew 28:6
Then fast forward a week later to being home with my church family at 217church in New Jersey. The people whom God has chosen for us to walk alongside and experience the joy of the church with every week. Friday we celebrated the death of Jesus in a public elementary school. We cried, mourned, shared communion and sang together remembering the pain of the cross, The self sacrifice of Jesus, and the ultimate purchase of love. Saturday we baptized 6 more into His church and His Kingdom, and then Sunday 650 people strong worshiped and declared a RESURRECTED SAVIOR, sins forgiven. Jesus’ act of obedience to go to the cross created the ultimate #rippleeffect! We all need a new beginning, Here is what to do when you need a New Beginning.
Four Things To Do When You Need A New Beginning –
1. Acknowledge the Past – So many times we can think that just because we aren’t where we want to be, Jesus wasn’t right there with us helping us through. Just because you don’t see and recognize Jesus, it doesn’t mean he wasn’t there. He has been pursuing you for your whole life. You past is your narrative of how he brought you to where you are now. A new beginning happens when you acknowledge that Jesus has ALWAYS HELD you close. Even though you avoided and walked away, Jesus never stopped pursuing. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way;” Isaiah 53:6
Question. : What is one thing to thank God for in your past?
2. Consider His Price – You have been purchased. What Jesus did for you on the cross was nothing short of a miracle. He endured, suffered and died for you. If you have never come into a relationship with Jesus, Your new beginning is now, if you feel as if your spiritual walk is stale, the cross gives us hope that his mercies are “new every morning.” Many times we wander away from God because we have forgotten to focus on the price paid for us. Unfortunately we focus on ourselves. You have been paid for. “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;” Isaiah 53:5
Question: What is your deepest pain that Jesus has forgiven?
3. Believe in His Providence – Hope! You must hope. Anything less than hope is you believing a lie about yourself. Providence involves your future and no matter what you have been believing, you are a child of God. The will of the Lord WILL be done through you and as hard as it may be to see, we must believe in faith. We may not see the future, but he has it covered. “the will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.” Isaiah 53:10
Question: What are you believing God for in your future?
4. Depend on His Protection – This may be the most difficult part of it all. You can’t just hope, you have to put the hope into action. Practical steps of following Jesus on a day to day basis. You have to depend on Jesus for your healing, daily. The enemy will try to convince you of your guilt, you may even start to depend on your own pride, pleasure, power, or even your possessions for comfort, emotional strength and security. THOSE things are a lie. It is only the resurrection power that can heal your wounds. Not a person, place, or thing. David committed adultery, Jonah ran, and the Israelites made idols for their security. All we need is Jesus. This verse is all you need for your new beginning…
“…and with his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
One simple act of obedience can cause a #rippleeffect
This Sunday at 217church
April 12 – Go Sacrifice – The rich young ruler
April 19 – Go Plant – The parable of the seeds
April 26 – Go Do Good – The good Samaritan
Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ. 217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00. Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday. If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.