Starting Over

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“Therefore, if any man be in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold all things have become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).

Life, with its ups and downs, its burdens and blessings, poses this question time after time:

Can I really start over again?

 Not always. What was said out loud can’t be taken back. If I missed a turn, I have to find another route. If I forgot a special day, or didn’t return a call all I can do is apologize. At 71, many of life’s lessons leave me humbled and admitting that I’ve got a lot more learning and changing to do.

But, in many ways, we are promised a new start. He who sits on the throne says, “Behold! I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). Yeshua came to make me new – so dramatically that it’s called a new BIRTH.

“…the old has passed away, all things have become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).

“…forgetting what is behind… reaching forward for the upward call of God in Messiah” (Phil 3:12-14). 

A Murderer Starts Over

 Wait a minute! These two quotes are from a man who was responsible for the murder of one of God’s most righteous servants. Stephen’s execution took place under the authority of Shaul (Paul) in Acts 7:58-59. How did the rabbi who became an apostle feel about that after he came to faith? I’m guessing he sorrowfully regretted it many times in his mind.

This same man, potentially paralyzed by his past, relates God’s response to his struggle: “My grace is sufficient for you…” (II Corinthians 12:9-10). He started over and impacted his world by overcoming the past. (See Acts 9:20-22 and the rest of Acts!)

What’s in your past that you desperately want to get past?

Is it a hideous self-image? Yeshua made lepers clean!

Is it a hopeless physical limitation? Yeshua gave sight to the blind.

Is it lifeless religon? Yeshua offered new birth to Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedrin.

Is it sin? What about the woman at the well?

An Adulteress Starts Over

Yeshua gave a new start to a woman with a shameful past. She had five husbands, and the one she was with wasn’t her husband! Yet Messiah met her in her failure and brokenness with the promise of a new start. He offered unending water for her parched soul.

Can we grasp the wonder that Yeshua really did come to make all things new? The way He transformed the Samaritan woman is the way He wants to work in your life.

First, to START OVER you must come to Yeshua in your thirsty condition. That incident in John 4 was a divinely designed encounter! He is waiting at the well for you! God’s plan for you is much more than survival. He came to redeem your past, not for you to be stuck in it.

Secondly, to START OVER you must know who you are. After meeting Yeshua, the woman at the well changed an entire city. A huge part of my being fruitful is knowing how God looks at me, and looking at myself that way too. Then, I can give my life away, enabling others to start over too. In both Romans and Galatians, Shaul states clearly that we are no longer slaves, but sons and daughters (Galatians 4:6-7 and Romans 8:15-17).  We may know and agree with this theologically, but has it got down into our heart’s self-view?

When I look in the mirror what do I say? Do I say, “What a loser! How can that guy ever get past his pathetic flaws?” OR do I say “Oh, what a cool guy. There’s that son of God, Eitan. He’s got quite an inheritance. I see the light of Yeshua in his eyes, because the Spirit of God’s son has been sent into his heart!”

Where are you in your life journey? Looking back with regret? Needing to start over? Be encouraged. If Shaul and the Samaritan woman could start over, so can you.

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