Paul Wright shares with us the secrets to the new beginning we can have with Jesus Christ. You may download the message here.
Everyone wants a new beginning. A chance to: start again and not make the same mistakes, a chance to break habits and to change ourselves.
We try all sorts of things to get this. We buy the 3-minute-a-day Ab machine to enable us to reach the trim, taut, terrific physique we desire. We enlist the help of a life coach to motivate and challenge us. Our goals and efforts are often short lived because we try in our own strength. Most people only persevere with what is quick and easy.
However, true change must first occur spiritually. Change happens internally and then manifests itself externally. The resurrection of Lazarus, in John 11, is a great example of the new beginning that God can give us.
Some parallels we can draw about our new beginnings, through the resurrection of Lazarus, are:
- A new beginning is only possible because Jesus loves us.
Jesus was willing to return to a place of persecution in order to raise Lazarus from the dead. Likewise he loves us too in order to go to the place that no one else can go. We are like a naughty footballer who keeps making the same mistakes - Jesus has given us the chance for a fresh start.
- We must die - Just as Lazarus died.
We must lay to rest our 'good intentions' and striving. We need to put it all in God's hands.
- We know God's power and are filled with Hope
Martha knew the power of Christ. (v21) She knew what he stood for, and what he could do, she had hope in the resurrection. We must possess the same hope - not a hope to be ashamed of, but a hope that rests in the knowledge of the power of Jesus Christ.
- We speak words of Faith
"You are the Christ" Martha said (v27). Do we believe the position and power that Jesus has in our life? Unless we believe we cannot make permanent changes, everything we change will be superficial and temporary.
- Jesus weeps for us (v34)
Jesus loves us. He wants us to be set free, and to experience the change and freedom that only he can offer.
- We let go of the feelings/things that surround us - the stench of death (v38).
As we hold onto things a stench accumulates around us. Some things that we can unknowingly hold onto include bitterness, fear, anxiety, depression. These things surround us and can overcome us.
- We lift up our eyes and look to Jesus.
This is where Jesus steps in, he looses our bonds and sets us free (v43). We take on the fragrance of Christ (II Corin 2:15) and walk as a new man (Eph 4:21) , with a new beginning.
If you would like to browse other talks delivered at Chandler St Church, or order copies on CD, please click here.