It’s Okay To Start Over

Philippians 2:5 says, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:…” Hmmm…be like Jesus? That is a tall order to say the least! But the Bible is clear about Christlikeness being God’s calling on our lives. 

We can’t possibly act like, speak like, think like, love like, or look like Jesus…in our strength. However, when we ask God for the grace and love that it takes to be like Jesus, He helps us with that endeavor. For instance, He gives us wisdom to not say the first thing that comes to our mind when we are angry, and He provides productive words instead. He grants us patience when we are in a rush, and someone who needs a listening ear crosses our path. He pours His mercy into our lives so that we can extend it to others, especially when we don’t feel like it.  In other words, God faithfully leads us to make decisions that bring us closer to the goal of Christlikeness. 

As we mature, we will presumably heed His voice more and more.  But we are human, so there will also be days when we fail. Miserably. God made a wonderful promise in Philippians 1:6: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” This verse puts no conditions on Him fulfilling His purpose for us. Nothing that says we must be sin-free for a certain number of days before He completes His work within each one of us. Lamentations 3:22-23 assures us: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Praise God that our sin does not have enough power to stop His plan for our lives! 

On our journey toward Christlikeness, there will be failures. But those failures don’t mean we should give up. When we go to God in repentance, He lovingly offers second chances and generously grants new mercies. 

It’s okay to start over. God is there with us.

New Prayers for a New Year

As we prepare to begin a new year, it is a perfect time to thank God for being a God of new starts, second chances, and redemption. How incredibly blessed we are to be loved and protected by Him!

For the New Year, I would like to share three passages and a prayer that goes with each one of them. I’m including a printable for you as well: Click here

Happy New Year, Friends! May you strive toward a deeper faith and a wider witness!

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Dear Lord, I thank You for making me a new creation. In Your strength, I can choose to let go of old behaviors, thoughts, and mindsets that do not glorify You. With Your help, I can embrace the new heart You have given me –  a heart that longs to put You first in my life, to proclaim Your power to a hurting world, and to make known Your love through my words and actions. In Your holy name I pray, Amen.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”  Lamentations 3:22-24

Dear Lord, I cannot fully express my gratitude to You for loving me with a steadfast love. Your love is perfect, and though I am not worthy to receive it, You declare that I am worth it. I am thankful for Your mercies being new every morning and that I can depend upon Your grace and Your second chances. Your faithfulness is beyond compare, and I ask You to help me to trust You more fully. In Your holy name I pray, Amen.

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19

Dear Lord, when I am weary and cannot clearly see how You are working in my life, help me to trust Your love and Your desire to refresh and revitalize my life. I thank You for being a God who pursues my heart. You are not a passive God – You play an active role in our lives and desire to make a way for all of us. Open my eyes and heart to Your Presence and Your guidance. In Your holy name I pray, Amen.