I will always remember my friend, Dr. Fred Brown, now in Heaven, making the statement, “Real Christianity is nothing more than a series of new beginnings. There are times in all our lives when we need a new beginning.” I agree with Dr. Brown that there are times in all our lives when we need a new beginning. Do you need a new beginning?
Goodbye 2016 – Hello 2017. 2016 is gone and we cannot change what happened last year, but it is not too late to have a new beginning this year. Some ended last year with heartaches and troubles. What will you do with the new year before you? You need to stop and evaluate what is important and what is not important. All of us should learn that life at times is tough. Bad things can happen to Godly people. You need to realize that God will have the final word, and it will be good. We cannot change the past, but we can change the future. Do you need to make changes in your life?
Rules to help you have a good year. Live a simple, good life. Be thankful for what you have instead of thinking about what you don’t have. Always spend less than you earn. Think positive things and reject negative things. Do not insist on getting your way. Be considerate of others. Learn to listen. Take a deep breath and be thankful for each day. Seek to control and change bad actions and reactions. Learn that happiness is a choice. Avoid all anger and strife. Don’t attack the person, but attack the problem. Learn that good marriages are built on problems that have been solved. Generously give of yourself to others. Do right! It is never right to do wrong. Invest in others. Don’t love things, but love people. There is no substitute for a good Christian home. Love your family. The family needs you more than things you can give. The best things in life are not things, but people. Walk and talk with God daily. Learn that when you are not right with God, you are not right with others. Daily keep close to God. Remember there are many things that change, but good moments and memories always remain.
Prepare For Your Final Exam
Remember, as we live each day we are preparing for our final exam with God. An illustration: It was the end of the semester and time for the final exam. The professor made a proposition to the students. “I know many of you dread taking your final exam. If you are satisfied with your grade, and you are willing to accept it as your final grade, you are free to skip this exam.” About half of the class left the room. He stated again to the remaining class, “You do not have to take the final exam. You can skip it.” Several more students left the room. Finally there were only three students left. The professor asked, “What is keeping you here?” One student answered, “I was hoping to use the final to bring my grade up.” The second young student answered, “I spent a lot of time preparing for the final, and I want to test my ability.” The last student answered, “Good enough just isn’t good enough for me.” The professor said, “You three have passed one of life’s biggest tests. Never settle for average when you can do more. You are now excused. Each of you will receive an ‘A’ for your final exam.”
Your Final Exam – One day you will take your final exam with God. What will be your test results? When we stand before God, we all will wish that we had done more. Don’t settle for average. Seek to do your best. I have learned that people are more important than things. I have learned that you will be remembered for your love more than anything else. I have learned to build good memories. I have learned to forget the negative things. I have learned that you can have new beginnings. A good pastor friend of mine, Eugene Bordean, Jr., who, because of cancer, was given only a few months to live, told me, “Every morning I awake I thank God for the new day and cherish it greatly.” He learned the value of each day. The year 2016 has now passed; 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes are gone. 2016 is gone, and now you face 2017. This year you can make a difference with your life. Invest in people. Seek to be a blessing to others. Seek to love others, especially those who love you, and even love those who do not love you. Seek to live your life so you will not have regrets. God has given us a new year. Let’s seek to make it our best year ever!
Illustration: A young man was crossing a stream as he heard a voice whisper, “Take some stones. Tomorrow you will be both sad and glad.” He picked up a few stones and walked away. The next day he remembered the pebbles. He pulled them from his pocket and saw that they were changed to diamonds. He was glad. Then he became sad because he had not gotten more. He could have had more! One day we will stand before the Lord. We will be both sad and glad – glad that we are with the Lord, but sad that we did not do much more! Do you need a new beginning?
[ ] Yes, I want a new beginning. I need to make changes in my life. I want to do more for the Lord. I now pray and ask the Lord for a new beginning.
Signed _____________________________ Date ____________
Also write and date in your Bible, “I asked the Lord for a new beginning.”