God loves new beginnings and so do I. As Lent begins I am thrilled to be doing this study with you! I pray that together we will rediscover just how amazing Jesus is and why He is integral to our lives.
Before you read the chapters, please take time to ask God to send the Holy Spirit to guide you while you are reading and to open your heart to what He wants you to understand within each chapter. Focus on both the bigger picture and the words that are on the page. Are there particular words that leap out at you? Meditate on those words and then reread the chapter with those words in mind. What do you think God is trying to tell you?
Thank you for being here! Let’s get started!
Chapter 1: New Beginnings
My thoughts on Chapter 1:
Some of the words that jumped out at me in this chapter on New Beginnings are frustrated, tired, disgusted, and distracted. It seems for me I experience all of these on a daily basis. Life can just be so overwhelming sometimes. Because of this, I end up saying or doing things that I know are not what God wants me to do. Man, I feel like a huge failure then! Not only do I feel I let God down, but I feel I let family down as well as myself. I’m not sure how many of you often feel this way, but some days I feel like I fail a whole lot more than I succeed!
But one of the most beautiful aspects of our Heavenly Father is that He is a “God of second chances, fresh starts, and new beginnings.” These words also jumped out at me as I read our first chapter. God is merciful and kind and He wants us to succeed. He knows we are going to fall short sometimes and yet He readily extends His mercy to us and allows us to start over again and again and again. If you think about it, it truly is amazing! Where I am prone to focus on where I am failing, God wants me to know that He knows that with His help I can succeed. There is a tremendous amount of hope in that knowledge.
Point to ponder: “It is never too late for a fresh start.”
Do you believe this? I know I do. I only have to look back on my mistakes to know that there is always time to start over. I am not the person I was many years ago and I have grown and changed because I actively chose to start fresh and point my life towards God. It’s not always been an easy path but it has always been a worthwhile one! Some days I have to make that choice each moring because I messed up the day before. Thankfully God is merciful and kind and desires to have a relationship with me. He’s willing to help me start fresh each time I mess up (whether it’s in a big way or in a million little ways each day).
Verse to live by: “Ask and it will be given to you; search and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.” Matt 7:7
Is it hard for you to ask God for what you want and need? It is for me sometimes. I feel like I don’t deserve much and I don’t want to look greedy for asking. But still, Christ tells us that we are to ask for the things we need. We are to seek out God and when we do we will find Him. When we are striving to make our lives new we must ask God for help and we must seek Him out. We can’t begin to make our lives new without Jesus at the center. If we try without Him, we will fail.
Question to consider: In what area of your life is God inviting you to experience a new beginning?
I know that there are definitely areas where God is calling me to start over. Some I don’t feel I can share just yet and others I know I should share. I think that I have been putting my prayer life on hold a bit. Before, I was constantly steeped in prayer- talking to Christ among the pots and the pans, including Him in every aspect of my day- now I make room for when it crosses my mind. I have allowed myself to get so busy that He gets my “leftovers” instead of my all. I know this needs to change. He deserves more than I have been giving Him.
Some other changes that I plan to make in my life are to go to bed earlier and to rise earlier; to not be so involved in social media; and to stop prioritizing everyone else over my family.
What is not working in your life right now? Where do you see that you need a fresh star; a new beginning?
Prayer: Jesus, help me to believe that a new beginning is possible.
I know that it is only through You that I can find the right path. Help me to see where You would like me to go. I ask that You give me the strength to start fresh and to seek You in all that I do. Amen.