Have you ever felt ashamed of something in your past? Have you ever thought that you disappointed God to such an extent that He would never love you again or accept you into heaven?
If so, here's good news. It is possible for us to start all over again with God. He can erase our past sins. He can help us eradicate evil thoughts. He can eliminate our disappointments. Today we will learn how to start over with God.
The quality of God's mercy and grace
Many people view God as unforgiving and unmerciful, as One who enjoys punishing people. But God isn't like that (Ezekiel 33:11). He is "rich in mercy" (Ephesians 2:4). He has "great mercy" (1 Peter 1:3). "His lovingkindness is everlasting" (Psalm 136).
Kindness and mercy are part of God's nature. We must realize and accept the quality of God's mercy. It will reach each of us if we desire it.
God will give us another chance
We have been studying the book of Jonah. As you recall, God wanted the prophet to go and preach against the city of Nineveh. However, Jonah did not want to fulfill that mission. So he boarded a ship and sailed forTarshish. During his journey, the Lord sent a great wind upon the sea that threatened to sink the ship, so the crew threw Jonah into the sea. Jonah prayed for the Lord's help, and God sent a great fish to save Jonah.
Let's read Jonah 3 to learn what happened next. Although Jonah had initially refused to go to Nineveh, God gave him another chance. The Scripture says, "The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time." Even though Jonah had disappointed God, God gave him another chance.
God gives second chances, too! No matter what we have done, God will accept us and give us another chance. God is not interested in what we once were; instead, He is interested in what we can become.
The Bible records the stories of many people who overcame turbulent pasts and became great and faithful servants of the Lord.
- Abraham, the father of the Hebrew nation, grew up in a home that worshipped other gods (Joshua 24:2).
- David, the second king of Israel, became a man after God's own heart, although he committed adultery and murder.
- Paul, the great apostle of Jesus Christ, had arrested and killed Christians.
Although these individuals had once lived ungodly lives, they were given another chance and eventually became great servants of the Lord. So can we!
We must forget our past failures and focus on our future successes (Philippians 3:13-14).
Today, God is giving you another chance to get right with Him. You can unwind all the sinful mileage that has accumulated over the years. Today, you can start a fresh new relationship with the Lord.
How do you start all over with God? If you are not a Christian, God wants you to do five things to get your life right with Him:
1. God wants you to believe in Him and in His Son Jesus Christ (Hebrews 11:6).
2. God wants you to repent of your sins (Acts 17:30).
3. God wants you to confess faith in Jesus Christ (Matthews 10:32).
4. God wants you to be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins (Mark 16:16).
5. God wants you to live a faithful and obedient life, following Him to the end (Revelation 2:10).
If you accept these biblical principles, you can receive salvation and start anew with the Lord. All the sins you have ever committed will be wiped away. God will remember them no more.
If you are already a Christian but have wandered away from God, God wants you to do two things to get right with Him: repent and confess your sins to Him (1 John 1:9). Right now, the Lord has His arms wide open, just waiting for you to respond. He is a loving and merciful God, and He is willing to give you another chance to get your life right with Him.
In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:20), do you remember how the father reacted when his son returned? God will respond to you in the same way. I invite you to come home to the Lord right now.
General Conference Ministerial Association