By: Waylon Bailey ~
Thomas Wolfe famously stated “You Can’t Go Home Again,” but it’s really not true.
The message of Scripture shows you can go home again, and you can start over.
No matter what is going on in your life there is always room for repentance and beginning again. God is the friend of the repentant and the One who cares for us deeply. The gift of His Son shows that we can start over.
What matters in starting over? How does change occur?
First, repentance is a key to beginning again. Starting over is not as simple as taking a mulligan or beginning a new computer game. It requires repentance.
Repentance, while not popular or well-known in popular culture, is at the heart of Scripture. John the Baptist called for people to repent because the kingdom of God was at hand (Matthew 3:2). When Jesus began His public ministry, He sounded the same theme.
In the Old Testament, repentance meant to turn in another direction. The prophets repeatedly called on the people to turn from their wicked ways and to go in the direction of God. In the New Testament, repentance meant to have a change of mind. When you repent you change your mind about how you have lived and what you plan to do. You turn from a mind of disobedience to one of obedience toward God.
Repentance means you have a burning desire to live differently.
Second, humility is essential to beginning again. James quoted Scripture when he said, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” He spoke of the necessity of submission, a key part of humility. He concluded the paragraph by calling on the people to “humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10).
Third, change demands a desire to please God. After we have experienced repentance and humility, pleasing God will come naturally.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. . . . Come near to God and he will come near to you . . . . Wash your hands . . . and purify your hearts. . . . Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:7-10).
Starting over is possible.
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Have a great week!