I hope you’re ready for some great news this New Year!
I just watched the movie, “City Slickers,” for the fifth time, because there was too much to absorb the first four times around. As I watched this movie unfold, I was struck again by the magnitude of this incredible story.
In the movie, Billy Crystal plays a radio advertising salesman going through a mid-life crisis. He and his friends spice up their boring, mundane existence by signing up for a cattle drive from New Mexico to Colorado, an experience that changes them all forever. An epiphany, to be sure.
At the end of the movie, they’re preparing to return to New York and the familiar routine, when Billy Crystal explains to his friend the concept of a “do-over.”
“Do you remember,” he says, “when you used to play ball as a kid? Sometimes when you messed things up, you would get a ‘do-over,’ a second chance to swing at the ball.”
That’s what you’re getting now. You’re getting a “do-over.” In fact, it happens every January 1, when we’re all given a “do-over” – the opportunity to start fresh–and do it again within the next 365 days.
Perhaps you failed in your relationship with God in 2015. Maybe you messed up, made bad choices or had wrong priorities.
Perhaps you failed to move forward in ministry like you should have. Maybe you didn’t pray enough, fast enough or failed to study God’s Word. Perhaps you suffered an embarrassing and stunning defeat and your spirit is saying, “If only I could begin again, things would be different. If only I could do things over, I would do them right.”
Whatever the case, the good news is that you get a “do-over” in the New Year. You get another chance to make things right because the God of many chances wants to give you a do-over in 2016.
When we start over, we never really start completely over! The reality is that God doesn’t waste anything. He uses every part of our past, the good, the bad and the ugly, to weave from our lives a beautiful tapestry that becomes an incredible life message and a powerful testimony of His faithfulness and tender compassion.
And through that process, He gets the glory, while we get stronger and more mature, ultimately becoming more like Jesus, which is the goal.
Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the young man and the rich executive. The young man asked the older man, “How did you come to be so successful?” and the man responded, “Two words, good decisions!”
And the young man said, “How did you learn to make good decisions?” The man responded, “One word, experience.”
“Well, where do you get experience?
“Two words.” said the successful executive, “bad decisions!”
So you see, we never start completely over because God takes everything we’ve ever learned and creates a brand new and victorious outcome through it all.
The best news of all is that our God is the God of new beginnings and He specializes in do-overs. He can take a broken life and set it straight again. He can take a hopeless situation and infuse it with hope.
Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold I will do a new thing…” I like the New Living Translation that reads: “For I am about to do something new.”
My friend, forget the former things; refuse to dwell on the past. You just got a “do over,” so let me encourage you to go for it in Christ Jesus! Happy New Year!
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