Frankly Speaking ........Now!
New Beginnings!

“God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, He forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong.”  1 John 1:9. 

Hello everyone, 

I like “new” years!  Maybe it's because I've always made a lot of mistakes and want to put them behind me.  A new year’s approaching signals an opportunity to start over and do things differently.  Its beginning births a determination to break bad habits and get rid of things that didn’t work, allowing each of us to incorporate new and improved versions that will hopefully result in a better year! 

We continually want to improve ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, materially and spiritually. There is a drive in each of us to achieve more.  Many want to own a nicer car, acquire a better job and live in a bigger house, while others may want to be a better parent, person or friend.  No matter what your dream, vision or desire may be, you have probably thought about them more over the last few weeks and made new resolutions to do things differently! 

Deep inside all of us is the desire to do better. There is a God given “homing device” in each of us that supernaturally points us in the right direction!  It moves us forward in our motivation to improve and pulls us deeper to a closer relationship with our maker.  We are drawn and inspired to become better people and to do more for others.  It’s the tool God uses to continually point us to this final conclusion; only He can fill and completely satisfy those “voids” that are missing in our lives, while giving us the exact “directions” we need as we navigate forward! 

“I have hope when I think of this:  The Lord’s love never ends; his mercies never stop.  They are new every morning; His loyalty is great!”  Lamentations 3:21-23. 

As I reflected upon all the things that needed to be done differently and better this year in my life, I wondered why I get a refreshed mindset and a new determination at the first of each and every year.  In fact, I believe many of us feel the same way and do the same thing year after year.   Think about it, each day should bring us a brand new opportunity...just as each year!  We can start fresh and new each and every morning!  

God loves each of us immensely, more than we can possibly fathom.  None of us totally understands His extravagant mercy and compassion He bestows toward each of us.   It is awesome that we can treat every day the same way we have been treating each New Year! 

“When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God.  God brought you alive—right along with Christ!  Think of it!  All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s Cross!”  Colossians 2:13-14. 

One of the great provisions Jesus gave upon the cross was paying the price required to give each of us a new anytime.  Let me give you an example. Imagine you’re able to observe your enemy watching everything you do AND seeing every mistake you make.  You both are able to see that everything you have ever done is being recorded on a chalk board. Over time it has really started filling up. You don’t see how much more can be written on the board, as it is running out of room. 

Seeing the predicament you are in, you’re old running buddy, Satan, starts to continually remind you and show you all you've ever done.  He even threatens to tell others, and occasionally does, to show you he isn’t joking around anymore.  He even runs to your Heavenly Father and reminds Him of everything that's written upon that board. Your “deceptive ex-friend” now constantly torments you with all that is written upon that board and reminds you the price is too expensive to get it removed.  It has been written in “permanent chalk” and no one can ever get rid of it. “You will just have to live with what you’ve done,” he whispers.  He leaves you with all your guilt, hurt, remorse and wounds to “die” to the life you desired and now have lost forever, because of what you’ve done!  You have been betrayed and left...ineffective! 

Unaware to you until this moment, an “unknown friend” came and paid the price that you could not pay to have all the writing removed.  He paid the price in full and even made your enemy erase it, upon your request, so that nothing remained upon that board anymore. It is totally clean…you are totally free AND He has given you an eternal eraser that can be used at anytime to erase anything else that may be written upon that board! He never leaves or forsakes you.  He is with you always.  He is your new best friend, Jesus! 

“I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy.  I promised you to one husband, Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Him.”  2 Corinthians 11:2. 

“He died so that we could be pure and without fault, with no evil or sin or any other wrong thing in it!” Eph 5:27. 

Paul, writing this to the church at Corinth and Ephesus, presented a possibility that amazes me. Actually these two scriptures emphasize the fact that we can have completely new starts. Upon the asking, we can be pure and innocent again, no matter what we have done…just like a virgin!  This is way too cool!! 

In Psalms 51, we see David, after committing adultery with Bathsheba, asking God to blot out, or wipe away, all his wrong.  He asks the Lord to wash away all his guilt and make him clean again. We see him asking things like: Turn your face from my sins and wipe out all my guilt.   Create in me a pure heart, oh God, and make my spirit right again!  What an awesome feeling to know that God is wiping your slate clean.  He is washing us thoroughly, plus He is renewing and restoring those things that seem to be lost! 

I remember a time where I was led to pray this same Psalm, one of my favorites, over my life. I remember praying, “wash me Lord and I will be clean (whiter than snow) and renew a right relationship within me.”  I remember asking Him to give me back my innocence, like I had never sinned or done wrong…as a new born baby!  How awesome to be able to have a fresh start. We are justified by Jesus; just as if I’d never sinned or done wrong!  How fresh and clean it feels to be forgiven. 

There is nothing like taking a hot shower to make you feel clean, refreshed and ready to go again. How freeing it is...but, then again, that is what Jesus does.  He gives new beginnings, new starts and repairs broken hearts.  He has given us the gift of innocence. Wow, we have been proclaimed innocent! Whom the Son sets free is truly free indeed!  He has gotten all the charges against us dismissed and thrown out...forever! 

“God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will.  Expect love, love, and more love!  Now, I’ll start over with you and build you up again, dear virgin Israel.  You’ll resume your singing, grabbing tambourines and joining the dance. You’ll go back to your old work of planting vineyards on the Samaritan hillsides, and sit back and enjoy the fruit—oh, how you’ll enjoy those harvests! It continues...

…Shout for joy at the top of your lungs…Announce the good news…Raise cheers…Sing praises…etc!! Jeremiah 31:3-7. 

God is the originator of new beginnings and new starts.  He loves us with an everlasting love.  He has given us the provision to “start over” any time. When we fall, He picks us up again. He repairs any damage and restores us to better than new! It is like we never fell. We don’t have to think about our failure ever again. We can sing and dance again just like nothing ever happened.  He will bless us again and supply all of our needs.  He will make us fruitful and productive again. 

It’s time to celebrate like we celebrated the New Year.  As you observed in person, or on television, there was confetti, parades, parties, singing, dancing, celebrations and cheers for a New Year!  We have been given a new beginning…a new start. We have been made virgins again.  It’s like we didn’t make a mistake or fail.  We are forgiven and free.  Come on…let’s celebrate big time!!  Happy New Year!  Happy New Day!  Yes, go ahead and throw that confetti.  You can clean it up later, plus someone might even help you. The new 2015 model has arrived. Choose to make it your best year ever…one day at a time! 

Continuing to believe the best with you and in you, 

Frank Withers


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