Word Alive! © 2021 Spring Series
You Can Begin Again!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 22 June, 2021
Max Lucado, “Begin Again” (A Final Word)
Devotional Time: “Begin Again” (pp. 147-150)
When We First Began- To begin again, we must understand our origin as God’s creation. God created the human family for a specific purpose, and by a special design. As in all of God’s creation, we were made to glorify God. Once the organic body was created and formed by God, we were given God’s breath, which is life. Upon receiving the breath of God, called nephesh in the Hebrew translation, we became “a living person” (cf. Genesis 2:7. NLT). In his devotional, Begin Again, Max Lucado comments: “Without a soul Adam was without life. His body was complete yet lifeless until God breathed into it. The soul enabled him to breathe, to move, to think… indeed, to live.” God alone, gives us physical life and, the New Living Translation editors say, “spiritual awareness and a moral conscience.” These latter abilities help us attain a spiritual life. It is God’s spirit in us that causes us to think, reason, and to believe (cf. Job 32:8, NLT). The Apostle Paul taught the Christians in Thessalonica that there were three components to our human nature, and for which he prayed: “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for He who calls you is faithful (cf. I Thessalonians 5:23-24. NLT).” We must always remember that God created us to reflect His divine image. With this great honor, comes the responsibility to be the stewards of creation and all life (cf. Psalm 8:4-6;8, NLT). In that we have been endowed with abilities and gifts to care for His creation, we should be confident in knowing that our future is determined by our faith in and obedience to God. God will never abandon us, despite some of our fears. God’s ultimate plans for us cannot be revoked by any human or demonic force (cf. Psalm 138:8, NLT)! God has created us to use the opportunities He gives us for good. Our failure to “act now” will cause opportunities that could have been productive, to pass us by (cf. Ecclesiastes 12:4, NLT). The scriptures warn us that we must work toward attaining goals that will benefit us and glorify God. Solomon once rode by the house of a man whose grounds were unkempt; where thorns had overtaken his fields. Solomon said: “Then as I looked and thought about it, I learned lesson; A little extra sleep. A little folding of the hands to rest. Poverty will pounce... (cf. Prov. 24:32-33).
Assurance In The Savior To Lead You On – When the original parents were banished from the garden of Eden, they received the consequences of their sin. When the man and woman breached their covenant with God, eating from the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden, they were separated from their Creator (cf. Genesis 2:17, NLT). The death God pronounced on them was separation from the fellowship they enjoyed. Max Lucado comments: “We assume that death means cessation of life. it does, eventually. But the first death means separation from God.” This death sentence of separation was annulled by our reconciliation to God through faith in His son, Jesus Christ. Jesus assured us that we can live a victorious, fulfilling, and purposeful life (cf. John 5:24, NLT. The church at Ephesus was also assured of a new life in Christ (cf. Ephesians 2:13, NLT). In spite of all trials and tragedies, we can always begin again in a new season with a confident faith! It is through Christ that Christians have intimate fellowship with God. We can be generous in our praise of God, and transparent about our needs (cf. Philippians 4:6-7, NLT). People often feel reluctant to move forward in life. Guilt about some nagging habit; or, unconfessed transgression, can cause a person to feel spiritually alienated. We must remember that God is ready to restore us, if we would only ask Him. Pastor Lucado says, “Christ restores what Adam and Eve lost, in the same order they lost it. He reconnects the soul to God, then the body to the soul. He restores our sols when we believe in Him.” To move forward we “must” do many things differently. This idea induces fear with some people who foster anxieties about change. In addressing the Christians in Ephesus, Paul admonished them to “change” their behavior. They were to embrace Christian virtues, abandon ill-tempered attitudes, and to support each other with kindness and beneficence. Abusive language was eradicated, and replaced with healthy and affirming conversations (cf. Ephesians 4:28b-31). In the Greek New Testament, the English word conversation, means “complete behavior.” One is to speak in a healthy manner, and act in the same manner. We can place our full assurance in the teachings of Christ our Savior, and we begin again life’s new season. You can begin again!
What We Believe
We have been created to believe, think, love, and change!
1. Beginning Again is part of God’s plan for His creation!
2. Jesus became like us that we may become like Him!
Genesis 2:7, NLT
“Then the Lord formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living person[soul, nephesh].”
Job 32:8, NLT
“But there is a spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them, that makes them intelligent.”
Psalm 8:4-6;8, NIV
“What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet… O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.”
Psalm 138:8, NLT
“The Lord will work out His plans for my life – for your faithful love endures forever. Don't abandon me for you made me.”
Ecclesiastes 12:4, NLT
“Remember Him before the door of life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Now you rise at the first chirping of the birds,but then all their sounds will grow faint.”
John 5:24, NLT
“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death to life.”
Ephesians 2:13, NLT
“But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away From God, but now you have been brought near to Him through the blood of Christ.”
Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
“Don’t worry about anything;instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 4:28b-31, NLT
“Instead, use your hands for good hard work., and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, He has identified you as His own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid fall bitterness, rage, anger,harsh words, and slander, swell as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted,forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has for-given you.”