A Fresh Start

sunrise in a fieldHere at Release Ministries we’re all about a fresh start – not that’s it’s an original idea of course because God invented it! You see, when we look at life knowing a fresh start is available it brings hope and inspires us to progress along the journey of life.  Sometimes, events in our past cause us to get stuck, unable to move on. Maybe a tragedy of some kind, a betrayal or often just a mess we make out of our own selfishness. The temptation to stay in a place of bitterness, anger or self-pity lingers because it keeps the focus on us and feeds our flesh.

A fresh start is different than a do-over. A do-over means you go back to  your original starting point and make another attempt but in reality, what’s done is done. A fresh start implies we learned from our mistakes and want to do better.

shofar

An Ancient Trumpet or Shofar

Today is Rosh Hashanah – the Feast of Trumpets – a celebration of the Jewish New Year where shofars were blasted at the rising of the new moon to mark a change in season. Click here is listen to the blowing of a shofar

 For 10 days it is an opportunity to reflect back over the past year and evaluate what needs to change.

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Then comes Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement – when we can repent for all of our sins of the last year and get right with God.

It is a somber day to reflect upon our need for a Savior.

Five days after Yom Kippur is Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles. Sukkot is a week long Thanksgiving celebration (I’ll share more about this in another post).

hand with black phonePut the three together it’s God calling: Hey, it’s time for a fresh start, it’s a new season → an opportunity to clean out the old junk and repent → then it’s party time!  A celebration of our appreciation for God giving us a fresh start!  This pattern is echoed whenever we repent.  The Holy Spirit points out where we’ve gotten off course (aka conviction, not condemnation), so we acknowledge it and repent. Repenting is not just saying sorry, repenting is doing a 180. It’s saying sorry and changing the behavior!  Then it’s time to celebrate because God, in His grace, has forgiven us.

A fresh start is what we receive from Jesus when we make a mess of our life – it’s why He’s called Savior!

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So, let me encourage you now to listen to what God is saying. If we are Christians then we need to line up with God’s timing.  Rosh Hashanah was established by Yahweh – following His feast days puts us in alignment with Him! [Some theologians may pooh-pooh this but in my opinion, if it’s the Word then we need to follow it! Jesus didn’t come to eradicate the Old Covenant He came to fulfill it!!]

Now is the season of change, now is the time for a fresh start – hear the trumpets of God’s love and check yourself*! He is the Cartographer of life! He knows the Beginning from the End.

Siri aint got nothin on Him 🙂

A fresh start is about love and grace and forgiveness.

wristwatch

Get into His timing – He’s calling for you!

Ephesians 4:23 ~ and be renewed in the spirit of your mind

*Check Yourself Questions

1. Could I have been nicer to someone?

2. Have I hurt anyone’s feelings, intentionally or unintentionally?

3. Am I being honest with myself and others?

4. Am I on target towards goals I’ve set for my life?

5. What are some of the things I am proud of or sorry for?

A fresh start prayer:

Lord, where do I need a fresh start?  [Listen for the answer] Please help me to root out the less-than-honorable parts of my life, forgive me for the mistakes I’ve made and help me get on track with you. Thank you for loving us with grace and forgiveness! If He has given you any instructions during this time of reflection, be obedient to follow through; you’ll be blessed!

Follow this process daily over the next 10 days and you’ll be lining up with God’s timing – you don’t want to miss what He has for you! For more on the Feasts look in Leviticus 23, Numbers 29 and Deuteronomy 16.

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