How to Make a Fresh Start

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How to Make a Fresh Start

January 1st and 2nd, 2005

Isaiah 43 NCV

18 /The Lord says, “Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. 19 Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don’t you see it? I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land.[1] /


The cartoon character Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes once said, “God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I’m so far behind I’ll never die.”


-We are living in one of the most exciting times in the history of the world. There are so many great things happening and wonderful opportunities. Can you believe it is 2005?

-There are also tons of bad things happening as well. There is always good news and bad news.

-Wisdom is knowing where to focus. That doesn’t mean we just think happy thoughts and disregard problems.

-Some people aren’t able to go into the future because they can’t let go of the past. What is in your past that is keeping you from God’s future for you?


-Someone once said life is a movie, not just a single frame. If 2004 was the bad part of your movie, don’t camp there.

-You can’t change 2004. It is recorded forever as history but……YOU’RE STILL HERE.


Isaiah 60 NIV

/     “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. 2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. 3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. [2] /

Larry Stockstill

pickle on the pants example.


-The world is busy making resolutions.

-You and I can resolve again and again but the difference is God’s power and the hope to go on.

-Let go of the past and lay hold of your future.

How do you make a fresh start?



-We are going to use the acrostic START.



S-Stop making Excuses

-You can’t change something until you are honest about it.


Someone was just telling me this week that the thing that was unsettling about Bill Clinton was that he blamed everyone else for his problems. He just needed to say “I was wrong, I’m sorry.”


Proverbs 28 NCV

13 /If you hide your sins, you will not succeed. If you confess and reject them, you will receive mercy.[3] /

-One translation says, “he gets another chance.”


-It takes too much energy to act perfect. Don’t worry about falling…just keep getting back up again.

-Stop seeing yourself as a victim of circumstances.

-God gave you the power to have the life He wants you to have. Stop blaming other people.

-The first step to success is to admit where you are right now.

-If your relationship problem is your fault…say it.

-If your business failed because you made stupid mistakes…admit it.

A poor workman always finds fault with his tools. 

Bits & Pieces, May 1990, p. 10.

Deion "Prime Time" Sanders, outfielder for the Atlanta Braves and cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons, is the only athlete to have hit a Major League home run and scored an NFL touchdown in the same week. Sanders grew up on the mean streets of Fort Myers, Fla., where exposure to some would-be athletes spurred him to make a success of himself. He explains: "I call them Idas. 'If I'da done this, I'd be making three million today...If I'da practiced a little harder, I'd be a superstar.' They were as fast as me when they were kids, but instead of working for their dreams they chose drugs and a life of street corners. When I was young, I had practice; my friends who didn't went straight to the streets and never left. That moment after school is the moment we need to grab. We don't need any more Idas. 

Mike Lupica in Esquire.


T-Take Inventory of Your Life


Galatians 3 NCV

4/Did all your experience mean nothing at all? Surely it meant something! [4]/


-Let’s learn from our mistakes.

-Experience isn’t the best teacher but it certainly is the most expensive.

·       What have you learned?

-I heard a story about two people applying for a better job and one of then had 3 years experience while the other one had over twenty years. The one with the least experience got the job and it irked the one with over 20 year’s experience. He asked the boss why he didn’t get the job and the boss said ‘You don’t have 20 years experience, you have one year’s experience 20 times.’



-At least you know how to not do the same thing wrong again!

·       What are my assets?

-Do you have your health?

-Do you have any friends?

-Do you have Jesus?

-What do you have that you can make a fresh start with?

·       Who can help me?


-Are you having trouble because you are trying to be a loner?

-Do you need an accountability partner? A mentor? A support group?

-Look around for someone to help you be honest with yourself and get going.

-I love the Bible examples of God asking people what they have.

-God said to Moses; “What is that in your hand?” Moses had a stick…God used it. Samson had the jawbone of a donkey. The little boy had a happy meal.

-What have you got? Don’t look at what you wish you had.

-You may think you have missed it so bad that you are beyond hope.

-You may just be in line for a bigger testimony.

-Abraham was a liar. Peter was a chicken. What is your excuse?





A-      Act in Faith


-Sometimes you just need to take the first step.

-Building the building took a major step in faith.

-Moving to Haiti was a big step for Rachel.

-Going back to school or buying a house or whatever is a big step.

-Your actions are always a by-product of your view of the future.

-Fear paralyzes you but faith always acts. FAITH IS AN ACT-A STEP.

-The way to get rid of fear is to defiantly act in faith.

-Nike says it well; JUST DO IT.


-It is amazing how many times Jesus had people act on what they believed.

-Faith isn’t a feeling….it is an action.

Matthew 9 NIV

20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

22 /Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment. [5] /


-Faith is expressed by action.

James 2 NCV

14 My brothers and sisters, if people say they have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing. Can faith like that save them? 15 A brother or sister in Christ might need clothes or food. 16 If you say to that person, “God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat,” but you do not give what that person needs, your words are worth nothing. 17 In the same way, faith that is alone—that does nothing—is dead.

18 Someone might say, “You have faith, but I have deeds.” Show me your faith without doing anything, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe there is one God. Good! But the demons believe that, too, and they tremble with fear.

20 /You foolish person! Must you be shown that faith that does nothing is worth nothing? 21 Abraham, our ancestor, was made right with God by what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar. 22 So you see that Abraham’s faith and the things he did worked together. His faith was made perfect by what he did. [6]/


 -Starting over is an act of faith.

S-Stop making excuses

T-Take inventory-what can you build on?

A-Act in Faith



-Refocus is to look at the right things and look away from the wrong things.

-Refocus means to think right.

-Wrong thinking is what gets us into so much trouble.

Proverbs 4 NCV

23 Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.


Hebrews 12 NCV

/…We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back. 2 Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect.[7] /


-That word in the original means looking away from distractions and focusing on one thing. (paraphrase)

-Becky and I bought another camera. We are always doing something to ours….losing it or dropping it. We bought an autofocus because we don’t have to focus in each time we take a picture.

-Put your life on autofocus….JESUS.

-Don’t let stinking thinking from the past drown you.

-The Word of God has the power to release you into new thinking.

-Transformation of your mind is more than a decision…it is a by-product of living in the Word.

S-Stop making excuses

T-Take inventory of your life

A-Act in Faith




T-Trust God

Mark 11 NIV

22 “Have a faith in God,” Jesus answered.


-Be careful that your expectations aren’t wrong. What are you trusting your life to?

-Are we trusting our own efforts, our training, our experience or whatever?

Zechariah 4 NCV

6 /Then he told me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘You will not succeed by your own strength or power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord All-Powerful.[8] /

-You may feel like a failure. You are still here!

-You may think your life is useless. You are still here!

-Trust your life and future for 2005 to God.


[1]The Holy Bible : New Century Version , containing the Old and New Testaments. 1991 (Is 43:18). Dallas, TX: Word Bibles.

[2]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Is 60:1). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[3]The Holy Bible : New Century Version , containing the Old and New Testaments. 1991 (Pr 28:13). Dallas, TX: Word Bibles.

[4]American Bible Society. (1992). The Holy Bible : Today's English Version (2nd ed.) (Ga 3:3). New York: American Bible Society.

[5]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Mt 9:20). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[6]The Holy Bible : New Century Version , containing the Old and New Testaments. 1991 (Jas 2:14). Dallas, TX: Word Bibles.

[7]The Holy Bible : New Century Version , containing the Old and New Testaments. 1991 (Heb 12:1). Dallas, TX: Word Bibles.

 a Some early manuscripts If you have

[8]The Holy Bible : New Century Version , containing the Old and New Testaments. 1991 (Zec 4:6). Dallas, TX: Word Bibles.

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