2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
In everything from computers to cologne, we want the new and improved version. Often, however, getting something new is not a luxury, but a necessity. Everyone has experienced the need to replace an old, malfunctioning item with a new one. Recently, I was discussing with an employee his experience with his computer. He was having all kinds of problems. It was not just one laptop, but several on his desk, and they were on the blink. He would constantly get error messages. Some of the peripherals wouldn’t work. I began to wonder if it was a virus corrupting his whole system. It was completely frustrating and discouraging for this employee and even me as I tried to help him. I wondered if this is what God must feel like when a virus called sin corrupts our whole system. My recommendation to the employee: wipe it all off, and start all over again!
God knows what that feels like, to begin the internal transformation process. In fact, He offers to reformat everything and make you completely new with a completely new operating system. He offers to erase the “virus” and reconstruct the system! I only wish that erasing the computer’s system and starting over would eliminate all problems; unfortunately, however, that is not the case. That would make this illustration nice and tidy. However….maybe that makes this illustration more effective! I have an old laptop today that I gave up on years ago that just shuts off every time you open a program and start into a project. Though I have erased it several times and started over, I have new messages and new problems that cannot seem to be resolved. It sure seems like my computer, at times, has a mind of its own and rebels against me. I love this laptop and wish it was useable! In comparison, I think I know what God must feel like. “I’m sorry, God, I must do this to you all the time!”
Do you ever wish you could have a fresh start? There can be many reasons for wanting a fresh start. Many people suffering in the area of relationships would be salvageable if they could only find a fresh start. People who have betrayed a trust wish they could find a fresh start. People who are weighed down by problems, guilt, debt, addictions, habits, hang-ups, and ruts, wish they could find a fresh start.
First, you need to acknowledge your need for a new start. Maybe you should visit a support group tonight? 866-REFORMU would be a great place to look for a great group near you. Secondly, you need to realize you need “Inside – Out Help.” That is help that begins only on the inside and then the changes come on the outside. Our text says, “If any man be IN Christ.” Paul not only speaks of Christ being in Christians, but Christians being in Christ.
I once heard a teacher explain this IN term with this illustration: “Think of a bottle under a water fall. Uncork it, put it under the water fall and hold it there. Is the water in the bottle or is the bottle in the water? It is both. That is a great spiritual picture of being in Christ, and He in you. When you admit you have a need, you have uncorked your bottle. When you place yourself under his waterfall of grace, you have placed yourself under his inside-outside help.” The goal of a proper support group is one that emphasizes your relationship with Christ. A personal dynamic, intimate relationship is needed to continually experience the fresh filling of grace in your life that produces newness.
Do you need to pause and pray this prayer today?
I admit that I cannot make the changes you want me to make on my own. I fail, and stumble far too often. I ask for the exchange that you offer. I lay before you my sin. Thank you for taking them away on the Cross so that they no longer count against me. I ask for the exchange you offer in Christ. I remove the pride that acts as a cork keeping your waterfall of grace out of my life. I place myself under your grace. Fill me up with Christ and wash me clean. Give me what I need inside and out. I need your inside job. I need the outside help you offer. Help me to live out my life from the fresh start you give me. Help me not to live according to the lies of this world, or even the lies of my mind. I want the truth of Christ. I want my life to be the new creation you have promised. Help me to believe that only the TRUTH – JESUS – can make me free …FINALLY.
The best tool that we have here at Reformers Unanimous to help you develop that inside relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is our “It’s Personal” Daily Journal. The first fifty customers to use coupon code “FreshStart” at check-out will save $3 on the purchase of a Daily Journal. Please click here to purchase.