Faithlife Sermons

New Beginnings

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Introduction

It is truly a joy and a privilege to stand before you this morning. I have certainly missed you and have been much in prayer for you during this time.
God has led me to speak on New Beginnings this morning. We are in a new beginning as we regather this morning. We will look at Isaiah 43:16-19 this morning. After reading our scripture, I will continue my introduction by making some comments regarding verses 16 through 18. Then, we will pray and dive into the heart of the message.
Isaiah 43:16–19 NKJV
16 Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea And a path through the mighty waters, 17 Who brings forth the chariot and horse, The army and the power (They shall lie down together, they shall not rise; They are extinguished, they are quenched like a wick): 18 “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.
Please be seated.
Isaiah chapter 43 is in the section of Isaiah that has the revelations that God gave to the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah recorded just what God told him to say.
In verses 16 and 17, the Lord reminds Israel how He brought them through the Red Sea. The miracle at the Red Sea was a miracle of deliverance for Israel, but a miracle of judgment for the Egyptian army.
The Israelites’ Egyptian pursuers, along with their chariots and horses were overwhelmed by the crashing waters as the parted Red Sea came back together.
In verse 18, after reminding the Israelites what He did at the Red Sea, the Lord tells them, “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.”
While we can be reminded of God’s goodness, his ability to get us through tough situations, and other things when remembering what He has done in the past, we must not be consumed with the good ole days. Verse 19 gives us the reason.
Isaiah 43:19 NKJV
19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.
I have no doubt that the past few months have been a reset for the Earth. However, I do not know how many people perceive it in the same way that I do. The Lord is in the process of doing a new thing. That brings us to the heart and subject of the message this morning: New Beginnings.
pray
New Beginnings are:

A Part of Life

It seems that every new year and every birthday are a new beginning. They are times of evaluating the past and looking forward to the future. They both come around each year.
Besides our birthdays, there are many new beginnings through out one’s life.
the first word
the first step
the first day of school
kindergarten graduation
the first crush
the first time behind the wheel
the first kiss
the first heartbreak
next week we will honor our High School Graduates
moving out of your parents’ house
maybe college or trade school
first job
marriage
first child
death of grandparents
death of parents
death of a spouse
There are many events in our lives that bring about a new beginning. Some are happy and exciting, others are dreaded and sorrowful.
One thing remains constant throughout most of these for the believer : God’s presence.
The last phrase that Matthew records Jesus saying is found in Matthew 28.20b
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
In addition to the Lord being with the believer through seasons of change, He is with His church as well.
New Beginnings are:

A Time of Reevaluation

Personally

As individuals, New Years is often a time to make commitments to do better in some area. It might be to eat better or to exercise more.
During times of trial and upheaval, we may and should take time to evaluate our spiritual health. We should reevaluate our commitment to the Lord and judge whether or not we are as close to Him as we desire to be or even should be. We should not wait until a new beginning to reevaluate where we stand with the Lord, but we really should take times like these as a time of reevaluation.

As a Church

We began looking at our vision and mission statements earlier this year with the Long Range Planning Committee. We were going to get some more things together before we shared them with you, but I want to go ahead and expose you to it.
Our Vision: “We live to build fully engaged disciples who know Him (Christ) and make Him known.”
Our Mission is to Exalt the Savior, Equip the Saint and to Evangelize the Sinner.
As we phase back into a new normal, we want to align everything we do around the Great Commission and to fully engage in the 3 E’s or Exalting, Equipping, and Evangelizing.
We need to evaluate everything and not just go back to doing something simply because we have always done it. Now is the time to ask the following:
Why do we do this?
What does this accomplish?
Is it effective?
Please be in prayer for your ministerial staff and others that will be looking at these things and bring to you what the Lord is leading us to do as we are in this stage of New Beginnings.
New Beginnings also

Bring change.

Change is very much a part of life. If you have seen Lamar standing today, you will have no doubt that life brings change. We are in the season of Spring and we have seen change in the trees, the grass, the flowers, and just about everything around us.
As we grow older, we hear new sounds and feel new things in our joints as we walk.
Even after we die, change continues as our body decays. Change happens during and after a major event like we are experiencing.
We change the ways we do things personally and we will change as a church as well.
Now there are a couple of ways that we can respond to change.
Resistance and Rebellion - Get left behind or even cause the body to get left behind.
Acceptance and Adaptation - move on and thrive.
We should not fear change, but we should be excited about change because:
New Beginnings

Bring Life

Let’s look at verse 19 again:
Isaiah 43:19 NKJV
19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.
Rivers in the desert speak to the life that God brings when He does the new thing. A new beginning for our church and for us as individuals can spring forth new life in us! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were revived with a renewed passion for God, His church, and the lost?

The church

In the book of Acts, we see where the early church went through various hardships and changes, yet thousands of people believed in Christ.
We know that new church plants experience tremendous growth rates in the first few years after they are planted. Some don’t quit growing.
We can see tremendous growth through this new beginning. I not only believe it is possible, I believe that God is ready and willing to do it. The question is, are we willing to do whatever it takes to see God glorified in and through us?
I pray so, because we can not go back to normal. One day, we will not have to wear masks and social distance, but we cannot and must not go back to what we were before we stopped gathering. We must be different.
We must have a new beginning, not only as a church, but as personally as well.

Personally

Christian brother and sister, let’s not regather like we were before we could not gather.
Let’s repent of not being who we should spiritually.
Let’s rededicate ourselves to the Lord, holding nothing back.
Let’s renew our passion for the Lord and pursue holiness.
Let’s revive our compassion for the lost and urgently share with them the hope we have in Christ.
If you are not a follower of Christ, today could be the greatest new beginning you have ever had. Jesus died to save you from your sins and He rose from the grave to give you new life! You may have come in here with an overwhelming sense of the weight of your sin, but you can leave here with a new beginning and all of your sins forgiven.
Having that New Beginning is as simple as A B C. You must
Admit that you are a sinner.
Believe that Jesus died and rose again for your sins.
Confess Jesus as Lord.
Bro. Joe and the musicians are coming up to start our invitation hymn. I’m going to put my mask on while Bro. Joe prays and if you want to be saved or need me to pray with you, I will be down front ready to lead you to your new beginning.
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