Dec 30

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Have you ever wondered how you would re-live your life if you could do it over? If so, then you may have thought about the changes you would make; the different roads you would take; the decisions decided otherwise. I remember my uncle (at the time, a very successful furniture salesman) saying upon one occasion, “I wish I knew then, what I know now” Such is probably the feeling of most of us.
You and I cannot live our life over again. We cannot live over even the past year. But, instead of bemoaning the fact (with our now gained wisdom of experience) that we did not live the year(s) the way we now wish we had, let us rather say, “Although I did not know what I do know now, I will use what I now know and better my life now.” My uncle followed that advice and went on to own his own furniture store.
In the Bible, there were individuals who had that opportunity of a new beginning—the opportunity to use what they now knew to better the rest of their life. Although the actual situation may differ from ours, the principles are the same.
Noah had a new beginning following the flood. The water had washed clean the earth from sin and corruption. Noah now knew what the forefathers had either not known or ignored: worship and obey God (and teach your children to do the same) otherwise man will fall into reprobation resulting in destruction. Today, it is no different. Noah, in his new beginning, worshiped and followed God. We must do the same (Gen. 8:20; Heb 10:25).
The Psalmist had a new beginning after he counted his blessings rather than his blights (Psalm 73). Upon realizing the truly great blessings God had continually been bestowing upon him, he then had a new outlook on life—a new beginning. He took what he now knew and bettered the rest of his life in peace and service to God (v:28). We can do the same.
Later in his life, the great and mighty King Nebuchadnezzar, who was pride-intoxicated, learned humility before the all-powerful God. Now knowing what he had not known before, he put his new knowledge into practice by praising, extolling and honoring the King of heaven– rather than the king of Babylon (Dan. 4:37). If we have lived the past in pride of self, we too can have the same new beginning.
Romans 6:1-12 tells of a new beginning. Actually, it uses the words: “walk in newness of life” (v:4). This new beginning occurs in baptism. Due to repentance, we have become dead to the love of sin. This dead, old self (v:6) is then buried in the watery grave of baptism (v:4). During the burial, one is freed from sin (v:8; 4a, 7-8). As one arises from the water, at that moment (and not before) he is a new man who has a new beginning (v:4). This is the greatest new beginning of all. If you haven’t had it, you need it.
No, we cannot relive the year(s), but we can use what we know now to better the year(s) before us. As Noah, the psalmist and Nebuchadnezzar had a day in which they changed their life, this day can be the day in which you have a new beginning.

Gary Henson

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