Jonathan's Perspective  

Jun 26

'A Fresh Start'

Have you ever needed a fresh start?  How about those times with your spouse when you knew that you were at an impasse and needed to 'reboot' to get on the same page again?  Or when you and your friend had a falling out?  Or when a colleague became difficult?  Or when your relationship with God dwindled to almost non-existent?  There are so many times that we yearn to go back to the beginning to start over so we can untangle our relational problems.

Though we cannot undo the past, we can get a fresh start.  Paul wrote to a young pastor named Titus, 'Jesus saved us through the washing of rebirth...' (Titus 3:6)  Getting 'washed' up is a great metaphor for that fresh start.  When I was about seven years old, my parents took us to a large park for a picnic.  Mom and dad were grilling and setting out all the food when I decided to explore the woods.  Along the tree line I saw a baby skunk that was absolutely adorable.  I had never seen a skunk up close and was intrigued.  I followed it into the woods getting closer and closer as I went.  I was only five feet away from it when it lifted its tail and let me have it.  My parents smelled me long before I could explain what happened.  It took lots of Dawn and tomato juice to clean me up.  But I am glad I got washed up and a fresh start.  I never did that again!

Life is often like that.  We follow a path, a relationship, or an attitude that ends up stinking.  When God gives us a fresh start, we are determined to not get ourselves in those situations again.  However, it is a stinky way to learn.  Paul uses the phrase 'washing of rebirth' to convey what God is doing in us to give us a fresh start.  Even King David who committed adultery and murder was able to be cleaned up and get a fresh start.  He wrote about it in Psalm 51: 'Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.'  There is absolutely nothing that you have done or thought that is beyond God's ability to wash up. 

How about you today?  Do you feel like you have been sprayed by a skunk and life stinks?  Have you done things that make you feel dirty or irredeemable?  All it takes is a little humility to go to God - stinky as you are - and ask him to clean you up and give you a fresh start so you don't get in that mess again.  I encourage you to take time to evaluate your attitudes and relationships that are getting you off track.  God wants to get you back on the path that leads to life.  All you have to do is ask.

'God saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.' (Titus 3:5)

Seeking Life that is Truly Life,

Jonathan

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