New Beginnings

Have you ever said the wrong thing, lost the game, or failed a test? What you probably wanted was a chance to do it over again. We’ve all made mistakes in life, and we wish that we could have a do-over. God’s grace gives us exactly that—a new beginning. Grace saves us, but it also heals and coaches us to greater things.

Genesis 8:1-2, 6-12—“But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters began to recede. The underground waters stopped flowing, and the torrential rains from the sky were stopped…After another forty days, Noah opened the window he had made in the boat and released a raven. The bird flew back and forth until the floodwaters on the earth had dried up. He also released a dove to see if the water had receded and it could find dry ground. But the dove could find no place to land because the water still covered the ground. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew the dove back inside. After waiting another seven days, Noah released the dove again. This time the dove returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Then Noah knew that the floodwaters were almost gone. He waited another seven days and then released the dove again. This time it did not come back.

New beginnings—which we can receive through the grace of God—allow us to put the old behind and pursue our new lives in Christ. Genesis 8 tells the story of the Flood. Noah trusted what God was telling him, and so he and his family were saved, and started new lives. Olive leaves, like the one the dove brought back to Noah, represent life and peace. And just as the olive leaf represented that there was new life and peace on the earth after the Flood, Jesus came to bring us new life and peace between us and God.

Genesis 8:18-22—“Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives left the boat. 1nd all of the large and small animals and birds came out of the boat, pair by pair. Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose. And the LORD was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.’

New beginnings have a new allegiance. The first thing Noah did was give his allegiance to the One who brought him and his family a new life. Romans 12:1-2 says, “…give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” We often think of worship as singing, but that’s just one way we can worship. Offer all that you are to God, and you are worshipping Him. God wants us to honor Him and give all of our allegiance to Him. It’s not about being perfect, but about giving God the respect He deserves, and allowing Him to perfect who we are.

Genesis 9:1—“Then God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth.’

Acts 1:8—“… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

New beginnings have a new direction. The mission of Noah was to fill the Earth after the Flood wiped out the rest of humanity. The mission of the believer is to fill the Earth with God’s presence. To spread His name to the ends of the Earth. We are to make disciples who can make disciples—to be fruitful and multiply!

Don’t just sit and watch the Earth—change it! Get up and make a difference with who you are through the power of God in you. Matthew 13:33 says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.” It just takes a little yeast. Every believer is an example to the rest of the world that there are do-overs. Use what you already have to start permeating the Earth with the name of Jesus and the forgiveness offered through Him.

Watch week three of our fall series Echo Here

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