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This was an entry I wrote on another site on 9/13/2004. I feel that it's a very important lesson as reminded by another blogger. I am reposting here.
"We are products of our past, but WE DON'T HAVE TO BE PRISONERS OF IT. God's purpose is not limited by your past. He turned a murderer named Moses into a leader, and a coward named Gideon into a courageous hero, and he can do amazing things with the rest of your life too. God specializes in giving people a fresh start." (Rick Warren in his book Purpose Driven Life)
"What happiness for those whose guilt has been forgiven... What relief for those who have confessed their sins and God has cleared their record." Psalm 32:1 (LB)
Back in the days when Jesus was on earth, the devil wants the sinners to remain sinners. The devil wants the prostitutes, the dishonest tax collectors, and other sinners to remain in their sin. They were broken and the devil wants them to stay broken. The devil did this through the spiritual leaders such as the Pharisees. They didn't eat with sinners and they want to remain elite above sinners. They rejected the sinners which encouraged the sinners to remain as sinners. Unfortunately, there are some Christians today doing the same as the Pharisees of those days. Do not let them discourage you from walking with God. (In my personal experience, they had almost turned me away many times.)
God however had other plans, as shown through Jesus' actions when he was on earth. He wants the sinners to no longer be sinners. He accepted the broken and the fallen. He forgave, and caused many to repent and start anew with God. In another words, he spread the good "condition" of starting anew.
Even if this is not your first time of starting anew with God, you can still do it again. No where in the bible limits how many times you can start new with God or limits how many times you can repent. (This is not to say that you should plan to sin in the future.) Focus on now and plan now not to sin again and plan now to remain with God. Don't worry about whether you will succeed in doing so. No matter how many times you have repented and started anew with God in the past, right now you can do it again.
From my lessons from God through experiences, through bible lessons, and through different teachers, I'm here to tell you that you can start anew. All you have to do now is CHOOSE to start NOW. CHOOSE to walk with God. Make that choice. It's that simple. Don't be imprisoned by your past sins (of what you should've done or what you didn't do) whether it was 4 years ago or yesterday. Past is past. Learn from it, then let it go.
After you made the choice now to walk with God again, the second thing to do is repent. Choose now not to go back to your sinful ways. When we don't have God with us, we were like aimless wanderers. Remember. What's important is now. Choose now. Now not as in pressuring you with urgency, but now as in: don't dwell on the past (which you cant change) and don't dwell on the future (which you do not know).
Copyright: © 2004. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org
Shu Chan 陳樹中 University of California, UC Davis, Brooklyn Tech
Terence Chan LIU Long Island University