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Turning your life around
Are you someone who needs God's help to turn your life around? Have you been involved with things that you know you shouldn't have? Would you like a fresh start? Would you like to begin again with God's help and direction?
There is a passage in the Bible that tells us what we need to do to turn our lives around - to make a new beginning. It comes from Isaiah chapter one. I found it interesting as it was written at a time when the nations of Israel and Judah had turned away from God and Isaiah was sent to deliver this message to them. While this message was written for the people nearly 2700 years ago, it still applies to us today.
Bible Reading - Isaiah 1:16-20
"Wash yourselves and be clean! Let me no longer see your evil deeds. Give up your wicked ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the orphan. Fight for the rights of widows. "Come now, let us argue this out," says the LORD. "No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool. If you will only obey me and let me help you, then you will have plenty to eat. But if you keep turning away and refusing to listen, you will be destroyed by your enemies. I, the LORD, have spoken!"
As I read through the page I noticed that each verse has a message in it for the people to turn their lives around. The people as individuals and the nation as a whole.
V16 - Give up your wicked ways
Give up the things that you know that you do that feel wrong in your heart and conscience. Turn from them and seek to do right. When someone first told me that I had wicked ways I was offended. But as I thought about I realised that there were things I had done that weren't right with God. I looked at the 10 Commandments and that said it all.
1. Do not worship any other gods besides me.
There were times in my life where I have broken one or most of these Commandments. The Bible says in James 2:10 if we have broken one of these commands we are guilty of breaking them all.
V17 - Learn to do good
Fill the void of living wrong with things that God thinks are living right. Look after those around you whom are worse off or underprivileged ie orphans, widows, the oppressed. Jesus tells us a story in Matthew chapter 25 about looking after the poor and those less fortunate. He says whenever you do this for them, you do it for Me. Serve those around like you are doing for the Lord Himself.
A key point in this verse is the word "Learn". Changing your life from one that is sinful or living the wrong way doesn't happen over night. It is a process of learning how to do the right thing. Anyone who has ever dieted knows that it just doesn't happen, you have to be disciplined and work at it. It takes time to change your body and time to change your life. However in this learning process you have God helping you!
V18 - Be forgiven and cleansed
God says that no matter what the people had done that He would forgive them completely and restore them. This applies to us today! The passage says, "No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool". The Bible also says in 1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
The key to a new beginning with God is confessing your sin and asking His forgiveness. We might think that sin is not such a big deal. We might even say that I am not that bad compared to some. But God is a holy God. Having your sin forgiven was so important to God that He sent Jesus to die on the cross to pay the price for your sin!
Remember God doesn't want to condemn you for your sin, He wants you to acknowledge it and confess it. He wants you to be able to live the free live that He intended all along.
V19 - Let God help you
God says if He will only listen to Him and obey Him that He will supply of of our needs and protect us. I believe God's greatest desire is to be in relationship with each of us. He wants to help us in our daily lives. He wants an intimate relationship with you and I just like He had way back in the Garden of Eden. He wants to walk beside you day by day.
V20 - Suffering the consequences
God says if we don't turn our lives around we will miss out on His blessings and we will be overrun by our enemies. Enemies in Isaiah's time was the surrounding nations. In our time it might be things we battle with like alcohol, drugs, pornography, anger, bitterness, depression...
How about you?
Where are you at? Do you need to turn your live around? Are you involved with things that you know are wrong? Do you need help with the things that you battle with? If so why not turn to God today?
Turning to God is as simple as A, B , C
A - Admit
We need to admit to God that we have sinned and fallen short of His standards and to ask for His forgiveness. When someone first told me this I was offended, but as I thought about I realised that there were things I had done that weren't right with God. We looked at the Ten Commandments before...how did you fair with them?
B - Believe
We need to believe in Jesus Christ, that He is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sin. This is the crux of the whole Easter story we celebrate every year. Jesus died on the cross on Good Friday and rose to life three days later. He died to pay the price for my sin and for yours.
C - Commit
We need to commit our lives to Jesus Christ and ask Him to come into our lives and guide and lead us in all we do. We need to make a fresh start with Jesus.
How can I do this?
Turning your life around is as simple as praying a short prayer that expresses your heart to God. You can pray this prayer right now.
If you have just prayed this prayer God tells us that our sins are forgiven and we are able to make a fresh start at this life!
The news even gets better. The Bible says in 1 John 5:13 that those who have Jesus Christ have eternal life. That means when it is our time to die, we are assured that we have a place in heaven.
By Dave Quinn
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