Monday, January 3, 2011

A Fresh Start

Acts 9:10-15

10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

A Fresh Start

Happy New Year! I mentioned last time about the significance of beginnings and endings. We ended a year last week. Let's begin with a fresh start.

Ananias had good reason to question the directions the Lord passed through this vision. Saul was ruthless in his quest to stamp out this heritic belief in Christ that threatened the established order. He was focused, disciplined and committed to his work. Futhermore, he wasn't just acting in his own sense of morality, he was endorsed by the chief priests to carry out his work. But, the Lord confirmed His direction and gave Saul the strongest endorsement any of us can hope for. He called Saul 'a chosen vessel unto me' and stated his purpose and calling.

In this passage, Ananias and Saul both are showing great faith in their vunerability. Saul, blinded from an encounter that literally changed his whole life's mission, found himself surrounded by the very people he had been hunting, inprisoning and killing. He was fully dependent on them for all necessities while he was in this state of complete subjection. Ananias, who was not present at the conversion, received a vision, like Abraham, like Mary, like Joseph, like Zachariah, and had to take the Lord at His direct word that in coming into contact with this killer Ananias would not only be safe, but would minister and share the Holy Spirit with this man and he would be receptive.

Two men, mortal enemies brought together by God to forge the instrument that would lead to you and I hearing the salvation message. Both men needed and received a fresh start.

It's a new year. A new decade. Have you given yourself a fresh start? My meaning in that question isn't just for salvation. That is a the necessary start in all of this. But, those of you who have already accepted that Christ is Lord and Savior, have YOU given yourself a fresh start?

Are you still holding on to things that keep you from being who you really are now that you've been born again? Has your encounter with Christ actually changed you, or do you still do the same things in the same ways you did before? You are a chosen vessel, just like Saul. You have been set aside by Christ for a particular purpose and calling, just like Saul. And, just like Saul, you have to start moving in it to realize the fulness of it.

Forget about the past hurts and failures. Learn the lessons of the falls, but get up and walk in newness of life, mercy and forgiveness. As followers of Christ, we do not have license to sin, and we are not excused from reaping what we sow, but we do have expectation of forgiveness and favor, coupled with the responsibilities of a calling and work to do. If we define our humility by how guilty we feel about the wrong we did, we decive ourselves and we will never be able to show true humility through being obediant to our callings, no matter what.

Friends, give yourself a fresh start. Let go of any unforgiveness, guilt, anything that didn't come right from the throne of God. If you've done something wrong, do your best to make it right, confess, ask forgiveness and move on. If you've had wrong done to you, forgive the offender and move on. In every failing, every victory, give yourself a fresh start. Move into obediance and leave the guilt, shame, fear, hurt, offense and other ungodly principles behind. They are stale remainders that obscure and hinder you from the sweet smell, taste and reality of a fresh start.

Romans 12:1-2
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Here's a formula to help with starting fresh: Reflect. Repent. Renew. Respond. Rejoice.

Evangelist Robinson
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. - Psalm 100:2

Lifeline is the evangelistic ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA. Previous mailings are available on this blog and can also be reached through the Lifeline link on the church webpage, Feel free to share this message. For questions or to subscribe, send an email to You can reach the church at
Fellowship Church
Where Passions Become Reality
Because you are a CHOSEN GENERATION!
455 Hwy 138, Ste C
Jonesboro, GA 30238
Alton Watkins, Pastor