Happy New Year, its a new day and new year and with it there’s a sense of a fresh start ! Many are the fresh starts in the Bible. Adam & Eve graciously received one after they’d chosen to sin. David and also Bathsheba were forgiven and cleansed of their sins, and Peter was urged to go and feed the Lord’s sheep in Jn.21 even after he’d denied the Lord three times. We too have been given a fresh start in salvation and forgiveness of our transgressions.
As you look back at 2011 I’m sure you can recall things that you would love to have a “do over” about. Now 2012 lies before us and how will it be lived? What will you do better, or how can you “step up to the plate” in some fresh way? No doubt, one of the strongest personalities of a fresh start in the New Testament has got to be the man Saul of Tarsus, better known to us as the apostle Paul. In Acts 9 we see his conversion and hence his fresh start. But one of the things I’d like to focus on (which will also be part of our sermon today, sorry church folks but it bears repeating) is how his talk was now fresh !
In Acts 9:20 Dr. Luke writes of Paul, “And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.” That word straightway is used a lot by Mark in his gospel and bespeaks a zeal. Paul wasn’t content to sit idly by as a believer. There were people who needed a fresh start just as he had been given. So we see how he spoke, with zeal and enthusiasm and the verb paints a picture of man who couldn’t shut up. I don’t mean Paul couldn’t take a breath bloviating about himself, quite the opposite. He spoke much because he’d been forgiven much and what he spoke was Christ, not himself ! What and who do you find yourself talking about mainly? Your job, family, friends, self? All these things are good in their right place and amount but what we need is a fresh talk which needs to be about Him ! This indicates where you are at spiritually.
You may not be much of a talker, you may need to rest the jaws a bit more, but the point is here is a man who had been forgiven much and been granted a new lease on life and his talk was new, vibrant, and spiritual because he’d received mercy and grace, was extremely grateful and worshipful about it all and just couldn’t not speak out of love for his Savior !! Sometimes we just get so busy with life that we forget what has been done for us and our talk needs some freshening up ! Remember Jesus said “out of the abundance of the HEART the mouth speaks” (Mt.12:34), so if you want to make an impact this year for Christ and speak better (less harsh, critical, selfish, etc.) make sure you take time today and the other 365 days this year and worship Him ~ He deserves it, He’s done so much to give you a fresh start !!