Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Clean Slate... A Fresh Start!

A Clean Slate... A Fresh Start!

It's 2012... a New Year and an opportunity to start over. The idea of a fresh start is refreshing. If you made mistakes or poor choices in 2011 a clean slate would be great. I looked up the word "slate" in the dictionary. One of the meanings is a tablet (as of slate) used for writing on and also a written or unwritten record (as of deeds) <started with a clean slate>. I thought of the title for this blog last month and as the year started I've seen or heard the words, "clean slate" three times. One of them was even in a legal advertisement. 

In my blog titled, "The Best Christmas Present Ever" I talked about receiving the gift of eternal life through our faith in Jesus Christ. If you said that prayer and asked God to forgive you of all of your past sins, then you are free from condemnation. Romans 8:1 says, "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

The part that took me a long time to comprehend is the "free from condemnation" or the fact that I could start with a "clean slate". For years, even when I had confessed my sins to God, I carried the burden of guilt and shame. God had set me free and forgiven my sins, but Satan had a way of reminding me of them and making me feel guilty and unworthy. Until I learned through studying the Word of God the wonderful passages about God's complete forgiveness. 

Here are the verses I now share with friends that tell me, "But Guadalupe, you don't know my past, God cannot forgive me for what I've done..." Check these Scripture verses for yourself:

Psalm 103:12
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Isaiah 43:25
“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

Colossians 1:13-14

For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 

John 3:36

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

God does give us an opportunity to start over and have a clean slate. You can confess your sins to Him by sincerely repenting of them and asking Him to help you not to sin again. I used to repent, confess and tell God that I would never commit that sin again and within hours or days I would break my promise. 

Then I changed the way I prayed. I repented, asked God to forgive me and said, "Lord, I won't promise that I won't do it again, because I'm weak, but I'm asking you to please help me to be strong and not fall into temptation." That was much better. Instead of trying to be good by my own efforts, I asked God to help me overcome and He did! He gives me the power to live a life of victory instead of shame and defeat.

Please listen to the words of this YouTube video attached. It is titled, "What Sin?"

May God bless all of you! God's mercies are new every morning. Every day, every moment we can start all over again because of His abundant grace. If you ask Him, He will help you to become stronger. Stay close to Him and His Word. Be vigilant in prayer.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for your grace and unmerited favor. Thank you for your great love and patience. Help us to please you in everything we do. Thank you for washing our sins and making us whiter than snow. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! - 2 Corinthians 5:17