Have you ever wondered how to get a fresh start?
Over the years. . .I’ve heard that expression so many times.
“Brother Harold, I just want a fresh start. How can I make that happen?”
Truthfully, you can have a fresh start with God’s help. . .and guess what? He’s ready to help you. . .so let’s get going.
1 Corinthians 1:26 MSG
“. . .Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. . .”
Romans 8:11 MSG
“When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's!”
Why does God want you to have a fresh start?
Exodus 9:16 in the New Living Translation says:
“But I have spared you for a purpose—to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth.”
Here are the seven ways to get a fresh start in life.
1. Obeying His Word
Do you love God? Of course you do or you wouldn’t be here in church tonight or watching this live stream around the world.
But how do you know if you really love God?
John 14:15 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:
“If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.”
The test of whether or not we really love God. . .is based on whether or not we truly desire to obey His instructions.
Obeying His commands is not a sometimes thing. . .or a ‘when it’s convenient’ or ‘won’t inconvenience you’ thing. . .it’s a way of life.
After we’re born-again, the next step to promotion is whether or not we obey the Word of God.
John 14:23 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:
“Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.”
The best way to meet the King of Kings is by reading and obeying His Word.
When we do what He says. . .then the King will come to our neighborhood. . .live in our house.
Will that be easy? Probably not but only the Lord knows if our heart is really in our desire to obey.
Now that’s what I call. . .a real fresh start.
The parable of the two sons found in Matthew 21:28-31 adds insight. It gives us a scriptural example of lip service vs heart service.
“ … A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went.Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘Igo,sir,’ but he did not go.Which of the two did the will ofhisfather?”
They said to Him, ‘The first.’ ”
We may not always want to obey the Word of the Lord but the true test is whether we ultimately do even when we don’t want to at first.
Honoring God is not found in lip service. We can think right but if we are not following through to do what is right, we are only fooling ourselves.
There is an old adage which says:
“Some judge others by what they do and themselves by what they intended to do but didn’t.”
2. Becoming a diligent worker
Would your boss consider you a diligent worker? More importantly, would God consider you a diligent worker?
A quick scan of Proverbs reveals several reasons everyone should become a diligent worker.
There is something rather interesting in a word study of diligent which is the Hebrew word charuwts (H2742). It is found 18 times in 17 verses in the King James Bible.
In five of those verses the Hebrew word is translated as diligent. However, in six of verses it’s translated as the word gold.
Being a diligent worker is equated with gold. If you want the gold. . true riches in your life. . .you must be diligent. Here are three of the verses:
Proverbs 10:4 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:
“He becomes poor who works with a slack and idle hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”
Proverbs 12:24 in the Message Bible says:
“The diligent find freedom in their work; the lazy are oppressed by work.”
Proverbs 21:5 says:
“The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.”
The New Living Translation of Proverbs 21:5 says it this way:
“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”
There is a different Hebrew word mahiyr H4106) used in Proverbs 22:29 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition which says:
“Do you see a man diligent and skillful in his business? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”
In this verse. . .diligent means:
“quick, prompt, skilled, ready”
If you want to stand before a King (a person of authority) you must be skilled, ever-ready and your performance must be gold. . . or of the greatest value.
3. Become known as a person of wisdom
Wisdom is something you get for yourself. . .something no one can take away from you or deny you once you have it.
Wisdom will take you places beyond your wildest dreams and before people you’ve only read about.
Being known as a person of wisdom will definitely give you a fresh start.
Before proceeding, it’s important to remember where it comes from and who gave you your wisdom.
Daniel 2:20 says:
“Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his.”
Your wisdom will place you before important people.
Daniel 5:12 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:
“Because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, clarify riddles, and solve knotty problems were found in this same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.”
When your wisdom becomes obvious. . . as when you solve a problem. . .you will be rewarded.
Daniel 5:16 in the New Living Translation says:
“I am told that you can give interpretations and solve difficult problems. If you can read these words and tell me their meaning, you will be clothed in purple robes of royal honor, and you will have a gold chain placed around your neck. You will become the third highest ruler in the kingdom.”
Successful people are knowledgeable and understand the importance of having wise people around them.
4. Be known as a person of integrity
One of the most highly valued character qualities is that of integrity.
Job 31:6 says:
“Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity.”
It’s definitely more important for God to see your integrity in action than anyone else.
Now let’s look at a verse that is frequently misquoted and/or misinterpreted.
Proverbs 28:6 which in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:
“Better is the poor man who walks in his integrity than he who willfully goes in double and wrong ways, though he is rich.”
Notice the last part of the verse where it says “…though he is rich.”
The scripture is a condemnation of wickedness, not wealth. It’s not the fact that a person is rich but the wickedness of their heart that is the focus of this verse.
Money brings out a person’s moral self more clearly than probably anything else.
The verse doesn’t say that it’s better to be poor. It says it’s better to see a poor person who walks in integrity than to see a rich person who is evil.
It’s the character of a person’s heart and not the balance in their checkbook or lack thereof that determines their real worth.
Job 4:6 in the New Living Translation says:
“Doesn’t your reverence for God give you confidence? Doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope?”
When you are known as a person of integrity and wisdom. . .people of authority will seek you out. That’s definitely, a great way to a fresh start.
5. Be known as someone who blesses others
Do you want to have a world-class reputation? Then find your true self in blessing others. When your goal is to bless others in a way that only God notices … then He will be the one to promote you so others know.
Genesis 12:2 in the New Century Version says:
“I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you. I will make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.”
When you bless others you are activating a powerful scripture principle. . .one that has unlimited potential beyond your expectation or imagination.
Proverbs 11:25 in the New Living Translation says:
“The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”
My favorite scripture, the one that defines my life more than any other, is Ephesians 6:8 which says:
“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”
A person who looks for opportunities to bless others is not really interested in being blessed by the folks who benefited from the blessing. . .because he/she understands the act of generosity will be rewarded by God.
Given the choice of being blessed by man or God. . .God wins every time.
It’s also important to understand that people who bless other people. . .are noticed not only in heaven by the King of Kings. . .but in the natural realm by the movers and shakers of this world.
6. Be a scriptural giver to either become a king or be noticed by one
First and foremost, every believer needs to understand that God is fully aware of how much money you have, the bills you owe and even what you had planned to do with your money.
However, when God says “give” that’s exactly what He expects you to do. Here are four keys to being a scriptural giver.
1. Give when God tells you to give. . .regardless of the circumstances.
There will be times when God tells you to give. . .that may not be convenient or even logical according to the natural mind. However, obedience always produces rewards.
In Genesis 26 we read where there is a famine in the land. . .people who are facing tough times. . .they made a decision to go to Egypt (a type of the world’s system) for relief. However, in this time of shortage, God appeared to Isaac and discourages him from going the way of the world’s system for help.
Genesis 26:2-4 says:
“… the Lord appeared unto him (Isaac), and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:
“Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee: for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father.”
“… I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven …”
It’s real clear. . . If Isaac obeys and sows during the famine, he will experience a massive supernatural increase.
Wouldn’t it seem ridiculous to sow during a famine? Yet, notice the confirmation of this truth in Genesis 26:12-14:
“Then Isaac sowed in that land and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him.
“And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:
“For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.”
Inconvenient giving always produces a good expected harvest when God directs it.
2. Gives where God tells you to give.
Anytime you’re ever in a meeting where an offering is received or if you’re reading a letter from a Christian ministry. . .ask God if it’s good ground for your precious seed.
Matthew 13:23 in the New Living Translation says:
“The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
According to Strong’s Concordance the word good in Matthew 13:23 is the Greek word kalos (G2570) which means:
“beautiful, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable; excellent in its nature and characteristics, and therefore well adapted to its ends; joined to names of men designated by their office, competent, able, such as one ought to be; affecting the mind agreeably, comforting and confirming.”
I think it’s fair to say that “good ground” is where you can find a ministry or organization with leadership using excellence in its operation. . .honoring the precious seeds with which it’s entrusted. . .and who will mentally and spiritually come into agreement with you confirming their faith with yours.
3. Give what God tells you to give.
Deuteronomy 16:17 (NIV) says:
“Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.”
Let your giving be based on how God has blessed you. . .not according to what you think you have to give at the moment.
Unless the Lord directs us to … we don’t like to tell people in what to give. We encourage our partners to hear from God themselves. Financial discernment is born in hearing and understanding God’s still small voice.
Listen for His voice because He is always right.
4. God wants you to be happy in your giving.
You might say, “Brother Harold, I’m not happy. . .truthfully, I’m a little sad and anxious because I’ve given away all that I have.”
As long as you know God has spoken to you, be assured that your sorrow will turn to joy.
Psalm 126:6 says:
“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
I love the Message Bible translation of Psalm 126:6 which says:
“So those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest, So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.”
God wants you happy in your giving.
2 Corinthians 9:6 in the Message Bible says:
“Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.”
2 Corinthians 9:6 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:
“Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, "prompt to do it") giver [whose heart is in his giving].”
7. Bring a gift
Another misunderstood verse in scripture is Proverbs 18:16:
“A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.”
Many leaders in ministry mistakenly teach that the “gift” is your natural abilities and what they perceive to be ‘talent.’
That sounds nice. . .but it’s not what the Bible is saying or what the word gift means.
According to Strong’s Concordance the word gift is the Hebrew word mattan (H4976) and it means:
“gifts, offerings, presents.”
The word mattan appears in five verses according to the Hebrew Concordance of the King James Version and in each instance it’s referring to a monetary gift.
At your convenience, I recommend that you read Genesis 34:12; Numbers 18:11, Proverbs 19:6, Proverbs 21:14 and, of course, Proverbs 18:16.
It’s clear the scripture is talking about a gift of financial value. The scripture is also clear that a financial gift will bring you before important and eminent people.
First, consider the New Living Translation of Proverbs 18:16:
“Giving a gift can open doors; it gives access to important people!”
Next, let’s look at the Message Bible translation of Proverbs 18:16 which says:
“A gift gets attention; it buys the attention of eminent people.”
Summarizing, the favor of both God and man are available to us but it will cost something.
We owe Jesus everything because He paid the ultimate price for us. Salvation was not free … it cost Him giving up everything on earth including His life.
But in exchange for this great salvation the door is opened wide to plant the seeds of obedience to His Word by which we can obtain the greatest riches in the world… not just wealth as the world knows wealth but the wealth of peace of mind and heart.
There is nothing finer than living a life of righteousness and right standing with God.
And the Proverbs are particularly full of advice on how to obtain them.
There is no end to the wisdom open to us in all the Word but let us leave you with these two Proverbs.
Proverbs 2:3-6 in the New International Reader's Version says:
“Call out for the ability to be wise. Cry out for understanding. Look for it as you would look for silver. Search for it as you would search for hidden treasure. Then you will understand how to have respect for the Lord. You will find out how to know God. The Lord gives wisdom. Knowledge and understanding come from his mouth.”
Our diligent search for wisdom will not leave us empty handed but we must but we must first dig it out of the Word.
The way to have a relationship with our heavenly Father is to read His Word. The way to prosper in that relationship is to apply it to our lives.
Proverbs 22:10 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition gives us this advice:
“The blessing of the Lord—it makes [truly] rich, and He adds no sorrow with it [neither does toiling increase it]”
Real wealth is a result of God’s blessing. By obeying the Word of God we are blessed.
We will eventually come before great people or perhaps become one ourselves.
These are seven sure-fire ways for you to get a fresh start doing Kingdom business.
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