“Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.

The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT.

My thoughts and comments are about,

A Fresh Start.”

Although we are a few days into this New Year, I want to explore with you the immeasurable opportunity for a fresh start. After Paul’s dramatic conversion, he wrote, “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on . .” Philippians 3:13-14 NIV.

In my spiritual journey, the beginning of a year has often been pivotal. In 1952, in a New Year’s Revival at my father’s church, I made a life-long decision to serve and follow Jesus. I committed my young life to Jesus and continue to find new life in Him.

Years later, I was a pastor in San Jose, California. In the first minutes of January 1975, an elderly church member and her husband were driving home from the New Year’s Eve service when she insisted her husband turn around and return to the church. God had given her a message specifically for me. Everyone was gone except the janitor and me. In that semi darkened church, she walked the center aisle straight toward me.

She told me how God had spoken to her on their way home. She took my hands in hers and seemed to look deep into my soul. To this day, I do not recall anything else that she said except this, “Pastor Allen, God asked me to tell you, ‘He loves you, and He is not finished with you.’” In mere moments, everything changed inside my heart. She could not have known what I had not yet told anyone, not even my wife. That was a very foolish oversight! With the New Year, my plan was to seek a career in business.

Immediately, I understood that my plan to turn from ministry to a business career was ill-advised, a step in a horribly wrong direction. This is what I know. The heritage and destiny of our family would have been forever diminished.

When I think today of our son and daughter and their spouses, grandchildren and their spouses, and great grandchildren today – all of them loving and serving Jesus – I am grateful for the faithfulness of God, and a sweet lady who heard and obeyed Him. In those earliest minutes of a New Year, God’s personal word to me of His care and calling continues to shape my life and our family today.

Again, I found a fresh measure of new life and purpose in Christ. Only God could have known that later in the Spring of that same year my wife and I,  with two young children, would be invited to serve Trinity Church here in San Antonio as their Senior Pastor. Gayle and I continued to serve joyfully there for more than 36 years.

Remember this. Choices today shape lives tomorrow. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17. When you do not know what God is doing, lean into the character of God. The future is impacted by the choices you make. Being in the right place and doing the right thing at the right time is consequential.

My prayer for you today is to live wisely and obey gladly.

EDL Communications 2021

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