New Beginnings

December 30, 2001 AM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

Isaiah chapter forty-three.

On Friday night we talked about the temple and how God is not as concerned about these four walls as He is this temple, which He calls the church.

On today (glory to God) we will be coming from another standpoint-new beginnings. New beginnings. New beginnings. I don't know about you, but every now and then in my life I need a new beginning.

In Isaiah chapter forty-three, beginning with verse eighteen, he said,

18. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

He said,

19. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

20. The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

21. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You, Lord, for Your Word today. Let it go forth unhindered by principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places. Father, let it go forth, Father, with power and love and boldness and assurance in the Holy Ghost today.

Father, anoint this vessel, God, to be used to and for Your Glory. Hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me. And Father, as I decrease, I ask that You would increase. In Jesus' holy and blessed Name. Amen.

He said, "Behold I will do a new thing." When He says, "I'm going to do a new thing," He's saying, "I'm going to do something that you have never experienced before."

Many times in the body of Christ when we come into the house of God we expect the same move of God. But God said, "Forget about the old things." Forget about your bondage. Forget about your captivity. He said, "I'm about to do something brand new." In the Name of Jesus.

He said, "You thought I did something before. But I'm going to do something new." When God begins to do something new, it has divinity written all over it. It doesn't have man's intellect attached to it. It doesn't have man's wisdom on it at all. It hasn't been tainted by man at all. It comes straight from God. It's divinely inspired. It comes forth with a new illumination and revelation that only He can give.

I don't know about you, but man's intellect and knowledge can only go so far. But I want knowledge that's going to come from he who holds tomorrow in the palm of His hand. He said, "I'm going to do a new thing."

He said, "Shall you not know it?" In other words, "I'm going to explain to you what I'm going to do. I'm not going to leave you in the dark with guessing games. I'm not a guessing God. I'm going to let you know," (glory to God), "What I'm going to do." Oh, I feel Jesus up in here today.

I don't know about you, but my life takes twists and turns. And every now and then it begins to get stale on me. But when I get down on my knees, every day it's new. Glory to God. Great is His faithfulness unto me. His mercies are new every morning.

My new beginning starts every day in my prayer closet. He begins to anoint me all over again. He begins to appoint me all over again. He gives me purpose all over again. He illuminates His plan all over again in my life.

New beginnings, house of God. He said, "Don't worry about your past." He said, "The past is in the past." He said we're going on into new things, higher heights, and deeper depths, something that we've never experienced before.

That's what's so powerful about my Jesus. Jesus taught people that if they want to see God work in a new way, then they must be willing to do ne things.

Many times we want God to do something new, but we don't plan on doing new things. We stay in our comfort zones. We stay in our traditions. We stay in our rituals. But if we are going to see something new... Who am I preaching to in this house today?

Something new. Something untainted. Jesus. That's what I long for. Something that don't nobody else know nothing about.

Paul said, "I thank God for this unspeakable gift."

I want something (glory to God) that don't nobody else know about, that can only come from Him.

Over in the book of Matthew chapter fourteen, beginning with verse twenty-eight, it said,

28. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

29. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

30. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

31. And immediately Jesus stretched for his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Jesus had a revelation that faith and obedience must be expressed in new actions for maturing saints. Faith and obedience for me to go a little bit higher has got to be expressed in new actions.

I can't just walk on the water one time. But every time I turn around I got to keep stepping and stepping and stepping and stepping and stepping again. Because we go from faith to faith and glory to glory. I'm not just going to walk out on the water and step out one time. But I'm going to keep on stepping.

Peter got down out of the boat and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, that it was boisterous, he began to sink. And he cried out, "Lord, save me."

Often new experiences require a higher level of faith. Let me tell you something. You want to go into a new beginning? It's going to require another level of faith. You can't go into your new beginning where you are in faith right now. You have got to get an increase in your faith level, in order to go up a little bit higher.

He said, "Forget about the past." He said, "I'm doing something new." My faith level has got to come to a new level in order to be successful in my new beginning. Do you hear what I'm saying?

If my faith level is not high enough to stay in my new beginning, just like Peter I'm going to begin to sink. That's why Jesus said, "Why did you doubt?" We want a new beginning. Our faith has got to increase and come to the next level.

Let the Lord show you greater things, as you express a new willingness to venture out into unchartered waters. You can't get out there if you're not willing to get out there. We want a new beginning, but we got to be willing to go into a new beginning. We got to be willing to make a change, willing to come out of this natural and step over into the supernatural.

He said, "Behold I do a new thing."

Turn with me to Matthew fifteen. Look at verse twenty-two.

22. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

23. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples (leaning to their own understanding) came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

24. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

25. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

26. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.

27. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.

Let me tell you something. If you're going to be in a new beginning, you and I have got to be risk takers. We have got to be able to risk being ashamed every now and then. We've got to risk being frustrated every now and then.

He told her, "I haven't seen such great faith."

See, what happens to us is, when we think that we're going to be ashamed, or we think we get a little frustration, we stop the move. Don't we? We begin to go back instead of the pressing forward.

Every now and then you will be disappointed. Every now and then you will be discouraged. Every now and then. Every now and then you'll have to cry, "Lord, have mercy on me, thou Son of David."

New beginnings. Going into it and staying in it. There are qualifications. There are requirements. Jesus honors those kind of people. They're not afraid to open themselves up. Do you hear what I'm saying? He honors those people that are not afraid to be in what we would call the out-crowd, instead of the in-crowd, those that are not ashamed that their name will be persecuted.

He honored her in the midst of her warfare. We've been in warfare, haven't we? Some of us are in warfare right now. But we're too prideful. Hello, somebody. We get too prideful to ask for prayer, because we want to hold up a certain image. Oh, you don't hear me today.

Everybody needs prayer. Everybody needs a helping hand. The Bible says we're one body in Christ. I can't function without you, and you can't function without me.

He honored her. Can you imagine that, Jesus with His response to her? He said, "It's unlawful." But then she had a comeback for the Messiah. That's awesome to me. She had a revelation of who He really was, that He was not just sent to Israel, but He was sent to the Jews and the Gentiles.

We must be willing to take risk of shame and disappointment in order to see God work great things for us.

When we first started this little white church in the back, we had one family, one family. And everybody's not here today. One family. And we would come up into this church every Sunday. We ain't had nobody to play the drums. We beat a tambourine. You don't think we got discouraged? Oh, you don't hear me today.

But the Bible says despise not small beginnings. Oh, I feel the Holy Ghost up in here today. If God said it, that settles it.

When you first start out, you might not have your millions. You might have a penny to your name. But by the time it's said and done... He said He was going to save that man. He said He was going to save that woman. They ain't saved yet. But He promised that He'd save your whole household. And His promises are yea and amen.

New beginnings. New beginnings.

Go with me to Matthew nineteen. Holy Spirit, we glorify You. (Tongues.) In Matthew chapter nineteen and verse sixteen.

16. And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

17. And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

18. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

19. Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

20. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

21. Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

22. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

We can't allow our unwillingness to change our lifestyles, cheat us out of the great things that God has for our lives.

Many times people are accustomed to living a certain way. And when we become accustomed to living a certain way, something in us refuses to change. Great missionaries have to put their houses on the market, sell their cars, all their possessions, to go do the work for the Lord.

But if I'm used to a certain lifestyle, if I'm used to living a certain way, a nine to five, then how am I going to make room for Jesus, to do all that He said that He wanted to do through me?

Our faith level is always at a certain point. And then we begin to back up and say, "No more, Jesus." As my grandmother would say, "No more, sweet child." No more. This is as far as I'm taking it.

A change. He was doing everything right. You're doing everything right, aren't you? But then he asked Jesus, "What am I still lacking?" Have you ever asked Him the question, "Lord, what am I lacking?"

I remember when I first got saved. On fire. Everything Jesus. Go to the drive thru. Jesus. I would put a backpack on my back. And I would say, "Lord, what's my mission today?" And I'd just go off into the streets.

But then when I started to get a little higher in Jesus, all those missions that I used to go on... Oh, you don't hear me today. Don't do it quite the way I used to do it. Changes in the way we live every day.

What's going to bring us into those great things that Jesus has for our lives? We almost finished.

Go with me to Luke chapter ten. In Luke chapter ten, verse one and two, it said,

1. After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, wither he himself would come.

2. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

Jesus sent seventy, two disciples out, two by two, ahead of Him to every city and town, every place where He was to preach. He told them that the harvest was plenteous, but the laborers were few, but pray that the Lord of the harvest would send forth laborers into the harvest.

Look at your Bibles in verse seventeen.

17. And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

Jesus wanted them to see greater things through their new ministries. Greater things. He wanted them to see. He wanted them to open up their eyes. Because as they were sent out, this was their new beginning.

When I get into my ministry, it's a new beginning for me. And I'm not only to be on fire then. But I'm to be on fire (glory to God) until I finish my course. Whatever it takes. Whenever it takes. However it takes.

Great things. Great things. Are we looking for great things? Or are we just looking for Him to pay the light bill? Hello, somebody. I'm looking for more than the light bill payment. He said, "Greater things will you do."

When we look at what we need to do to be successful in our new beginnings, we've got to have a deep desire for something better.

You know that old saying... And it used to bother me when preachers would say it. But I know what they meant. They didn't mean it as an offense, but it's that welfare mentality. They didn't mean it as an offense. Don't take it as an offense. Not that because you may be on welfare, but that mentality of welfare, of staying there. Do you hear what I'm saying?

We've got to have a deeper desire for change. It would make me so mad when somebody would say that. Because I love people. And I know that people struggle. But they were talking about something different. My new beginning, it begins with my deeper desire. Listen to that. Listen. Don't close your ears. If you're there, listen.

A deeper desire for something better. Next we need to develop a higher view of our God. Big dreams and big desires require a big God.

When we look at Nehemiah, he wanted to rebuild that wall in Jerusalem. He had a big desire. And God knows that was a big dream. But he knew he had a big God. And through all of those obstacles that he came up against, the wall was still completed in fifty-two days.

New beginnings. New beginnings. God, You're able. New beginnings. I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for new beginnings. Not that I will abandon what God has for me to do right now. But I'm still looking to go higher in Him in new beginnings.

Wherever you are in your life right now, don't ever think that you don't need a new beginning. You remember that church in Revelation that it seemed like they had it all together? They were rich. But they were spiritually bankrupt. They needed a new beginning, because they had left their first love.

Wherever you are in your spiritual walk right now, if you know that it is lacking, then you need to have something added to it. He said He'll fill your cup until it overflows. He said He'll feed you bread until you want no more. He has an unlimited supply of whatever we need.

New beginnings. One of the reasons He had me to preach this word today is because we're getting ready to go into a new year. And many of us start the new year with such high expectations. And we make our lists of what we plan for the new year.

But instead of sticking to our lists and our goals, by the time the second week gets there, we're back in the same old rut. Many thought that when the year Two Thousand came... Oh, my God, my God, my God. But it could be that if I stick with it and stop giving up.

We're going to have a watch night service. And we're going into a new year, God willing, that we've never seen before. We've never seen Two Thousand and Two. We don't know what it holds for us.

Paul said, "I got to go to this city. But I don't know what's waiting for me there. But I'm going on anyway." He was going into a new beginning. But he knew the Lord was with him.

Saints of God, I know you've been down. I know you've been depressed. I know you've been discouraged about many things. But look up today, for your redemption draweth nigh. Keep your head up. Look up to Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of our faith. Keep your outlook clean and positive, and optimistic, and not pessimistic. And I guarantee you, I guarantee you that it's all going to work together for our God.

Come on, somebody. Give God a handclap of praise today.

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