School starting again brings excitement for the kids and relief for the parents. The kindergartner away from home for part of the day might feel apprehensive or the college student being in an unfamiliar and challenging environment for the first time may feel similar trepidation.
However, these beginnings soon settle into familiar routines. Credit goes to teachers and aides who make time in the classroom worthwhile and who teach learning as a lifelong experience.
Zig Ziglar said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” This is true for every endeavor: school, job, career, marriage, even in living to please God.
The Bible tells of many beginnings. The book of Genesis starts, “In the beginning…” John began his account of the Gospel with the same phrase, “In the beginning…” These two accounts identify God as the Word in the beginning.
It is this word that believers trust in. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Hebrews 11:3). Ten times the creation account has these words, “And God said.” Ten times God gave commandments concerning his creative acts. These commandments have never been broken; whereas the writings called the Ten Commandments have been difficult for man to keep, perhaps never.
Most of the beginnings have good endings in the Bible. Abraham beginning his walk of faith. Joseph starting his improbable journey from the pit to the palace. Moses beginning his development as the deliverer after being delivered from the Nile River.
Stories of beginnings continue in the New Testament. Young and old were used by God to fulfill his plan. The miracle ministry of Jesus began at a wedding; quite a beginning for that couple’s married life.
Imagine the impact the miracle healings had for the blind, paralyzed, deaf, and diseased. Their lives had a special new beginning. In the spiritual realm, people were given new starts with forgiveness, deliverance from demons, powerful promises, and truth. Even the dead who were resurrected had different priorities no doubt. Did they celebrate two birthdays? Their impact on others with the testimony of the resurrection power of Jesus was great for the rest of their lives.
The Spirit filled church began in Acts 2 with the new birth experience of water and Spirit. Those empowered by the Spirit of God continued to find more power as they obeyed the Lord’s command to preach the gospel everywhere to everyone.
God knows “the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46:10) so it is wise to follow his plan. He gives comfort and guidance to keep going in the right direction.
His salvation plan is called “so great” in Hebrews 2:3 because it is. It is so great that it forgives the past, heals the brokenhearted, establishes a solid relationship with the Lord, and promises an eternal future. The positive truth here is that Jesus knows how to help people start over.
If you haven’t had a new beginning with Jesus Christ, now is a good time to get started. If you have, keep going; it just gets better.
Mitch Glover is pastor of Sterling Pentecostal Church. Sunday services include Bible classes for all ages at 10 a.m. and worship service at 11 a.m. Bible study is Thursday at 7 p.m. Visit sterlingpentecostalchurch.com.
• By MITCH GLOVER, for the Peninsula Clarion