November 21, 2016
READ: Titus 3:1-8
He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit (v.5).
Aiko stopped sleeping with her boyfriend when she gave her life to Jesus. Eventually he broke up with her and later she fell in love with a man who was a devoted believer in Jesus. She was much happier, yet felt guilty because of her previous lifestyle. She cried out to her friend Midori, “I just wish I could have a fresh start. I want to be reborn!”
Midori smiled and said, “Aiko, did you hear what you just said? What you long for is exactly what Jesus has given. The moment you turned from your sin and put your faith in Jesus, you were reborn. You already have the fresh start you seek.”
Midori opened her Bible and read 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” She then turned to Titus 3. “Aiko, see if this describes you. Paul says, ‘We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But . . .’ ”
Midori stopped. “Aren’t you glad for that ‘But’? We were bound by lust, unable to raise even a finger to free ourselves or start fresh. ‘But—when God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done’—because we were pretty awful—‘but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit’ ” (Titus 3:3-5).
Aiko looked down. “But I don’t feel like a new person. I have so much shame!”
Midori responded, “Remember, your feelings are fallen. Don’t trust them. Believe God instead. If He says you are a brand new person, then that is what you are. Your fresh start has already begun.”
In Jesus, you and I can also find a fresh start!
365-day plan: Romans 8:1-18
Read John 3:1-18 to learn what Jesus says it means to be born again.
What regret do you need to give to Jesus? How does God view those who have repented of their sins and received His forgiveness?