When People Meet Jesus

Have you ever just wanted a fresh start?

Has there ever been a time that you just wanted a clean slate?
If life were a game of golf, we would want a mulligan!

We would want a DO OVER. Wouldn’t it be nice to simply be able to drop the ball and hit it again? And not just hit it; but hit it from WHERE WE ARE?

Here’s the deal…you’ve experienced this. Life is complicated. People are not perfect. YOU’RE not perfect.
Chances are:
You’ve said something wrong
You’ve done something wrong
You regret something
In fact, life can be full of regret. Life is sometimes full of wondering what might be if only we had been different, or made better choices. 

Have you ever looked back on a choice you made earlier in life, only to really regret that choice? Everyone has!
We’ve made choices based on emotions as well. Not realizing that emotions come and go. Emotions aren’t the indicators we should go by when determining our life.

We’ve made choices based only on reasoning and logic, only to find out too late that the logical answer isn’t always the right answer.
With all that being said, factor into the mix that people are spiritual beings; and you have the making of something really regrettable. And since we all want a fresh start we canstantly seek for ways to get right or make things right on our own.

We do all of this just to appease that voice inside we call our conscience.

Here’s the problem with all of this…
You can’t DO enough GOOD to keep your conscience off your back. In fact, I bet at some point in life, maybe now, you still carry the guilt and shame of CHOICES that you REGRET.

Now…Here’s the good news:
When we meet Jesus, He takes the guilt and He takes the shame.

WE. BECOME. NEW.

The point is this…
We shouldn’t turn over a new leaf, we should let Christ give us a new life!

Even as a believer, we will be tempted to pick up guilt and put shame back on our shoulders to carry around; but guilt and shame are things we were simply never meant to carry. Why? Because Jesus carried them for us.

We shouldn’t turn over a new leaf, we should let Christ give us a new life!

If you’re reading this and you are a Christian, you need to remember what Jesus died to give you…a new life.

We shouldn’t turn over a new leaf, we should let Christ give us a new life!

Maybe you’re reading this, and you KNOW that you need, maybe REALLY NEED, to rid yourself of guilt, regret, shame, and even bitterness. You should know, it all begins with a decision.
A decision that may or may not stem from your emotions; but nevertheless, a decision that WILL DEFINITELY bring you JOY! It’s the decision to MAKE and KEEP Jesus Christ as your Lord.

Here’s what scripture says about it.
2 Corinthians 5:14-17 NLT
[14] Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 

In essence, when Jesus died on the cross, in our place, for our sins, He took the punishment that we rightfully deserved. He died so that we might live. We have the ability to die to our old life and live a life completely brand new!

[15] He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. 

The other good news is this. Jesus Christ didn’t die for a select few. He died for everyone. I’m thankful to God that my nationality doesn’t matter. My origin doesn’t matter. Jesus died for us no matter who we are or where we came from. That’s good news. 
Here’s what Christ says, “don’t live for yourself”. We are supposed to live for the ONE who spoke life into existence. We live for the ONE who shaped clay, the ONE who took a handful of dirt and formed it into man. We have a creator that we are meant to live for! Not only will He raise us from the dead one day if we put our faith and trust in Him; but He will also raise up our life NOW…to become…all that it was meant to be.
Jesus died to bring us near to God.
Jesus died that we might live for what’s right.
Jesus died to make it possible that we might do good things with our life.
And He died so that we would serve Him as the Lord of our life.

[16] So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! [17] This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Anyone who belongs. What a powerful word…belong. It means to be in Him. To live a life fully and completely hidden away in Christ. To belong to Christ means that I am His and He is mine. Everything about me is under His total control. And out of love for me, He directs my life.

To belong is a powerful thing! Once we are IN Him, the things of our old life DISAPPEAR. We become a brand new person on the inside; which starts a life long process of molding and shaping everything about us. A NEW LIFE has literally begun, just as scripture says.

The bible is talking about regeneration. What is that? It’s literally where something new comes into existence…THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A PERSON REALLY MEETS JESUS!

Again I’ll say…
We shouldn’t turn over a new leaf, we should let Christ give us a new life!

When things become new and the old dies off…
Guilt dies with it.
Shame dies with it.
Regret dies with it.
You don’t have to live with these negative things anymore…

When we meet Jesus, a life that was dead to God becomes alive to God.
When we meet Jesus, a person who had no relationship with God, now has a relationship with God.
When we meet Jesus, a man that never talked to God, now talks with Him all the time.
When we meet Jesus, a person who was living in sin and immorality, now lives in God’s righteousness and holiness.
When we meet Jesus, someone who was facing spiritual death, now has new spiritual life.

Finally, when we meet Jesus, the man who was doomed to eternal separation from God, is destined to live eternally in the presence of God

Now…Here’s the big question of all this…
How do I do that?
How do I let Christ give me a new life?
How does a person become a new creature?

One way of saying it, something that we’ve already said, is that we get INTO Christ.

Here’s another way to look at that…WE PUT ON CHRIST.
Scripture says this…
Colossians 3:10 NLT
[10] Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

Putting on Christ is a daily choice. A daily choice to live new.

It’s similar to putting on camoflauge. “Now you see me, now you don’t”. A hunter will go through painstaking rigors to make the kill. When deer season comes around, we wash our gear with special soap that removes all traces of human scent. We wash our body with soap that eliminates our scent. 
We rub cedar on ourselves to “take on” the scent of the outdoors. We PUT ON camoflauge so that WE are NO LONGER VISIBLE…Now you see me, now you don’t.

In the same way, the blood of Jesus Christ washes away our sin, our past; and our old life.
We are regenerated and washed through His word as we take it in. (scripture makes this reference)
Finally, the vital piece of the puzzle is to “put on” Christ…Now you see me, now you don’t.

In every one of life’s situations, people are supposed to see Jesus, not me. Why? because I’m hidden IN HIM. I’ve made the decision to PUT HIM ON.

See, we shouldn’t turn over a new leaf, we should let Christ give us a new life!

He has done ALL of the hard work. The question is, are WE going to PUT HIM ON?
It starts with belief, and works its way into our actions. 

As a christian, the way we apply this message is to ask our self this question…
What’s one area in your life where people need to see less of you and more of Jesus?

As a person who has never made the decision to follow Jesus, the application is simple…
Make the decision. Give your life to Christ. Make Jesus Christ the Lord, the Leader of your life.

It’s not necessarily an emotion driven decision. It’s a simply a matter of deciding if I believe in Christ or not; then following Him.

You can make that decision RIGHT NOW…with one simple prayer:
“Lord Jesus I make you the Lord of my life. Please forgive my sins. Make my heart new. I choose to follow You.”

Some of you met Jesus a long time ago. It was the best thing you ever did! Imagine what it would be like if every person would take this to heart and make that decision. Imagine the lives that would change. Imagine the situations that would turn around. Imagine the marriages and relationships that would be renewed. 
We shouldn’t turn over a new leaf, we should let Christ give us a new life!

If this post has helped you, or if you’ve made that decision…I’d love to hear from you! Just leave a comment below, or you can email me at www.larryshankle.com, just click on “contact”

Have a great day!

Larry Shankle is a pastor, author, and blogger. He helps people get clarity and direction in their calling, purpose, dreams, and leadership.

Larry and his wife (Amanda) live in the Arkansas river valley with their two boys (Braxton and Dawson). He has spent almost two decades in active local church ministry serving in multiple leadership roles. Larry has spent the last six and a half years serving as Lead Pastor of GrandviewChurch in Natural Dam, AR.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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