Faith Matters: God offers a fresh new start. Be sure to take advantage of it

Everything in our life has a memory.

Monofilament fishing line that’s been on the reel too long will curl and twist as it comes off. It can’t forget the shape of being wrapped around the fishing reel.

Sandals that have been worn for several years bear the mark of the feet of their owner, with each step pushing the toe indentation a little farther into the soul.

The seat to our cars bears the memory of years of compression from our rear ends; the carpet in the hallway bears the memory of feet running back and forth; and the ruts in the road bears the memory of the weight of years of trucks.

Everything in our life has a memory. And therein lies the problem. We can’t forget the past.

We are who we are today because of the decisions we made yesterday or the decisions someone else made for us. Carrying all these memories moves us to seek out new beginnings.

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Dr. J. Phillip Hamm is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Palmetto.

The idea of getting a fresh start permeates every facet of our culture. Everywhere we turn we’re given another chance to start new. Every year we get a do-over on New Year’s Eve, and each birthday brings another 365 days to do something different with our lives.

Every year as kids we started a new grade, which eventually led to graduation, then college, then a job, then a promotion, then a new job, then a house … see what I mean? Our entire lives are marked with moving from one new start to the next.

The desire to leave the past behind and start anew is written on our souls by God, but it’s never completely satisfied. We are continually seeking a fresh start because, I believe, God is calling us to start new with him.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

There is something unique that Christ offers that we can’t get anywhere else. We get the fresh start we’re looking for, of course, but did you see what else we get?

The passage says the “old has passed away.” I don’t know exactly how he does it, but through Christ, he throws our sin and regrets out like old fishing line and replaces it with something strong, fresh — and of course — new.

Dr. J. Phillip Hamm is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Palmetto. You can reach the church at 941-722-7795 or visit Faith Matters is a regular feature of Saturday’s Bradenton Herald written by local clergy members.