Gods_Promises_for_a_New_Beginning
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  • 1. The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. — John 6:63JOEL & VICTORIA OSTEEN Pastors of Lakewood Church
  • 2. God’s Promises for a NewBeginning Scripture quotations noted NIV are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by Permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations noted The Message are taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. Scripture quotations noted NKJV are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations noted Amp are taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved. Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org) Scripture quotations noted NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. © 2008 Joel Osteen Ministries
  • 3. F R O M JOEL & VICTORIA Dear Friend, Congratulations! You have made the most important decision in your life. Victoria and I are excited about your decision to begin a new life with Jesus! Our heartfelt desire is to help you reach your full potential and fulfill your God-given destiny. We encourage you to give us a year of your life. Let us teach you about God’s Word. Let us pray for you and help you grow and mature into the Champion God created you to be. Inside this booklet you will find materials to help you along your new journey with the Lord. As you pray and study God’s Word, remember that God has great things in store for His children and believe this will be the best year of your life. Believing God with you, Pastors Joel and Victoria2 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 4. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction..............................................................4 2. How Can I Have New Life in Christ?........................10 3. How Can I Know Who God Says I Am?....................15 4. How Do I Let Go of the Past?..................................21 5. How Can I Find Strength in Adversity?...................26 6. How Can I Improve All My Relationships?................31 7. How Can I Grow in Character?................................38 8. How Can I Grow in Passion and Joy?......................43 Visit JoelOsteen.com orLakewood.cc for service information and more ministry resources! GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 3
  • 5. what’s next? The Christian life isn’t about rules and regulations, it’s about a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, that will transform every area of your life! Our number one priority is to help you develop that relationship, which is why we have created two wonderful opportunities to help you grow in your new found faith in Christ. 1 If you live in the Houston, TX area, we encourage you to be a part of our New Beginnings course which meets after every weekend service at Lakewood Church. We believe that once once you get a firm foothold on the path that God has planned for your life, thre is no limit to how high you can climb. The New Beginnings course is designed to be that first step on your path toward total victory. therefore, if anyone is in CHRIST, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. — 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17 —4 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 6. 2 If you are unable to attend the New Beginnings class, please take advantage of our online resources at JoelOsteen.com. Log on and walk through our New Beginnings course from your computer by clicking on the ‘Did You Pray That Prayer’ box at the top of the screen. Also be sure to check out our Hope for Today section for many other free resources that will help build your faith and give you wonderful insights on finances, relationships and many other topics.Welcome to your NEW BEGINNING! GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 5
  • 7. Congratulations on your decision to begin a new life with Jesus!Here are a some important things youcan do to build a strong foundation foryour spiritual life with God:You have been changed on the inside.The Holy Spirit now lives inside of you. You didn’t change on theoutside; the change is in your spirit. You may not ‘feel’ different, butas a Christian, you should not base your life on what you feel. Youshould base your life on what you believe. And we believe God’sWord which says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, youwill be saved” (Romans 10:9).God has a plan for your life.God has a wonderful plan for you! He wants you to reach your fullpotential. Jeremiah 29:11 says your life is full of purpose and Godhas a divine destiny for you!Join New Beginnings.New Beginnings is a 7-week class. This life-changing class teachesthe foundation of a successful Christian living. New Beginnings isheld after every weekend service in the North Lobby.Make new friends.Your friends have a powerful impact on you. Don’t let your friendsand your old way of life pull you down. Invite your friends to church.If they don’t come to church with you, God will bring new friendsinto your life that will encourage you in the things of God. 6 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 8. Be baptized.Once you are born again, the first commandment of the Lord JesusChrist is to be baptized in water (Matthew 28:19-20). This is a publicdisplay of your decision to follow Him. Water baptism represents thedeath, burial and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Make plans to bebaptized soon!Pray.Prayer is our way to communicate with God. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18encourages us to “be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks inall circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Begineach day communicating with the Lord. Begin with praise. ThankHim for all He has done in your life. Confess your mistakes. TheBible tells us that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just toforgive...” (1 John 1:9). Then intercede for those things that concernyou the most. Pray for the needs of others – your family, co-workersand friends. Talk to the Lord every day – He is interested in thethings that concern you.Read the Bible.The Bible is God’s love letter to you. It is one way that Godcommunicates His plans and purposes for your life. The Bible isfull of God’s promises for you. Begin by reading just one or twochapters from the book of John, plus one Psalm and a Proverb fromthe Old Testament each day. As you read His Word, God will revealthings to you that can be applied to your daily living. GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 7
  • 9. RESOURCESThere are many resources available to you on the web. Visit JoelOsteen.comto sign up for our free podcast and daily e-votional, and check out our onlinestreaming where you can enjoy previous messages from Joel.For more information to help you in your walk with God, Visit the website forresources designed to help you grow in every area of your life. Visit JoelOsteen.com and Everyday, receive an inspirational e-mail fromsubscribe to our free weekly Joel & Victoria that will energize your daily life! audio & video podcasts. Sign up at JoelOsteen.com.NATIONAL TELEVISION LISTINGSSunday 11:00pm* Sunday 12:00pm Sunday 7:00pm Tuesday 9:00pm (CST) Monday 11:00pm Special One-Hour ProgramSunday 8:30am* Friday 8:00pm Monday 12:00am* * Dual Feed; Airs at time listed on both EST & PST. 8 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 10. WE BELIEVE... the entire Bible is inspired by God, without error and theauthority on which we base our faith, conduct and doctrine.WE BELIEVE... in one God who exists in three distinct persons: Father,Son and Holy Spirit. We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came tothis earth as Savior of the world.WE BELIEVE... Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for our sins.We believe that salvation is found by placing our faith in what Jesus did forus on the cross. We believe Jesus rose from the dead and is coming again.WE BELIEVE... water baptism is a symbol of the cleansing power of theblood of Christ and a testimony to our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.WE BELIEVE... in the regular taking of Communion as an act ofremembering what the Lord Jesus did for us on the cross.WE BELIEVE... every believer should be in a growing relationship withJesus by obeying God’s Word, yielding to the Holy Spirit and by beingconformed to the image of Christ.WE BELIEVE... as children of God, we are overcomers and more thanconquerors and God intends for each of us to experience the abundant lifeHe has in store for us. GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 9
  • 11. CHAPTE R 1HOW CAN I HAVE NEW LIFE IN CHRIST? The New Has Come Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! — 2 Corinthians 5:17 As a follower of Christ, you are a new creation! You have a new spirit, a new walk, a new life! Are there “old” things in your life that you are trying to get rid of? Maybe you have old behaviors or addictions that you want to change. Remember, the new has come. It’s a new year, and it’s time to be the new you. Let this year be the year you break old habits and addictions. Let this be the year that you move forward into a new life of victory. And your new life includes all the spiritual blessings the Lord has promised in His Word. You have the promises of peace, health, protection, and provision. Be encouraged today and know that no matter what is happening in your life right now, you can embrace the new life God has prepared for you. Make the choice today to leave the old behind—leave behind old behavior, old thinking, old words. Embrace the new by faith, and you’ll move forward into the life of blessing the Lord has in store for you. Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for making me new. Help me to understand Your plan for me so that I can fully embrace Your promises. I choose today to leave behind the old life and ask that You empower me by Your spirit today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.2 Corinthians 5:17-18Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passedaway; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, whohas reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the minis-try of reconciliation . . . (NKJV)1 Timothy 2:3-5This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved andto come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediatorbetween God and men, the man Christ Jesus . . . (NIV) 10 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 12. Romans 10:9-10. . . if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heartthat God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heartthat you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confessand are saved. (NIV)This is the core of our preaching. Say the welcoming word to God — “Jesus ismy Master” — embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what hedid in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’resimply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With yourwhole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right outloud: “God has set everything right between him and me!” (The Message)John 3:15-18…everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved theworld that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall notperish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to con-demn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in himis not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned alreadybecause he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (NIV)16-18 This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his oneand only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believ-ing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to allthe trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling theworld how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyonewho trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long sincebeen under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because ofthat person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when intro-duced to him. (The Message)Ephesians 2:8-10For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not fromyourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Forwe are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, whichGod prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV) GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 11
  • 13. Ephesians 2:7-10Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and thenext to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all hisidea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’sgift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probablygo around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither makenor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each ofus by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has got-ten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. (The Message) The Great Exchange God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. — 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV If you’ve accepted Jesus today, you are the righteousness of God! That means you are an extension of His virtue. You are approved by Him. You are in right standing with Him. Jesus not only paid the punishment for your sins, the Bible says He actually became sin. He took it upon Himself and into His being so that you could take God’s righteousness upon yourself and into your being. It’s the great exchange. Don’t let sin hold you back any longer. Don’t let the enemy lie to you and make you feel guilty and condemned. First John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If there is anything in your life that is holding you back today, confess it to God. Let Him cleanse you and make you new. Remember, He paid a precious price so that you could be His righteousness. Let that sink into your heart today. As you meditate on the truth that you are righteous, you’ll begin to change how you think and act. You’ll reflect more of God’s character, and you will move forward into the life of victory that He has in store! Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for cleansing me and making me new. Thank You for making me Your righteousness. Show me if there is anything in my heart that is displeasing to You. I choose to honor You with my whole being all the days of my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 12 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 14. Clothe Yourself Clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for indulging the flesh. Put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature. — Romans 13:14 AMP Is there something in your life that you would like to put a stop to today? Maybe it’s a certain behavior, addiction, or bad attitude that isn’t pleasing to God? Just as Adam and Eve were exposed in their sin and needed to be clothed in the garden, we need to clothe ourselves to protect us from sin. When you “clothe yourself” with the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be strong against temptation. How do you clothe yourself with Jesus Christ? In the same way you cover yourself in the natural with clothing. When you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are covered and cleansed by His blood. You are restored and renewed. Then, cover your mind with the Word of God. Cover your ears by listening to the Word. Cover your eyes by watching only what is pleasing to the Lord. Cover your mouth by speaking the Word and encouraging those around you. As you cover yourself with Christ, you will be strong against temptation, and you will walk in the victory the Lord has planned for you! Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus to pay the penalty for my sins. Thank You for providing a way out of temptation so that I can stand clean before You. Help me stand strong as I submit every area of my life to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.Acts 2:36-39“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whomyou crucified, both Lord and Christ.”When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter andthe other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name ofJesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift ofthe Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who arefar off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (NIV) GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 13
  • 15. Romans 6:6-11For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sinmight be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—be-cause anyone who has died has been freed from sin.Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For weknow that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; deathno longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once forall; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselvesdead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (NIV)Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross withChrist, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beckand call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conqueringdeath, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that whenJesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sindown with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of itthis way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaksyour mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin andalive to God. That’s what Jesus did. (The Message)John 14:6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to theFather except through Me.” (NKJV)John 5:24“I tell you the truth, whoever hears My Word and believes him who sent mehas eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from deathto life.” (NIV) 14 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 16. CHAPTEWHO GOD SAYS I AM?HOW CAN I KNOW R 2 Friend of God Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend. — James 2:23 The All-Knowing, All-Powerful, Creator of the universe wants to be your friend today. He wants to walk with you and talk with you and share life with you. That’s why He created you—first and foremost—for fellowship. It’s as simple as opening your heart of faith to Him. If you have faith in God today, then just like Abraham, you are God’s friend. And the Bible says that God is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. That means He is faithful. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. He is with you always. He is mindful of you—that means He is always thinking of you. What an honor and privilege it is to be called God’s friend! Let that sink down into your heart today. The next time the enemy tries to tell you that you are alone in this world, or that no one else understands what you are going through, just say out loud, “I am a friend of God.” With God as your friend, He’ll walk forward with you down the path of victory He has prepared for you! Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for being my friend today. Thank You for loving me and for being faithful to me. Help me to understand Your friendship today so that I can be a better friend to those around me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere . . . (AMP) Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (NLT) GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 15
  • 17. Psalm 35:27Let those who favor my righteous cause and have pleasure in my uprightnessshout for joy and be glad and say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, Whotakes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant. (AMP)Galatians 3:28-29There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you areall one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed,and heirs according to the promise. (NIV) Sweet Fragrance For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ which exhales unto God… — 2 Corinthians 2:15 Did you know that your life is a sweet fragrance to God? Think about how a wonderful aroma affects you personally. When it’s springtime and the flowers are blossoming, everything feels new again. The sweet aroma in the air is a sign that the flowers are fresh and alive. It catches your attention! It makes you want to take a deep breath and partake of the wonderful sweet fragrance. God feels the same way about you! He loves wonderful aromas, and when you are living your life to please Him, it’s a beautiful fragrance that captures His attention! Just like the aroma in springtime is a sign that the flowers are alive, the aroma of your life is a sign that Christ is alive in you. It is pleasing to the Father! The next time you experience a fresh fragrance, remember that your life is a fragrance unto God. You can rest in knowing that He is pleased with a heart that seeks after Him. As you continue to seek Him, you’ll be that sweet fragrance, and you’ll experience His wonderful hand of blessing in every area of your life. Prayer: Father in heaven, I come to You today surrendering all that I am. May everything I do please You and be a wonderful fragrance to You. Keep me close to You today and always. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 16 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 18. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made per-fect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weak-nesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, Idelight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.For when I am weak, then I am strong. (NIV)8-10 At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Threetimes I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need.My strength comes into its own in your weakness.Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicapand began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength movingin on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer,these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition,bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger Ibecome. (The Message)Judges 6:11-16Then the angel of the LORD came and sat beneath the great tree at Oph-rah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joashwas threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from theMidianites. The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero,the LORD is with you!”“Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened tous? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t theysay, ‘The LORD brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the LORD has aban-doned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, andrescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakestin the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”The LORD said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianitesas if you were fighting against one man.” (NLT) GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 17
  • 19. Psalm 139:13-16For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’swomb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your worksare wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you whenI was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths ofthe earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for mewere written in your book before one of them came to be. (NIV)Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’swomb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I ammarvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know meinside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I wasmade, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like anopen book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages ofmy life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared beforeI’d even lived one day. (The Message)1 John 3:1-3See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and thatis what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize thatwe are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we arealready God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like whenChrist appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see himas he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselvespure, just as he is pure. (NLT)Psalm 40:1-5I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And setmy feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new songin my mouth—Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trustin the LORD.Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, And does not respectthe proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.Many, O LORD my God, are Yourwonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us Cannotbe recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They aremore than can be numbered. (NKJV) 18 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 20. Ephesians 3:16-19I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with in-ner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your heartsas you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep youstrong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s peopleshould, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May youexperience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Thenyou will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comesfrom God. (NLT) The Apple of His Eye Keep me as the apple of your eye… — Psalm 17:8 God cherishes and values you so much today. You are the apple of His eye; the center of His world! In this day and age, people are considered to be important for so many different reasons—titles, position, possessions, where you go, what you drive. But God’s value system is very different from the value system of the world. If you’ve ever thought that God has too many other important things on His plate to be concerned with you and your life, know this today—you are God’s number one priority. And there’s nothing you can do to be more important or less important. God values you today simply because He made you, and your value will never change. You are significant. Your life is significant. The things that concern you, concern God. He carefully watches over every detail of your life, and there is nothing too big or too small for His attention. Take your concerns and cares to the Father today. He loves to hear you call upon Him, and He is waiting to show Himself strong on your behalf. Because you are important to Him, He is ready to bless and empower you to live in victory all the days of your life. Prayer: Father in heaven, thank You for loving me today. Thank You for making me the apple of Your eye. I open my heart to You today and cast every care on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 19
  • 21. John 8:36“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” (NLT)1 John 2:12-14I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on ac-count of his name. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him whois from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have over-come the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you have known theFather. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from thebeginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the wordof God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one. (NIV)Galatians 4:6-7And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into yourhearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but ason, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (NKJV)5-7 Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You cantell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because Godsent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’tthat privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you arenot a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with com-plete access to the inheritance. (The Message) 20 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 22. CHAPT E RTHE3HOW DO I LET GO OF PAST? New Every Morning His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. — Lamentations 3:22-23 NASB You may have done something last week or last month that you’re not particularly happy about, but the good news is you don’t have to carry that around with you. That’s part of what the Scripture means when it says that God’s mercies are new every morning. God’s mercy and forgiveness are available to you each and every day. His compassions never fail. That means that as soon as you call on Him and repent and change your ways, God pours out His compassion and forgiveness. Simply open your heart and receive it. You can have a new beginning every single day! Do you feel like there’s something between you and God right now? Take a moment and call on His faithfulness. Call on His mercy. Ask for His forgiveness. Don’t waste another moment in the past. Let Him refresh and restore your soul right now. Praise Him and thank Him for the work He is doing in your life and enjoy a fresh new beginning today! Prayer: God, I don’t want to go through another day dragging the weight of the past. Thank You for opening the door of that prison and setting me free. Help me to claim and enjoy Your new mercies each day. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.Philippians 3:13-14No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this onething: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press onto reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God,through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (NLT)Ephesians 4:32And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even asGod in Christ forgave you. (NKJV) GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 21
  • 23. Matthew 11:28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”(NIV)28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Getaway with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a realrest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforcedrhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep com-pany with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (The Message) Forget What Lies Behind This one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind I press forward to what lies ahead. — Philippians 3:13 Are you determined to forget what lies behind? I know many people don’t fully understand what it means to forget the past. They wonder, “How can I forget something that’s happened to me?” But one definition of the word forget means to disregard intentionally, or to overlook. You have to intentionally disregard your past so that it doesn’t keep you from moving forward. That means the good and the bad. Sometimes our past victories keep us from rising higher as much as past failures. If we don’t let go of the old, we’ll never be able to embrace the new. It doesn’t matter what’s happened in your history, it’s time to forget what lies behind. Make the choice today to press forward. Trust that God has a better future in store for you. Trust that He’s working behind the scenes on your behalf. As you forget what lies behind and press forward, you will see the abundant life the Lord has in store for you! Prayer: Father in heaven, I choose to forget the past today. I don’t want anything to hold me back from the future You have prepared for me. I choose forgiveness and ask that You help me, by Your Spirit, to press forward in every area of my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 22 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 24. Hebrews 12:1Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and letus run with endurance the race that is set before us. (NKJV)1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way,all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Stripdown, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins.Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in.Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything alongthe way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor,right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go overthat story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through.That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! (The Message)Proverbs 4:23Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.(NLT)Matthew 6:14-15For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father willalso forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will notforgive your sins. (NIV)1 John 1:9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and tocleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NKJV)Isaiah 61:7-9Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor.Youwill possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joywill be yours.“For I, the LORD, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfullyreward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant withthem. Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations.Everyone will realize that they are a people the LORD has blessed.” (NLT) GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 23
  • 25. Isaiah 42:9“See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; beforethey spring into being I announce them to you.” (NIV)Romans 12:19Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God.For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,”says theLORD. (NLT) The Blessing of Forgiveness Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. — Psalm 32:1 The Scripture is filled with keys to obtaining God’s promise of blessing. It says in Psalm 32 that you are blessed when your transgressions are forgiven. God extends forgiveness to everyone, but we have to do our part to receive the forgiveness. We have to repent, or change our ways, with open hearts. The Bible also tells us that if we don’t forgive others of their trespasses against us, we cannot be forgiven. Is there anyone in your life today that you need to forgive? Is there someone who has hurt or wronged you? Make the decision to forgive so that you can walk in the blessing of God’s forgiveness for you. Remember, forgiveness doesn’t condone wrong behavior. It simply releases the person from the debt they owe you so that God can release you from the debt you owe from your own transgressions. When you make the choice to forgive and allow God to heal your heart, you will be able to receive His forgiveness for you, and you will walk in His abundant blessing all the days of your life. Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the promise of blessing in my life. I open my heart to You and ask that You cleanse me of anything that isn’t pleasing to You. Search me and show me if there is any unforgiveness in my heart so that I can release it and walk in Your blessing for me today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 24 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 26. Proverbs 28:13He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and re-nounces them finds mercy. (NIV)Lamentations 3:25-27The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man tobear the yoke while he is young. (NIV)God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the womanwho diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for helpfrom God. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through thehard times. (The Message)Hebrews 12:15Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God.Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, cor-rupting many. (NLT) GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 25
  • 27. CHAPTE R 4 IN ADVERSITY?HOW CAN I FIND STRENGTH He Promises Peace I will listen to what God the Lord will say; he promises peace to His people. — Psalm 85:8 No matter what is going on in your life right now, the Lord promises that you can have peace. Notice in this verse that the psalmist is making the decision to listen to what God says. When you make the decision to listen to God and follow His direction, you will have peace. You may be thinking to yourself, “God doesn’t speak to me.” But the Bible says that you are His sheep, you can hear His voice, and the voice of a stranger you will not follow. The Lord speaks in many ways—sometimes through a friend, or a song, or in the beauty of nature. Sometimes it’s a simple “knowing” deep down on the inside of you. If you aren’t sure how God speaks to you, ask Him to teach you. All you have to do is open your heart and be willing to hear His voice. As you open your heart to Him, He will speak to your heart, and you will live in peace all the days of your life. Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your promise of peace. I open my heart to You and ask You to teach me to hear Your voice clearly. I give You all that I am today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.Ephesians 6:13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes,you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything,to stand. (NIV)Genesis 50:20“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought meto this position so I could save the lives of many people.” (NLT) 26 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 28. Habakkuk 2:3“This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. Ifit seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will notbe delayed.” (NLT)Psalm 31:14-15But I trusted in, relied on, and was confident in You, O Lord; I said, You aremy God.My times are in Your hands; deliver me from the hands of my foes and thosewho pursue me and persecute me. (AMP)Job 23:10“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out aspure as gold.” (NLT)1 Peter 1:6-7In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have hadto suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—ofgreater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may beproved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christis revealed. (NIV)I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up withevery kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comesout of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes outproved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold,that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. (The Message)1 Thessalonians 5:18. . . in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesusfor you. (NKJV)16-18 Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matterwhat happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus tolive. (The Message) GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 27
  • 29. Walk Through Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me. –Psalm 23:4 NKJV Do you ever feel like you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death? During the tough times, it’s easy to get discouraged. I love what it says in the verse, “though I walk through…” No matter what you are facing today, know this: you are not alone, and you are just walking through. You don’t have to stop and live in the tough times. They are only temporary. I encourage you today; don’t allow fear to paralyze you in the middle of “the valley of the shadow of death.” Remember, God is with you. He is walking beside you. He is strengthening you. He is making a way of escape for you. He is lining up people and situations to bring you out of that tough place into a place of strength and victory. Don’t give up! Press on and walk through! Begin to get a vision of your life on the other side. See yourself more loving, more faithful, stronger and more blessed than ever before. As you keep moving forward and walking through, you will get to the other side and experience the victory God has in store for you! Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness in my life. Thank You for walking with me even in the hard times. I trust that You are taking me through my circumstances to a place of victory and strength. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.John 16:33“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this worldyou will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV)Luke 17:11-19As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border betweenGalilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at adistance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And asthey went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. 28 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 30. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting,“Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what hehad done. This man was a Samaritan.Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no onereturned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to theman, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.” (NLT)Psalm 100:5For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faith-fulness and truth endure to all generations. (AMP) Wait on the Lord But those who wait on the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. –Isaiah 40:31 Do you need strength today? Sometimes it’s easy to get down and discouraged when you’re constantly looking at the circumstances of life. You may feel tired and weary from a long battle. But when you wait on the Lord, the Bible says your strength will be renewed. Waiting on the Lord means you’re putting your trust and hope in Him. You’re living with an attitude of faith and expectancy. In the natural, if you are waiting for someone like a special dinner guest, you’re probably not just sitting around the house wondering what will happen. No, you’re probably preparing for that special person by straightening the house and making sure everything is perfect for their arrival. Most likely, you started weeks in advance making the menu and deciding what to wear! In the same way, when you are waiting on the Lord, it doesn’t mean you are just sitting around, it means you are preparing for Him. Are you ready for God to move on your behalf? Are you waiting on Him? As you take a step of faith, He’ll meet you there. He’ll renew your strength and lead you into victory in every area of your life! Prayer: Father in heaven, thank You for Your promise to renew my strength. I choose to wait on You. I choose to trust You. I choose to prepare for You to move mightily in my life! In Jesus’ Name. Amen. GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 29
  • 31. Philippians 4:10-13I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern forme. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to showit. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be contentwhatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know whatit is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and ev-ery situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Ican do everything through him who gives me strength. (NIV)Psalm 90:12Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. (NLT)Psalm 145:14The LORD upholds all who fall, And raises up all who are boweddown. (NKJV)1 Samuel 30:6David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter aboutlosing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. ButDavid found strength in the LORD his God. (NLT)1 Peter 4:12Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, asthough something strange were happening to you. (NIV) 30 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 32. CHAPTEALL MY RELATIONSHIPS? R 5HOW CAN I IMPROVE Love Never Fails Love never fails. — 1 Corinthians 13:8 We all have people in our lives that are difficult at times. Maybe it’s someone you work with, a family member or even your spouse. Relationships can be complicated, but remember: love never fails. The Word of God clearly defines love in 1 Corinthians 13. It says that love is patient and kind. It doesn’t seek its own way. Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs. And most importantly, love never fails. Notice that this chapter doesn’t talk at all about how you feel. God’s love isn’t about feelings. It’s a choice. You can choose to be patient, even when you don’t feel like being patient. You can choose to be kind, even when you don’t feel like being kind. No matter what situa- tion you find yourself in, you can choose love. You are never more like God than when you are walking in love. And when you are walking in love, you will never fail because love never fails. Open your heart to God’s love today. Ask Him to show you how to love others better. As you walk in love, you’ll find peace and live in victory all the days of your life! Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love which never fails. Thank You for loving me so that I can be free to love others. Em- power me, by Your Spirit, to walk in love no matter what I may face today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. Matthew 5:43-45 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your en- emy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” (NLT) GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 31
  • 33. John 13:34-35“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as Ihave loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another willprove to the world that you are my disciples.” (NLT)1 Peter 4:8-9And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover amultitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. (NKJV) Esteem One Another And walk in love (esteeming and delighting in one another) as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us… — Ephesians 5:2 We don’t often hear the word esteem used very much in our culture, but the Bible tells us to esteem and delight in one another. One definition of esteem is to hold in high regard. That means we are to honor and value one another. You may not always agree with everyone around you. They may not always act honorably, but we are to honor and esteem people because they are valuable in the eyes of God. If you had a very costly and valuable piece of jewelry, you wouldn’t just wear it to the gym or leave it on the kitchen sink. No, you would treat it carefully. You would put it in a safe place and protect it. When we see others as valuable, the way God sees them; we should treat them carefully as well. We should watch how we talk to other people. We should look for the good in others and honor them for who God made them to be. The Bible tells us that the way we treat others is like sowing seeds, and it will come back to you. Choose to esteem and delight in one another. Sow good seeds, and you will see a harvest of blessing in your own life in return! Prayer: Heavenly Father, today I choose love. I choose to honor the people around me. Help me to see the value in others the way You see the value in me. Help my actions and words to esteem and delight in others so that I can be an example of Your love and light. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 32 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 34. John 15:12-13This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have lovedyou. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life forhis friends. (NKJV)11-15 “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be yourjoy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another theway I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line foryour friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’mno longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what theirmaster is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve letyou in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.” (The Message)Ephesians 5:1-2Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper be-havior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep companywith him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love wasnot cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something fromus but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (The Message)Romans 12:10-18Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring eachother. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager topractice hospitality.Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will blessthem. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company ofordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyonecan see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.(NLT)Proverbs 26:18-19Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon is someone wholies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.” (NLT) GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 33
  • 35. 1 Thessalonians 4:7-12For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he whorejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his HolySpirit.Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselveshave been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all thebrothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so moreand more.Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and towork with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win therespect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. (NIV)Galatians 5:13-15For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as anopportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the lawis fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as your-self.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumedby one another! (NKJV)It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make surethat you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to doand destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another inlove; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Wordis summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’san act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in notime at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your preciousfreedom be then? (The Message)1 John 4:7-8Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Any-one who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not lovedoes not know God, for God is love. (NLT)James 2:8-9Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures:“Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you favor some people over others,you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law. (NLT) 34 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 36. Matthew 5:21-24“You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m tell-ing you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guiltyof murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourselfhauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on thebrink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill. “This is how I wantyou to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worshipand, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friendhas against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friendand make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things outwith God.” (The Message)Ephesians 6:1-4Children, obey your parents in the Lord [as His representatives], for this isjust and right. Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and yourmother—this is the first commandment with a promise—That all may be wellwith you and that you may live long on the earth. Fathers, do not irritate andprovoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], butrear them[tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admo-nition of the Lord. (AMP)Ephesians 5:22-24Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your sup-port for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christdoes to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as thechurch submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should like-wise submit to their husbands. (The Message)Ephesians 5:25-28Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for thechurch—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the churchwhole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designedto bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiantwith holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’rereally doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.(The Message) GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 35
  • 37. Colossians 3:18-21Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, loveyour wives and do not be bitter toward them. Children, obey your parents in allthings, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children,lest they become discouraged. (NKJV)Matthew 22:38-40“This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Loveyour neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these twocommandments.” (NIV) The Blessing of Unity How good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity... for there the Lord has commanded the blessing… — Psalm 133:1-3 Did you know the Lord has commanded that blessing come upon you when you are at peace with your brothers and sisters in the Lord? As believers, we are called to work together in unity in order to fulfill God’s purposes. We are called to serve one another in love and serve together in the house of the Lord. Is there someone that you don’t quite get along with? Pray for that person. Go out of your way to be a blessing to them. Do your best to walk in peace and unity. As we serve one another in love, the Bible says the world will know that we are Christians. The world will recognize that we are true followers of Christ by our actions, not by our words. Make the decision today to live in peace and unity with your brothers and sisters in the Lord. If the only thing you can agree on is that Jesus is Lord, focus on that. Focus on the love you have for God and for seeing people come to know Him. As you focus on walking in peace and unity, you will walk into the place of blessing the Lord has commanded for you! Prayer: Heavenly Father, search my heart today and see if there is anything that is keeping me from walking in unity with other believers. I choose love today. I choose peace today. I choose unity today. Help me to be an example of love to those around me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 36 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 38. 1 Peter 3:1-7In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then,even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak tothem without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure andreverent lives.Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensivejewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with thebeauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quietspirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old madethemselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of theirhusbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and calledhim her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fearof what your husbands might do. In the same way, you husbands must givehonor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together.She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift ofnew life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. (NLT)Proverbs 3:27-29Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God’s handfor that person. Don’t tell your neighbor “Maybe some other time” or “Tryme tomorrow” when the money’s right there in your pocket. Don’t figureways of taking advantage of your neighbor when he’s sitting there trustingand unsuspecting. (The Message)Proverbs 14:21He who despises his neighbor sins [against God, his fellowman, and himself],but happy (blessed and fortunate) is he who is kind and merciful to the poor.(AMP)Romans 15:1-3We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to pleaseourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of thosewho insult you have fallen on me.” (NIV) GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 37
  • 39. CHAPTEIN CHARACTER?HOW CAN I GROW R 6 The Beginning of Wisdom The reverent fear and worship of the Lord is the beginning of Wis- dom. — Psalm 111:10 Do you need more wisdom in your life today? The Bible says that the reverent fear and worship of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. That word, fear, in this instance, doesn’t mean “to be afraid”; it means to have honor and respect. It means that we revere Him because He is God. Wisdom begins when you honor God. When you truly respect and worship Him out of a grateful heart, then Wisdom will operate in your life. One simple definition of wisdom is applied knowledge. It doesn’t matter if you have all the knowledge, facts, and figures in the world, or if you are a high school drop out. Honoring and worship- ing God is what makes you wise. Start today and begin to declare His goodness and faithfulness in your life. That’s worship. Declare who He is with a humble heart of faith. Declare that He is your Provider, your Healer, your Redeemer. When you focus on your God instead of focusing on your problems, you are honoring Him. As you honor Him, wisdom will flow through you, and you’ll be empowered to live the life of victory He has in store for you! Prayer: Father in Heaven, I choose today to honor and respect You as my God. Thank You for filling me with Your wisdom today so that I can live in victory the way You intend. Help me make wise choices and honor You all the days of my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.Mark 4:20“But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word,accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”(NKJV)Proverbs 13:6Righteousness (rightness and justice in every area and relation) guards himwho is upright in the way, but wickedness plunges into sin and overthrowsthe sinner. (AMP) 38 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 40. 1 Timothy 3:1-7This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires anhonorable position.” So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach.He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, andhave a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and hemust be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He mustbe gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his ownfamily well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannotmanage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?An elder must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, andthe devil would cause him to fall. Also, people outside the church must speakwell of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap. (NLT)Galatians 5:22-26But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with itspassions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with theSpirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (NIV)Proverbs 10:9He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways willbecome known. (NKJV)Job 33:26-30“When he prays to God, he will be accepted. And God will receive him withjoy and restore him to good standing. He will declare to his friends, ‘I sinnedand twisted the truth, but it was not worth it. God rescued me from thegrave, and now my life is filled with light.’ “Yes, God does these things againand again for people. He rescues them from the grave so they may enjoy thelight of life.” (NLT)Romans 5:3-5And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulationproduces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been pouredout in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (NKJV)There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’rehemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 39
  • 41. passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tem-pered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alertexpectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite thecontrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God gen-erously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! (The Message)Psalm 57:7My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I cansing your praises! (NLT) You are Equipped Every scripture is God-breathed…so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well-fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work . — 2 Timothy 3:16-17 AMP God has equipped you with everything you need to fulfill your destiny through His Word! The Scripture tells us that as believers in Jesus Christ, we are anointed. The word “anointing” is the power of God which gives you courage, strength, and ability. That means you are well able to do what He has called you to do. You can accomplish your goals. You have the ideas, the creativity, and talent to be successful. You can overcome any obstacle! You’ve been armed with strength for every battle! The forces that are with you are greater than the forces that are against you! Not only has God equipped you, but He is also working on your behalf. He has already lined up the right people to come across your path. He’s already lined up the right breaks. You have everything you need to live a victorious life. You were created to excel! You have seeds of greatness on the inside of you. You may not have seen it in the past, but if you’ll stay in faith, it’s just a matter of time. It’s on its way. Don’t settle where you are. Don’t have a weak, defeated mentality. Have the attitude, “I am anointed. I can accomplish my dreams. I can overcome any obstacle. I am equipped and empowered by the Creator of the universe! I am able to live the abundant life God has in store!” Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for equipping me. Thank You for empowering me. Help me stay focused on Your Word and Your plan for me today. Help me understand Your anointing so that I can do all You’ve called me to do. I bless You today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 40 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 42. Titus 2:2-6Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and tolive wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience.Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They mustnot slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach otherswhat is good. These older women must train the younger women to lovetheir husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in theirhomes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they willnot bring shame on the word of God. In the same way, encourage the youngmen to live wisely. (NLT)Titus 2:11-14For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teach-ing us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly,righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope andglorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Him-self for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify forHimself His own special people, zealous for good works. (NKJV)Philippians 2:12-16Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. Andnow that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the resultsof your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God isworking in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticizeyou. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights ina world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life;then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the racein vain and that my work was not useless. (NLT)Acts 17:11Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for theyreceived the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures everyday to see if what Paul said was true. (NIV)Proverbs 11:3Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous people. (NLT) GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 41
  • 43. James 1:22-25Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a manwho looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away andimmediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently intothe perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgettingwhat he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. (NIV) Change Your Mind Repent (think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. — Matthew 3:2 Do you have behaviors in your life that you want to stop? Maybe it’s a habit, a bad attitude, or even negative thoughts. No matter what you may want to change in your life, you have to start by changing your mind. You have to change your thinking so that your thoughts are in line with God’s thoughts. When you repent and make a deci- sion to follow God in every area of your life, you open the door for His supernatural power to work. When you take control of your thought life, you are cooperating with that power that is at work in you. Re- member, your life will go in the direction of your thoughts. You can’t just allow any old thought or image to play in your mind. You have to choose right thoughts. The easiest way to change your thoughts is by speaking God’s Word. When you say “orange”, you probably won’t start thinking about an apple. In the same way, when you confess the Word of God, which says you are more than a conqueror, it will drive those negative, defeated thoughts away! Change your mind today by changing your words. As you think thoughts of faith and victory, you will move forward into the abundant life He has in store for you! Prayer: Heavenly Father, today I choose to take captive every thought that is contrary to Your will. I repent for anything in my life that is displeasing to You. Empower me today by Your spirit so that I can bring honor to You. In Jesus’ Name. 42 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 44. CHAPTEIN PASSION AND JOY?HOW CAN I GROW R 7 Joy in His Presence You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand. — Psalm 16:11 Do you need more joy in your life today? God promises that joy is found in His presence, and if you’ve accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then His presence lives inside of you! That joy manifests when you focus your mind and heart on the Father and begin to praise Him for what He’s done in your life. The Bible says that He inhabits the praises of His people. When you begin to praise and thank Him, you are in His presence where there is fullness of joy. It doesn’t matter where you are or what’s going on around you, you can access the joy that’s inside of you at anytime, day or night. And know this: God wants you to experience His supernatural joy and peace at all times. That’s why He chose to live inside of you and give you an endless supply. Don’t waste another minute feeling overburdened and dis- couraged. Let the joy of the Lord be your strength, and you will move forward in victory on the path of life He’s prepared for you! Prayer: Father in heaven, thank You for an endless supply of joy. To- day, I choose to cast my cares on You and give You the praise, glory, and honor You deserve. Let joy flow through me today so that I can be a witness of Your goodness to those around me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.Numbers 25:12-13“Now tell him that I am making my special covenant of peace with him. Inthis covenant, I give him and his descendants a permanent right to the priest-hood, for in his zeal for me, his God, he purified the people of Israel, makingthem right with me.” (NLT)Joel 2:21Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things. (KJB) GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 43
  • 45. Psalm 69:7-9For I endure insults for your sake; humiliation is written all over my face. Evenmy own brothers pretend they don’t know me; they treat me like a stranger.Passion for your house has consumed me,and the insults of those who insultyou have fallen on me. (NLT)Proverbs 12:20Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planningpeace! (NLT) Prisoner of Hope If you will be a prisoner of hope, God will restore back to you double everything that was stolen. — Zechariah 9:12 Are you in an emotional prison today? You may not have thought about it that way, but if you are holding unforgiveness or bitterness towards someone who has wronged you—whether it was five, ten, or thirty years ago—that is an emotional prison. The Word of God promises that if you’ll step out of that prison and become a prisoner of hope, God will restore back to you double for your trouble! That means if someone does you wrong, instead of getting negative and bitter, your attitude should be, “They just did me a favor. They just qualified me for double.” That attitude will make you a prisoner of hope. When you’re a prisoner of hope, you simply can’t stop hoping. You are locked in! Lock into that attitude of victory that says, “I will not be defeated. It may look impossible, but I know God can do the impossible. They may have treated me wrong, but I’m not worried. I know God is my vindicator. It may be taking a long time, but in due season, I know I will reap if I just don’t give up.” Stand in that place of hope knowing that you will come out with twice the peace, twice the joy, and twice the victory today! Prayer: Gracious, Heavenly Father, today I choose to release those who have wronged me. I know You are my vindicator. You are my redeemer. Today I choose to be a prisoner of hope. Teach me to see others the way You see them today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 44 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 46. Proverbs 21:15When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.(NIV)Isaiah 42:12-13Let them give glory to the LORD and proclaim his praise in the islands. TheLORD will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal;with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies.(NIV)Isaiah 59:17For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation onHis head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, And was cladwith zeal as a cloak. (NKJV)Romans 12:11-12Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Bejoyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (NIV)Psalm 4:6-8Many people say, “Who will show us better times?” Let your face smile onus, LORD. You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant har-vests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone,O LORD, will keep me safe. (NLT)Psalm 5:11But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy,because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful inYou. (NKJV)Psalm 16:11You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence andthe pleasures of living with you forever. (NLT)Psalm 21:6Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with thejoy of your presence. (NIV) GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 45
  • 47. Psalm 68:3But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happyand joyful. (NIV)Job 8:20-21“Surely God does not reject a blameless man or strengthen the hands ofevildoers. He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts ofjoy.” (NIV) He Will Do Great Things Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things. –Joel 2:21 God wants to do great things in your life! Notice this verse starts out by saying “fear not.” Fear is a barrier to the promises of God. The Bible says that whatever does not come from faith is sin, or missing the mark. Don’t ever let fear be a factor in the choices you make in life. If you make choices because you are afraid of something, that fear will block the blessing of the Lord in that area. Overcome fear by meditating on the promises of God’s love and goodness. Perfect love casts out all fear. When you understand the love of God, you have nothing to fear. You know the Lord will do great things! Let that sink down into your spirit today. Meditate on this verse and declare it out loud every day. As you study God’s Word, your faith will grow and fear will be gone from your life. You’ll know His love, and you will experience His goodness in every area of your life! Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for goodness and faithfulness. Show me Your perfect love so that I may know You. I choose to rejoice in You and trust that You will do great things in my life! In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 46 GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING
  • 48. 3 John 1:3-4It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithful-ness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greaterjoy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (NIV)1 Thessalonians 5:16-18Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this isGod’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV)Philemon 1:7For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of thesaints have been refreshed by you, brother. (NKJV)Romans 14:17For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righ-teousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit . . . (NIV)17-18 God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach, forgoodness’ sake. It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it to-gether, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ.Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above youand proving your worth to the people around you. (The Message)Romans 15:13I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy andpeace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hopethrough the power of the Holy Spirit. (NLT) GOD’S PROMISES FOR A NEW BEGINNING 47
  • 49. JoelOsteen.com Lakewood.cc 713-635-4154 | P.O. Box 4600 Houston, TX 77210
  • 50. F OR I K NOW THE PL ANS I HAVE FOR YOU,”DECL A R E S T H E LOR D , “PL ANS TO PROSPER YOU AND NOT TO HARM YO U , P L A N S TO GIVE YOU HOPE AND A FUTURE. — JEREMIAH 29:11 — JoelOsteen.com Lakewood.cc