Message Recap | 12.14.2014
Speaker: Aaron Taylor, Lead Pastor
In our series, Not Such A Wonderful Life, we talked about the hope that Jesus provides for those who are struggling with loneliness and broken hopes and dreams. Back in 1990, I had just completed my 20th year with the McDonald’s Corporation. I was an area supervisor of a franchise that included 6 restaurants, 30 management people, and about 500 employees. I had an incredible career. I started out as a grill man at age 16 working for $1.65 an hour and had worked myself up in the ranks to supervisor. I thought I had it all. I was earning a good wage that enabled me to have my own home and support my family. Then things changed one day. I was told I was no longer needed. I was out of work. I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me. My hope for a continued great future was crushed. You see, this whole scenario started with me standing up for the truth. My regret was the truth wasn’t necessarily what the owners wanted to hear. After I was fired I wondered if I should have kept my mouth shut. I regretted challenging their decisions. I wasn’t the boss. I had made a mistake that cost me my livelihood.
You know, I think that some of us are pretty good at beating up on ourselves when we make mistakes. In fact, I think that often times forgiving ourselves for past mistakes can be even more difficult for some of us than forgiving others. In fact, the inability to receive God’s grace and forgive ourselves can actually leave us trapped and in a pattern of causing continual pain either to ourselves or to others that we love.
This week we are going to look at forgiving ourselves, or moving beyond the hurt that we’ve experienced in our own lives as we receive forgiveness from God. Christmas, and the story of Christ’s birth, is a wonderful reminder for those who are struggling with regret and guilt. Join me in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 1, verses 19-21.
Matthew 1:19-21 (NKJV): “Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Mary had been told that she was going to have a child conceived by the Holy Spirit even though she was a virgin. To complicate matters, she was engaged to be married to Joseph. How do you explain that? The Bible tells us that Joseph was struggling with these things when an Angel of the Lord appeared to Him in a dream.
If you want to learn more about Mary and the meaning of “Jesus” as found in God’s Word, as well as hope for those Who Battle Regret, listen to our podcast at http://painesvilleag.com/notsuchawonderfullife for the complete message.
Friend, the past cannot be changed, but the meaning of the past can be changed. We can never change what happened, but God can change the meaning of the past, if we will allow Him. What is God saying? Do something new, something different, don’t dwell on the past. Let it go. There’s a new day. As a new year approaches, grab it with a spiritual new birth of the risen Christ, who says, “I forgive, and I give second chances.” Spend some time in prayer this week seeking God and begin to receive His gift of grace that only Jesus Christ can give.