Fresh Hope – 6th September 2016

When our lives are lived unchecked and unchallenged, we tend to fall back into the familiar.

We feel safe doing what we’ve always done, knowing that we won’t have to think differently, plan differently or be different.

Take a person that has only ever been to one or two familiar places on their family holiday. Each year, the desire to go somewhere different is quashed by the fear of the unknown.

My parents, both now in their mid-eighties, had never been to Scotland until they were taken by us when they were 70, simply because their parents had told them it was too far.

There are so many new things out there today for you to explore, if only you would stop being conditioned by the thoughts and feelings that keep holding you back.

When John the Baptist was about to be born, his father was given strict instructions by an Angel that his name was to be John.

Eight days after his birth (Luke 1 v 57-66) came the naming ceremony in which the relatives felt he should be named Zechariah, after his father.

When his mother and father both separately spoke out, and said that his name was to be John, there was a family uproar, in which they all said “there is no one among your relatives who has that name.@

Think about it for a moment; the family couldn’t even think beyond the familiar names that they’d been accustomed to and seemingly got pretty annoyed when a new name was introduced.

I wonder if today you are clinging onto that which you are familiar with when God has something new for your life today.

Stop listening to those that hold you back and want you to only play it safe and do the familiar.

Remember: if you want something to happen today that has never happened to you before, then you have to do something that you’ve never done before.

John became a household name as he literally made way for Jesus. It was an unfamiliar, unpopular and ‘never been done before’ pathway that he had to walk, and yet his footsteps paved the way for the saviour of the world.

I challenge you today, to stop walking in the same old paths that lead to nowhere and instead be willing to go where no man has been before.

Psalm 119:105 ‘Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.’

Pastor Mark

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