New Beginnings

New Beginnings
Reflection by Pastor, Rev. Dr. Scott T. Arnold
First Baptist Church of Los Angeles
3 Does God pervert justice?  Does the Almighty pervert what is right?
4 When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin.
5 But if you will seek God earnestly and plead with the Almighty, 6 if you are pure and upright,
even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your prosperous state.
7 Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.

  • Bildad the Shuhite in Job 8:3-7.
  New beginnings are possible, especially when people seek the justice and mercy of God.  If we earnestly ask God, “plead with the Almighty”, and seek purity and righteousness, God will restore and renew us.  Prosperity, according to the wise consult of Job, is not a matter of effort or intent alone, it involves honesty, integrity, and humility. While Bildad was right, he was also bent on blaming Job for a lack of humility. Of course, we can understand that Job was dealing with much loss and grief, and the brokenness he experienced would eventually be healed by the restorative work of God’s love and restoration.  It would take prayer, time, and patience.
    In many respects, that is where we are today. We are in a pandemic, a time of heartache and loss, a time of disparity, polarity, and immorality.  Even people who proclaim faith in Jesus have been deceived by political leaders and have succumbed to personality cults and conspiracy traps. We need a new beginning in so many ways. Churches need new beginnings. Individuals are reviewing their life priorities. Families are re-evaluating ways to become healthier and more supportive.
     We need new beginnings, and for such a time as we have been going through, what will your new beginning look like?  What will the church’s new beginning look like?  What will our city’s new beginning look like?  What will our country’s new beginning look like?  Will we learn from the past and the penalty of sin’s consequences, as Bildad suggests to Job?  Will we turn from sin and start anew?  Humility is the beginning of wisdom, the predecessor to hope and newness.  Change is possible if we confess our need for the Lord, and how we must learn ways to work together in love. 
     New beginnings are what God calls us to in Jesus Christ.  Come, let us turn to Jesus and find new life, new hope, new joy, and renewed love.
  • Pastor Scott Arnold

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