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A Clean Slate

Chester Clark III

Description

Ever thought how wonderful it would be to have a second chance, a new start? God’s offer for new beginnings is better than any executive offer of clemency, better than any absolute pardon available here on earth! Find out how, as we explore how we can start 2013 with a clean slate – and make the most of its opportunities!

Presenter

Chester Clark III

Pastor, Evangelist, and Educator

Sponsor

Recorded

  • January 5, 2013
    11:00 AM
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this is wonderful when we party had a blessing before the sermon is sort of takes the pressure off of me doesn't so I appreciate the testimonies and the blessings and shared already I was thinking as I hope each of you were over how God has blessed me this here and this past year Jane and I are so thankful to be here not and I know I've heard I've heard you will say Doctor Watt expressed again today that you are glad working here but I just want to say we want to say we feel like where the blessed ones awareness very very thankful to seeing God 's handling so clearly and to be where he wants to be a wonderful wonderful thing to be where God wants us to be what you know is that time of year the time of year when we do make it New Year's resolutions we do think about the year ahead and down at times we think also upon the air behind us right we reflect upon two thousand twelve even as we are thinking about two thousand thirteen and you know one of the things that I've thought about his life lot about the new year with many wonderful if we could just begin with a clean slate just me again with without any baggage without any mistakes about any biases with just a clean slate and as I was thinking about that I read the story of of one woman this did seem into the news in the last week or two Joyce Holman had been in jail for well she had a life of crime for nearly three decades she found herself at the age of about thirty nine years old she found herself going in the jail again and he said why am I here I again I'm a grandmother why am I in jail once again she had had I rob habit that had led to the small crimes and an fast and so forth and you found yourself with a a record she got out of jail in nineteen ninety five she determine she would do something different and she began to change her life she enrolled in classes needed called she became I think an x-ray tech and I began to hold a job and she has been involved in a church ministry involved in helping others find hope at at the end of a life of crime helpful for change and hope through Jesus Christ but you know there was one thing that was still remain she still had a record as you know when you have a record that includes felonies you lose some of your citizens rights you lose for example your right to vote your right to bear arms you're right to sit on a jury to serve in that way there are certain things you collins citizen disabilities that if you have that kind of a record you will have for the rest of your life unless something happens another certain things we call them clemency right there's certain things that the executives of our states can do whether it's the local state governments or the United States of clemency allows the executive to to offer certain medications for those records are one of those things they can they can do they can offer for example commutation of the sentence where they can be inert a bit of divination reduced sentence or they can be released from serving their sentence their record still remains however were more familiar with the term pardon right and pardon is something that also executives can offer for a for a criminal and a pardon and absolute pardon expunge is the record of that person so that if it just as if they had not committed those crimes is not something so last maybe doing so now there was a governor of the of this woman stating the governor Chris Christie decided that she had lived a life demonstrating a real change of heart and he pardoned her restoring her as a full citizen of the state restoring her civil liberties restoring her as a law keeping citizen set of available lawbreaking citizen in your life think about our thinking you know it's a wonderful thing for part and become I can just imagine what this woman must've been thinking about how she must've felt as he realized her life and then change her record had been she was no longer a criminal and ex-con she was now pardon she now had a clean record it's interesting because this woman's partner was based upon her performance the party that I want to talk about today is much better is not based upon our staying clean for twenty years not based upon what we can do or will the activities that we can engage ourselves in although I promise you those will happen to is based upon the free grace the love of Jesus let's talk this morning about having a clean slate in two thousand and thirteen before we open the word of God I just invited by your heads with me for an additional worker father in heaven thank you for being willing to pardon us when Governor Christie part of this woman it cost them very little but the part of us you gave the life of your only son Lord as we consider this this morning I just pray to your spirit would guide our hearts and minds as we look forward to two thousand and thirteen million Queensway printer must this is our prayer or desire Jesus thing in the program Bibles first of all what a look at a couple Bible writers talk about this clean slate experience first of all we have the demand David and Damon was one who had made mistakes and are busy right this Psalm Psalm fifty one he is very much aware of the fact that he does not deserve to have a clean slate and it's amazing to me to read what he what he says is a Asom chapter fifty one and verse seven he says purge me with this and what assistant you know several things it's an urban is a bitter herb and sometimes when we think about this bitter herb we recognize that the purging process by purging us from our sins is sometimes painful expensive it obtained we want to have sort of like no pain no gain using these people going to the gym and working out and they say you know I want to feel it I want to feel good about life I know I'm benefiting from it was some somewhat similar in our Christian experience when God purges us from sin when we ask God to cleanse our hearts from sin we get permission to God to cleanse our hearts and send sometimes but sisters and trials tribulations and throw troubles but it's all for the outcome we ask for it's all because it's for his name 's honor and glory is another thing about this if we should knows we think about David's words your visit was the curve that was used on the Passover sprinkle the blood on the door the Damon may not be just referring to this idea of no cleansing from sin as a kind of painful process is referring to the process includes the blood of Jesus purge me with this and I shall be clean wash me and I should be wider than snow makes me hear joy and gladness of the bone who broken may rejoice hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities in the verses that were most familiar where the person create in me a clean heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within the not cast me away from your presence do not take your Holy Spirit from me restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me by your generous spirit then I will teach transgressors your ways and centers will be converted to you how to begin it begins with Clinton's and David said or something marvels of God I serve yes I've made mistakes yes I've done things I regret but there is a God in heaven who can purge me with this that a lot of Jesus is sufficient for even my sin not only to forgive me for my sins but to restore me as a child of God not a very stormy as a child of God but it was storming as a worker to tell others about the good news of Jesus Christ all you thankful for Jesus they are a thankful that there is such a thing as beginning a new Damon was thankful for it David prayed for it I believe David received it we can experience that as well today Isaiah Isaiah joins David's course and he says in these first few verses of Isaiah describes a very despicable condition of spiritual condition of God 's people corporately and he's describing it as some sort of a leprosy it is even rotting the flash from the bottom of the feet and the crown of the head and he says in verse eighteen there is hope Isaiah chapter one verse eighteen this is God 's word speaking to a sick nation of Israel he says now let us reason together says the Lord though your sins are like scarlet they shall be as wide as what is white as snow though they be red like crimson they shall be as wool is that good news brother and sisters though they be red like crimson listen you don't have to have a criminal record you don't have to always on your record to appreciate the good news the Scripture doesn't matter who we are we've all sinned and fall short of the glory of God again we've all done things that should they need the light of day we would not be brought up we've all met things that in the judgment would in fact condemn us but praise God as a savior who is willing to pardon our record is not just David Isaiah Ezekiel also shares this good news one of my favorite passages in Ezekiel chapter thirty six and verse twenty six it's actually hate is actually a gospel presentation in just a few verses I like to read the verse before the verse after because of the beauty of this passage is that the whole message all in a few verses Isaiah chapter Ezekiel chapter thirty six in verse twenty five and this is what it says that I will spring sprinkle clean water on you and you shall be clean and ever wondered what that clean water is that God is going to sprinkle on us to cleanse us I'd ever wondered what that is how are we expecting that there's going to be a literal sprinkling that cleanses us from sin we know this is a figurative phrase right we know this is talking and symbols here what exactly water a human right is in your margin you might want to I just want to study this later take note and John chapter fifteen in verse three Jesus tells his disciples now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you to catch that the word that Jesus spoke to his disciples had a cleansing affect their lives and I believe that as we spend time in the word of God we received a sprinkling of clean water that cleanses us is not closing our record at something totally different than the actual hearts and minds in fact it says in Ephesians chapter five verse twenty five or so it says that he might cleanse it with the Washington integers and I cleanse it with the washing of the want of water by the word the I have more yesterday about spot or wrinkle or any such thing to the word of God our hearts and minds are clean we we see here in verse thirty six numbers versus twenty six now continuing on I will give you a what new heart and put a new spirit within you and I will take a heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a hard of what that is the miracle has nothing to do with what we can do for ourselves I cannot change my heart my heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things the problem tells us but God can change my heart to America we call conversion and he says it's like a heart transplant we heard about heart transplants morning right that's what we all need a heart transplant a new heart and he promises to do that for us verse twenty seven I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and what a wonderful promise isn't it God promises to do for us that are scheduled for today the Corinthians chapter five in verse seventeen Paulson we can we do go on in fact that I considered spending a lot more time talking about all of the different Bible writers and their reflections upon this this miracle this amazing good news of being cleansed and starting fresh with second Corinthians chapter five and verse seventeen another powerful path to tell us what God can do and will do for those who are willing he says in verse seventeen therefore if anyone is aware if anyone is in Christ if anyone is in Christ he is a new creature he or she is a new creation all things are passed away behold all things are become new that means friends that you and I can experience in Christ a relation shared with him that is a reboot or restart it is a wiping away of our past record and beginning a new I'm thankful that we can have that experience as we begin two thousand thirteen owner share with you from one of my favorite little books that the Christ the way this is written on page sixty two it says if you give yourself to him and accept him as their Savior then symbolize your life may have been for his sake you are counted what wonders they righteous Christ characters stand in place of your character and you are excepting before God just as if you had not sin praise God praise God in any man is in Christ he is a new creature old things are passed away all things are become new lesson when God sees you when God sees me he doesn't have to see our records in the CR are hard hearts when he can see if we allow him to be our Savior from sin if we've allowed him to do take throne of our heart when he sees is not my record Chester Clark of what I've said what I've done he sees the perfect blameless and spotless righteousness of Jesus Christ credited to my account we call that justification to talk about that in a and a little in a little while little while we'll talk more about justification and that is my friends being able to have our records when starting with a clean slate starting the year starting the day starting the rest of our lives looking to Jesus and what he can do in and through us now when I think about a clean slate I think not only about the record of our hearts at the not only the visitation I also think about the year ahead I never thought about you today as being a blank piece of paper in your filling it out ever thought about the year ahead twenty thirteen as being a blank canvas on which you are going to fill the colors and hues and textures of a painting that you have control over you have decisions on twenty thirteen is a clean slate and so think about it from this perspective a little better but as I thought about what it meant to have a clean slate for twenty thirteen I started thinking about how how do we use our time because point searching is just an allotment of time a description of time right that we're describing is a blank slate time is really the essence here if we think of the year as a blank slate so how are we can begin our time well in a year we have we have about eight thousand seven hundred and sixty hours pay that's what a year contains plus or minus a few seconds and is leap year course little different but this is Ari January five right so remaining in this year you have about eight thousand six hundred and fifty Gbytes for the hundred and eight hours of the new year roughly some like that and so many hours are in the books there gone there Artie being Dave Ogden placed on that campus how are you going to use the rest of the eight hundred eight thousand six hundred and fifty two hours so I thought we just look at some averages about how people use their time right that interest you first of all the biggest category biggest single category of how people use their time leaving his sleep that's right and of course some of us use more than others but something like seven half hours of sleep when the yields two thousand seven hundred hours of sleep in two thousand and thirteen another way to say that is if you are to get all your sleep Holloway is the sleeping of wisdom and online right wake up on April twenty third a January one to April twenty three you would get your two thousand seven hundred hours out-of-the-way and then you can begin living except that what else he needed time for a eating yes but before that you spend more time at work and you do eating I hope most of us do and so two thousand hours roughly two thousand hours of work so here is a laches is asleep in the work out of the way so I can enjoy my eating enjoy the rest of my life you would actually wake up at July fifteen after only eating and sleeping you would've spent from January one to July fifteen now we also have some other responsibilities we have about six hundred dollars of housework that we spend a year average some like that in them with your mail of being honest playing a song about everything from on the lawn and and the taking of the finances to do your cleaning and laundry and so forth and by the way you know if we are taking care of children are taken care of elders these hours all changes a lot of variation different phases of our lives but not six hundred hours of housework we spend this is sort of necessary you know housekeeping activities we newsman about five hundred hours eating now some people I know spend consider the less some people probably do spend consuming more than about five hundred hours of eating is also pretty much necessary most people are the average commute in America's twenty seven half minutes and think it is silly like that and so that yields is about four hundred hours of commuting every day this is also pretty necessary stuff and done since we're good churchgoers here I decided to we send the necessary category to write and about a hundred and fifty six hours of going to church less just on Sabbath morning three hours a week or so that's that's all messing up if we were to just put all of this out of the way and get out of the way we would be sleeping until or sleeping eating and doing the necessary details until one evening in the year September twenty one this year twenty thirteen the the fall will begin on September twenty two so you would slept worked eight done details always in January one until September you would admit spring and summer and you'd wake up just in time for fall or you get distant time there now what else can we do with our time this is on the right-hand column were talking about either sort of optional things we decide about that we we don't have to spend and this is an average of about three seven three eight hours a day some age groups in America spend as many as five hours a day watching television but this is a big chunk of our time Americans time we spent about two hundred seventy three hours a year socializing about a hundred and forty two hours a year in exercise probably one of the New Year's resolutions that a large majority of us what was a sixty five percent Pharaoh was late think those the percentage of two hundred hours or so are spent on computer about eighty eight now is spent on reading that leaves us with a total of about four hundred hours a year that is discretionary time or some less discretionary as well the question is as we begin twenty thirteen is a begin this new year how are you going to fill those hours power you going to fill that Slate how are you going to fill that canvas with the opportunities that you've been given you and I have decisions to make we have things we can do decisions that we can do that will be a profitable use of our time and some that are less profitable sometimes leaving our life just happens leaving that we don't really have much say-so about it really we do we do have opportunities to decide how we use our time we do have opportunities to make plans as to how we will structure our days are our discretionary time I know for me if I don't make those plans I often find myself my timing using away otherwise and I would choose chosen to use it and other people choose how my kind will be used Navy distractions choose how my time will be used as an intentionality becomes my life so there's a couple things I'm an out of plaintiff couple things that I was learning as I as I was thinking about this this week what are the things that we could do that would be the best uses of our time will the best uses of our time I think are those things that we can do the don't take any time at all that you must time that would be ideal would be to just do something that wouldn't take any time but we would get extra time like extra credit on a quiz with the best I don't know of anything so you're looking for looking for me to answer some like that I don't know that but there's something there something that are pretty close and I'm one of the things that I learned I have been learning I I found this graph and my wife will be happy about this she's always talking the above exercise should exercise more and on this I read as this came out last year sometime but this is talking about time lost years lost through lack of exercise and I want all the details here but these are different for different categories of a body fat index body mass index and the impact it the exercise has on law lifespan or longevity okay how much time you exercise but it is some sort of an average here is a some sort of an average year we could say that if you're about forty years old exercising just fifteen minutes a day until you are sixty five could add three years to your life fifteen minutes a day and doesn't even have to be overwhelmingly difficult exercise it can be moderate exercise fifteen minutes a day could add three years July now let's do some math okay if we were to multiply that quarter of an hour fifteen minutes times twenty five years each of the exercising and three hundred sixty five days in a year that comes out to two thousand two hundred and eighty one hours than exercising that's a lot of time to exercise me think of it about twenty five years right fifteen minutes a day tank comes up to two thousand two hundred and eighty one hours spent exercising but what do we get out of that we spent two thousand two hundred and eighty one hours but we had three years twenty four hours a day three hundred sixty five days in a year we get out of that twenty six thousand hours two hundred twenty six thousand two hundred eighty hours twenty six thousand is that a good deal of what that's a good deal by spending two thousand two hundred and eighty one one hours we get back to the twenty six thousand two hundred and eighty hours so our net gain after we take out the time we spent our net gain is just under twenty four thousand hours or we gain a thousand days that's a no-brainer right if you want to fill your slate with good decisions make no-brainer decisions right now you might think that I'm just your average exercise my main goal was not average but exercise but illustrate a point because as Christians is an even greater no-brainer decision an even greater no-brainer decision but as an exercise is known to us but as an exercise is having a relationship with them she does John tells the birth on chapter five he who has done has life and that life is eternal life that whosoever believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life now we know you you read and written in Revelation chapter twenty about the millennium right of the suite we understand that during the thousand years those who are saved and arranges things and add up and and and sit on the throne of judgment with Jesus so let's just take a thousand years for example suppose it was to take eighty years for us to spend on this life on this earth and no cheese lettuce of thousands of his eighty years not only the text is that I believe it don't this takes us well Holy Spirit doesn't work any moment that we cannot explain like the wind we can't explain that you supposedly have eighty years no Jesus and the gain that prize if you were up it of eternal life a thousand years gain what does that matter as nine hundred and twenty years that a great decision or what in the habit of your whole life even if this eighty years is a short years or however long you live even if not your whole life was consumed with Jesus which by the way when were completely loses our whole life is an rich because Jesus says seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you men but even if you're only eight years in nineteen hundred twenty year net by the way that not even take into consideration I couldn't do any math to explain eternity I just been figured out I tried my chalkboard wasn't big enough to unite I've heard I've heard many different explanations of how long eternity is you know you've heard maybe that the example of other of the little bird flies of the ocean takes a little sip of water you know this little bit of the film and he flies back on dry land he spits it out any goes back to the ocean he is little more water because that's broadband spits it out in eternity is how long it would take for them to drive knowledge wrinkle lotion is a long time right is a long long time we can even begin to try to fathom how long it is one of my favorite illustrations eternity is is simply due to use some sort of like a piece of time that I can get my hands around like a thousand years okay I can't even competent thousand years I haven't lived of well I'm lifting a fraction of that yet or have a diffraction instruments and as I as I think of a thousand years I do sort of begin to comprehend how long it is and it just imagine this with me imagine that once the millennium is finished and the Newark is re-created and and we've been given the keys doormats and have an ongoing need because we'll never lock them and being given a chance to build our country homes out in the end and planet Earth where we are I can just imagine Jesus coming to you coming anything Chester the next thousand years and just for you and me one on one what he wanted to blank canvas talk about a clean slate wouldn't that be wonderful the creator of the universe that God sustainer of everything coming USA is just you and me travel how we can travel explain your night you understand that then the mysteries of science I can explain it to you as far as long as one what I think they wanted to do with their you what you want to be a part of naming or creating or whatever it is just put up your bucket list for the thousand years right can you imagine it is that was imagine what you could give a thousand years just you when Jesus would not be amazing when adding wireless yell I can imagine is again to the end of the thousand years yields of around nine hundred and ninety eight hundred nine hundred ninety nine agreement counting that way I can imagine coming to the end of that millennium and thinking where to go if starting gonzo blasts and Jesus are lapsing of is that well just anyone to build another thousand years share now the news why not just me and Jesus and you know that eternity is so wall then Jesus could do that with every single one of us and he'd have just as much time left as we started using God as a personal relationship with you you have an grasp eternity it is in God doesn't care about you personally I want to spend eternity with you personally you haven't grasped what eternity is to live forever is a very long time had a wonderful thing it's a wonderful thing to live forever delivery Kennedy the very best decision we can make in twenty thirteen the best use of our time is spending time with Jesus making sureties gleaned are slim making sureties given us a new heart because we chose we chose and begins which will be ours abiding in Jesus by faith in Allah talk about some big theological terms here and I don't want to get concreted I believe the gospel is simple but I want to say that clean slate IIs described as justification justification simply means to be made right to be made righteous some of you young people here in the computers of the ever noticed that everybody ever seeing the phrase justification in your word processor 's know you justify your margins was that me either make them either make them one on the right right call me or make a map on the left column remake of lineup on both columns let me suggest to justify the God justifies us he makes our lives line up with the standards of his law perfectly perfect because of Jesus and his righteousness imputed Arkansan accent that's justification therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ Romans five tells us we can stand before God sets the price they should use it just as if we had not been undone doesn't that is not dependent upon your performance friends it doesn't mean you need to go out and try harder twenty thirteenth doesn't mean you to start earlier tomorrow regularly and read your Bible longer know if it is safe and you and I can make right now today that Jesus our Savior and give our lives to him this is our Lord and we can stand before God just as if we had not sent in a piece of God or Lord Jesus Christ praise God praise God I'm so thankful I'm so thankful that we can have justification but there's another word I will share with you sanctification is Laughlin quibbling about these two terms and how they relate it is very there are inextricably linked you can have one copy of the really because sanctification is sent when choosing to stay justify the want to walk with Jesus your Savior you can have justification without repentance right here familiar with that concept if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness repentance is a sorrow for sin and a turning away from it that implies a change right God doesn't just say okay now you're not here just by now your pardon no what God says becomes reality praise God God 's word has creative power and he not only makes us righteous legally he changes our hearts so that we will walk in his way that's a growing experience each step of the way we want to stay perfectly justified by his grace right by his righteousness and so will we abide in Christ as you have therefore received Christ Jesus Lord so walking in him how does that happen it happens like race proofing we are we walking Jesus the same way we receive Jesus by grace through faith in that's how we experience a new relationship with Jesus now hot why does this important some of you are making New Year's resolutions some of our resolutions may have a spiritual connotation I wanted to say something I have seen a great number of Christians who've attempted to be sanctified before the just it simply doesn't work I need to change the way I live my life I'm in the focus is on me to focus on what I can do the focus on my externals and what I can change listen unless we start with a clean slate let me start with a miracle all our intentions I think the you will they won't even amount to a women's thing we must have Jesus as our Savior from sin of violating in our hearts become a new creature and then we can walk and grow in that experience that makes sense twenty thirteen as a clean slate we have an opportunity to grow in Jesus without an opportunity to become more than men and women the boys and girls mature Christians that God is calling us to the race starts and has to start with a clean slate in hearts it has to start with Jesus for giving us not because were worthy not because of anything we've done but simply because of who units because he is the Savior of the world because he loved us so much that he gave his son that he gave his life that we might a safe I want to have this kind of Queens late this year how much you I want to begin anew with Jesus I want to have his character standing in place of my character that I want to fill this year with the decisions that are no-brainers yes exercise but especially staying close to Jesus that your desire the best use of time could possibly have a spring father in heaven thank you so much for giving us the wonderful privilege of not just knowing the Goss but of experiencing the gospel more today there may be someone here who's known these things but doesn't have the confidence that their slate is clean their beginning afresh with you oh Lord today I just want to pray for every person in this my voice as we begin twenty thirteen as we begin a new year and empty canvas and empty slate that you will cleanse our hearts that you will be our Savior that we might experience what Paul is describing when he said if any man is in Christ any woman is in Christ any boy or girls in Christ they are new creation old things are passed away all things are become new but that's a miracle we can't work for ourselves we can't change our hearts nothing we do will change them but were asking that they were given you permission to be the Lord of our lives to be the Savior of our souls to cleanse our record and put in its place the righteousness of Jesus Lord as we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ we want to continue walking and that experience we want to continue growing in that experience we don't want one minute one hour one second twenty thirteen for us to be naked and bare before the throne of God and the Lord Congress in your righteousness and may we stay there as we keep submitting our hearts minds and wills to you this is our prayer the service are we thank you for the promise that he who is begun a good work in us will complete until the day of Jesus Christ that our experience mass and confident as in his will this media was brought audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God 's word to read seven audio and much more you would like to know more about our universe is like the more certain and him please visit www. audio source .org

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