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            A common experience with a computer is that we have to restart it—we need to initialize the operating system; or with a digital keyboard we are advised to initialize the board to reset to factory specifications. The definition for initialize is: to set variables to their starting values at the beginning of a program; or: to clear internal memory of previous data in preparation for use.

            Beginning each New Year or new day, God has given us the privilege to restart anew with sins forgiven, by repenting of yesterday’s mistakes. Because of the corrupting influence of the world around us, in so many forms and so many types of communications today, we need to initialize our thoughts and reset our value system by confessing our sins to God.

            The sinful nature has influenced and controlled the human mind ever since Adam and Eve rebelled against the Word of God—and because of our tendency to fall back into sinful ways, thoughts, ideas, and desires—and because of the influence the sin nature still has in the world, we need to initialize our operating system; make a new beginning by repenting to God and confessing our sins to Him. We then start the day with a clean slate, corrected thoughts, and a forgiven heart.

            It is always necessary to initialize our mind and make a new start, because of possible sins in word, thought or deed. Romans 3:11 “There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable [corrupt]; There is none who does good, no, not one.” 23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

            It is so easy to have something or someone come between us and God, therefore, Commandment #1 is a reminder that idolatry is not permitted. Exodus 20:3 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Satan often attempts to have us be so interested or involved in something, that our spiritual interests are not priority and an idol can form in our heart.

            God does not allow us to have anything replacing Him in our heart and life. Exodus 20:5 “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God.” Jealousy is a very strong emotion, and it has, no doubt, caused more harm in human relationships than we could count.

            Love is also a very powerful emotion, and our first love must be reserved for God and God alone. This New Year is a new beginning—when we initialize our life by repenting of our sins—if we confess; God forgives 1 John 1:9. Mark 12:30 “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul Deuteronomy 6, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” 

            We sin when we give in to temptation. Satan is the originator of temptation, but we can resist temptation successfully, when we have the Word in our heart, and the Holy Spirit controlling our desires. 1 John 2:14 “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”

            The best time to initialize our mind is when we arise in the morning—getting on our knees in prayer to God—owning up to our mistakes; admitting our sins in thought, word, or deed; and confessing those mistakes before Him. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to restart—and this time in the strength and divine ability God provides through the gift of His Spirit.

            This initializing includes a renewed interest in God’s Word, because the Word is the basis of our faith in Him. The Holy Scriptures—and reading them, is how we learn what is God’s will concerning everything. James 1:21 “Humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”

            Love is the reason for every season, and love is the motivation behind every gift. When Jesus explained what the most important commandment was, Mark 12:32 “The scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: 33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Jesus then said to him, “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.”

            When we think about all that God has given, and the many blessings we have enjoyed from Him, we are filled with gratitude. We thank Him for the comfortable church meeting room He provides—such blessings prove that He is controlling and supplying our needs.

            Scripture informs us 1 John 5:19 “that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” This world is a dangerous place, and potential deception or harm is everywhere. The people in the world are controlled by an evil devil—who wants to deceive, defeat, and destroy anyone who is unaware of what he is attempting to do.

            The warning is clear Ephesians 5:15-16, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise [fools] but as wise, making the most of every opportunity [Redeeming the time], because the days are evil.” The days are evil because the devil is evil, and is in control of most people—all those who have not given their life to God, and have not surrendered their self-will to be God’s divine will.

            The warning continues Ephesians 5:17 “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” Sin can still be an issue as we begin the New Year. The destructive effects of sin should be obvious, but Satan blinds the minds of many—especially those who accept the false doctrine of Once Saved; Always Saved. Millions who may have once been saved, were later lost due to unrepentant sin.

            With so many instant ways to communicate today, wrong thoughts; unscriptural desires; destructive habits; and corrupting influences are prevalent and are surrounding us—therefore we need to initialize our operating system and cleanse our thought process by sincerely repenting before God, and confessing our sins to Him. We need to restart the day correctly.

            We are in a very intense spiritual war, which will continue through the New Year, and will not diminish until Christ returns—which is quickly approaching. We must be alert and not be deceived with the wrong teaching that is everywhere today. Sin has always been the issue, and it still is the issue in this day of grace.

            Ananias and Sapphira were among the believers at the time they were deceived by the devil, who influenced them to lie when questioned by the apostle. It says Acts 5:2 “He (Ananias) kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?’” 

            Satan had deceived Ananias to do that—sin was still an issue for both Ananias and Sapphira, even though they had once been believers—proving that OSAS doctrine is not true. They both lost their lives and their salvation because of deliberate sin—even though Jesus died on the Cross to make Atonement for sin—if they would repent. Sin was a serious issue then, and it still is a serious issue today. Ephesians 5:15 “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.”

            We should be Ephesians 5:17 “understanding what the will of the Lord is;” which is known by reading the Bible, which says Romans 12:2 “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” We are being wise when we allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten us to know God’s will.

            The Holy Spirit enables us to initialize our thoughts to be scriptural reasoning. 1 Corinthians 2:14 “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

            As we begin a New Year, we have a huge responsibility as believers in Christ, to act, decide, and to live as His representatives on earth. There are not many making that commitment; not many living by the Word; and not many living by faith in God. Nevertheless, by correct choices; scriptural decisions; and initializing our thoughts by repenting, we can be among the few who do.

            The gift of the Holy Spirit enables us to know the importance of making scriptural decisions in life—decisions that affect those around us and everyone in our home. What is heard; viewed; said; seen, accepted into the home, and spoken about in conversation, must have God’s approval and blessing. If it does not, we are being deceived by the devil.

            It can be a gradual process, but also a continual process, if we are not aware that Satan is deceiving us with something in disguise. Our new beginning and our re-initializing must include a new commitment to God’s will and Word—in the way of our reading material, music, books, magazines, computer programs, movies, online searches, and entertainment in general.

            In these closing days, we must diligently seek to know God’s will in all that we say, do, and decide. Children and young people must see a scriptural example in those from whom they learn—those who have accepted God’s Truth. Unrepentant sin can still be an issue, and it can bring about serious spiritual harm, if it is not dealt with through confession, prayer, and initializing our thoughts every morning. Jesus warned, Matthew 24:4 “Take heed that no one deceives you.”  

            As the spiritual war becomes more intense, we must be in a higher state of alert to Satan’s deceptions through his ever-changing disguises. As the world moves away from the Advent season—a season which is to fill our hearts with love, peace, and hope, it seems that in the world we only hear of strife, turmoil, and despair.

            In the midst of the resentment and rage that is so common today, God’s original plan for His creation and His children keeps replaying in our mind—love, peace, kindness, and a living hope for the future made possible by the gift of His Son. If meek souls will, receive Him still—Jesus will enter our heart and forgive our sins.

            By repentance, prayer, and steadfast faith—it is still vitally important to initialize our life anew everyday—and thanking God for the privilege to place those sins at the foot of the cross.


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