Do you ever wish you could go back in time? Where would you go? What would you do?
Some would go back and attempt to change history. You know, make sure Adolph Hitler never gets to purchase that 'how to be an evil dictator kit.' Or the folks that doubted that Mt. Vesuvius was going to blow would make it out of Pompeii in time to avoid the lava bath.
Others would go back in time to make easy money. Simple plan, just head back to the 1970's and put some serious bank in the little known company called Microsoft, and you're pretty much set for life. Or you could really impress your friends by knowing every Super Bowl and World Series champion year after year after year.
But then there are the people like me who would go back for a very different reason…which would be this:
We look back in time and see all the forks in the road of life where we took the wrong turn, and permanent damage was done. All the unkind things we said, all the bad choices that we now regret, all the amazing opportunities that were given, but wasted.
That's kinda the premise of the film 17 Again starring 'I'm not just the High School Musical star' Zac Efron (Vanessa Hudgens not included). Zac plays a character that regrets missed opportunities from High School and is transformed into a 17 year old and given a second chance to be a basketball rock star.
Of course, this is just a movie, right? But in real life, we can't go back and change our mistakes. Maybe that's what makes this film intriguing to so many…because it's captivating to think that there is a way we could unload guilt and regret from the past.
I have some great news for you. There actually is a way to change your past. It doesn't involve a time machine or an age transformation; it is actually much more radical change. What I'm talking about is a deeply personal experience that is a complete renovation of your soul and perspective on your past.
Are you in? If so, read through the promises listed below that come from God Himself:
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness (1 John 1:9).
For his unfailing love toward those who fear Him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:11-12).
Once again you will have compassion on us.
You will trample our sins under your feet
and throw them into the depths of the ocean! (Micah 7:19).
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17).
These passages from the Bible are more than just words. They are pledges from the God of the universe who does not lie and who does not change. When you trust Jesus as your only hope of salvation, your past is dissolved like a drop of ink in a sea of pure water.
And now, here's the best part. Not only is your past forgiven, but even the things that haunt you in quiet moments can be used by God for your ultimate good:
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28).
Isn't this amazing? The stupid things we've done, the hurts we've caused, even the opportunities we missed are dark colors that God takes and transforms into a beautiful and bright picture when we leave it in His hands.
Bottom line: we can't go back and physically change the things that have happened, and we can't be transformed into a kid…but…we can gather all the sadness and remorse from our past and give it to the God who truly makes all things new.
So are you ready to be forgiven…again?
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
One thing that nearly all people experience at some point in life is guilt and regret. The sad thing is that most don't know about the amazing power of God's forgiveness - almost like it's too good to be true. The awesome thing is that it isn't…in fact, it is just an act of faith and a prayer away from being a reality. This week, be bold in sharing the gospel and the message of finding true forgiveness.
Accelerant: Feed the Fire
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me (Psalm 51:7-11).
Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, "I will confess
my transgressions to the LORD "-
and you forgave
the guilt of my sin (Psalm 32:5).
Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you (Acts 13:38).