Crossroads: A Blank Slate

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1 John 3:1-7

My Story

It’s no secret that I loved school as a child. One of my favorite parts about going back to school was buying school supplies. Even if I had pens and pencils at home, I wanted new ones for school. New notebooks were also a must. When you opened the cover of that notebook for the first time, it could be anything. All of the pages were blank. You could turn it into anything you wanted. If you wanted to draw pictures, it could become a sketchbook. If you wanted to write a book, it could be that too. If you needed to take notes for a class, it became your science or history notebook. Each new notebook was a fresh start, a blank slate.

Our lives can be blank slates as well. There are times when we need a new start. Thankfully, there are times throughout the year when we are given a new start. If you go to school, that new start is the first day of a new school year or the first day of a new semester. At work, it might be the first day of a new job or in a new office. In your life, that new start can begin on your birthday or on January 1 of a new year. There are built-in times for us to be a blank slate and have a new start.

Your Story

When have you been given a new start? Did you take it? How did things turn out?

The Bible Story

Read 1 John 3:1-7. Here it is from the NIV: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.”

“What we will be has not yet been made known.” God gives us many blank slates throughout our lives. As children, we can be whoever we want to be. We can pretend to be astronauts, doctors, teachers, singers, actors, etc. The possibilities for who we can be are endless. Bit by bit, we begin to discover what brings us joy and who we are. God gives us a blank slate when we accept Jesus as our Savior. We get a blank slate/fresh start at the beginning of each new year. And finally, we will all get a blank slate when we are with God forever. However your life looks, remember that what we will be has not yet been made known. But what we are and what we will always be is children of God.

Action and Discussion

• Ask your children who and what they want to be when they grow up.
• If your children have done something wrong this week, give them a fresh start. Talk to them about God’s grace and who they are as a child of God. Tell them that God gives us a fresh start when we say we’re sorry for the things we’ve done wrong and mean it. Let them out of their punishment early if possible.
• Talk about ways that your family can have a fresh start: perhaps you need to spend more time together. Find ways to set aside time each week to spend as a family.

Prayer

Thank God for fresh starts. Praise Him for always forgiving us and giving us a blank slate when we mess up. Ask Him for forgiveness for anything that’s weighing on your heart this week.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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