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Decisions To Make Before The New Year Begins

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INTRODUCTION:
A- A serious question:
The beginning of a new year presents the opportunity to make some lifestyle changes that will impact the rest of your life. There are some decisions that you can make that will have eternal consequences.
The beginning of a new year presents the opportunity to make some lifestyle changes that will impact the rest of your life. There are some decisions that you can make that will have eternal consequences.
Could you imagine having the opportunity of engaging a brand new beginning in a brand new world? What would you do?
Could you imagine having the opportunity of engaging a brand new beginning in a brand new world? What would you do? In , we find a man and his family who were faced with just such a situation.
Genesis 8:13–22 NLT
Noah was now 601 years old. On the first day of the new year, ten and a half months after the flood began, the floodwaters had almost dried up from the earth. Noah lifted back the covering of the boat and saw that the surface of the ground was drying. Two more months went by, and at last the earth was dry! Then God said to Noah, “Leave the boat, all of you—you and your wife, and your sons and their wives. Release all the animals—the birds, the livestock, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—so they can be fruitful and multiply throughout the earth.” So Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives left the boat. And all of the large and small animals and birds came out of the boat, pair by pair. Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose. And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”
B- The background ().
1- The wickedness of the human race :
().
Genesis 6:5–6 NLT
The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.
().
Genesis 6:11–12 NLT
Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence. God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt.
2- The Judgement of God upon the world:
(-7).
Genesis 6:7 NLT
And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.”
().
Genesis 6:12–13 NLT
God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt. So God said to Noah, “I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth!
3- The Grace of a New Beginning:
a. Through the lives of people who experienced God’s grace.
().
Genesis 6:8–9 NLT
But Noah found favor with the Lord. This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.
(1). Noah was in a right relationship with God (righteous).
(2). Noah lived a blameless life (unlike the other people on the earth).
(3). Noah walked in close fellowship with God.
In order for this new beginning to come to pass, Noah and his family had to make some decisions. If you are to experience the New beginning that God has in store for you, you must make these same decisions.

I- DECIDE TO ENTER GOD’S ARK OF SAFETY ().

Genesis 6:17–19 NLT
“Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die. But I will confirm my covenant with you. So enter the boat—you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring a pair of every kind of animal—a male and a female—into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood.

A- Accept the fact that sin results in God’s judgment. (vs. 17).

1- Noah believed God’s declaration of coming judgment.
a. He recorded God’s instructions for building the ark and populating it. ().
b. He followed God’s instructions. He did not try to make it his own way.
()
()
()

B- Accept God’s covenant terms to receive His promise (v. 18).

1- Noah and his family entered the ark with the animals, when commanded to by God ().
a. Even after building the ark, they had to get on board in order to escape God’s judgement.
2- God has provided the ark of safety to escape God’s judgment for sin.
a. The gift of eternal life purchased by the blood of Christ.
(1) You must be reject the self-willed life of sin (repent)
(2) You must receive the payment-in-full for your sins made by Jesus Christ on the cross and the power to live a new life as evidenced by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
(3) You must surrender control of your life to the Lordship of Christ—choosing to become his disciple.

II- DECIDE TO TRUST GOD IN THE STORM ().

A- The storm is not often short, nor easy.

1- Noah and his family faced a serious situation enroute to their new beginning.
a. The journey was dangerous:
(1). Jewish writings and the New Testament (kataklusmós) have the same practice for reference to the famous deluge (; ; ).31b. The idea conveyed is that the flood was so dangerous, it was cataclysmic!
b. The journey was long:
b. The journey was long:
Jewish writings and the New Testament (kataklusmós) have the same practice for reference to the famous deluge (; ; ).31b. The journey was long:
(1). The ark journey took a full year.
We have here the last date in the Flood story. The earth is dry on the 27th day of the 2nd month in the 2nd year. The Flood had begun on the 17th day of the 2nd month in the previous year (7:11). From first to last we have here a period of one year and 10 days. It has been pointed out that a lunar year consists of 354 days; and that one lunar year and 11 days is exactly a solar year of 365 days.
The LXX in 7:11 dated the commencement of the Flood from the 27th day of the 2nd month of the 1st year; and, therefore, assigns an exact year to its duration.
We have here the last date in the Flood story. The earth is dry on the 27th day of the 2nd month in the 2nd year. The Flood had begun on the 17th day of the 2nd month in the previous year (7:11). From first to last we have here a period of one year and 10 days. It has been pointed out that a lunar year consists of 354 days; and that one lunar year and 11 days is exactly a solar year of 365 days. This may be merely a coincidence; and in calculating the months we reckon them as solar months of 30 days each.
The LXX in 7:11 dated the commencement of the Flood from the 27th day of the 2nd month of the 1st year; and, therefore, assigns an exact year to its duration.
c. The journey was inconvenient:
(1). Confined.
(2). Noisy
(3). Uncertain - didn’t know the end.
2- God has not promised that the road will be easy, nor that the pathway will be short for you and I.
a. In fact, scripture assures that the opposite is true.
().
()
2 Timothy 3:12 NLT
Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
1 Peter 4:12–16 NLT
Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!

B- The journey requires continued obedience.

1- You must be willing to carry out what God has given you to do and let him take care of the rest.
a. Noah and his family had to continue to take care of the animals and other day-to-day tasks.
(1). Had to leave the steering and safety of the ark to God.
2- You must be willing to wait on God’s direction … don’t get ahead of God.
a. Noah and his family stayed ready to move, but did not exit the ark until God directed them. ().
()
Genesis 8:15–19 NLT
Then God said to Noah, “Leave the boat, all of you—you and your wife, and your sons and their wives. Release all the animals—the birds, the livestock, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—so they can be fruitful and multiply throughout the earth.” So Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives left the boat. And all of the large and small animals and birds came out of the boat, pair by pair.

III- DECIDE TO MAKE WORSHIP AND SERVICE TO GOD THE PRIORITY ().

A- God is to be given top priority.

1- The first thing that Noah and his family did was to worship God.
a. They built an altar and offer the prescribed sacrifices.
().
Genesis 8:20 NLT
Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose.
b. God was pleased and made a promise.
().
Genesis 8:21–22 NLT
And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”
2- The sacrifices he desires from us:
a. brokenness over our sin.
()
Psalm 51:17 NLT
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
b. Yieldedness of our whole life to him.
()
Romans 12:1–2 NLT
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

B- Live in the assurance of his promises.

1- God is always faithful to keep his promises.
().
1 Corinthians 1:9 NLT
God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
CONCLUSION:
SONG:
“I have decided to follow Jesus”
1 I have decided to follow Jesus; I have decided to follow Jesus; I have decided to follow Jesus; no turning back, no turning back.
2 Though none go with me, I still will follow; though none go with me, I still will follow; though none go with me, I still will follow; no turning back, no turning back.
3 My cross I'll carry, till I see Jesus; my cross I'll carry, till I see Jesus; my cross I'll carry, till I see Jesus; no turning back, no turning back.
4 The world behind me, the cross before me; the world behind me, the cross before me; the world behind me, the cross before me; no turning back, no turning back.
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