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002 News Years Message

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New Years Celibration
Like other Christian festivals, the celebration of New Years Day in the West started before the church came into existence.
At first, the Romans celebrated the beginning of the new year on March 1, not January 1. Julius Caesar instituted New Year’s Day on January 1 to honor Janus, the two-faced god who looks backwards into the old year and forwards into the new. The custom of "New Years resolutions" began in this earliest period, as the Romans made resolutions with a moral flavor: mostly to be good to others.
When Rome took on Christianity as its official faith, the Christians kept New Years Day. Only, they traded the vaguely moral emphasis for a practice of fasting and prayer aimed at living the New Year in the New Life of Christ. Soon, however, the new year celebration reverted to March 1, and this early emphasis on spiritual things dissolved.
Beginning in the middle of the sixth century, parts of the church began to set aside January 1 as the Feast of the Circumcision, commemorating Jesus’ circumcision.
But the pagans had apparently spoiled January 1 for many Christians: the Roman church did not accept this feast day until the 11th century.
It was finally in 1752, January 1 again came to be recognized and celebrated as the first day of the year.
Some Christians, however, still hesitated to celebrate the day. The Puritans, for example, were leery of the associations of January 1 with the pagan god Janus—they preferred not even to say the name of the month, referring to it rather as "First Month."
Instead, the Puritans urged their young people, especially, to skip the celebrations and meditate on the year past and the year to come. They adopted again the old custom of making resolutions. They vowed to take more care against their besetting sins, make better use of their talents and other divine gifts, and treat others with Christian charity.
Today, some Christians may be inclined to follow the Puritans’ lead, at least absenting themselves from the festivities: January 1st has clearly continued to be a day dedicated more to godless indulgence than to meditative fasting. But many have also seen, as the Puritans did, a divine opportunity in the longstanding practice of making resolutions.
In fact, this practice even harmonizes with the Feast Day: circumcision is a symbol of sanctification—that is, the "setting aside" of persons and things for God’s purposes.
With or without such historical understandings, many of us may have taken New Years Eve and New Years Day as God-given opportunities. We have taken at least a few minutes to reflect, pray, and dedicate ourselves anew to our Lord—whether at a "Watch Night Service" or in private.
Last year at this time, some of you were saying, "This year, things are
TOO CLOSE TO QUIT
going to be different!
I’m going to change!
Everyone has been called to walk in destiny… God has promised all of His children precious gifts who obey His instructions… Although these gifts are available, they don’t just fall into our lap… In fact the enemy’s goal is to derail and distract us from reaching our destiny. (Question…) What do you do when these distractions hit you…? What do you do when you have a date with destiny, but in reality you find yourself standing in the doorway of despair…?
I’m going to be a better spouse.
I. BE HONEST WITH SELF (v 12)
- We have not arrived to perfection
I’m going to spend more time with my family.
I’m going to spend more time reading my Bible. More time praying to God. More time serving others.
- We still struggle with issues in life
This is the year I get my ducks in a row!"
- We must learn to grab hold to Him which has grabbed hold of us
II. SEEK YOUR DESTINY WITH THE EYES OF FAITH (v 13)
Just by a simple show of hands, who has stuck to their new years resolutions?
- Let go of past failures and successes in order to move forward
- Be able to press with the power of Christ
*You know what they say about New Year’s resolutions? They usually go in one year and out the other!
- Paul says “One thing…”
TOP 5 resolutions made most every year.
- Too many are living divided lives: world/ Lord
r resolutions made most every year.
The 5th was to take up a new hobby.
III. NEVER GIVE UP, NO MATTER WHAT (v 14)
- “I press toward the mark…”
The 4th was to make more money.
The 3rd most popular resolution was to improve relationships.
- With a decisive focus
The 2nd was to stop smoking.
- With a diligent attitude
The most popular New Years resolution, you guessed it, losing weight.
- With a determined goal
HUMOROUS ILLUSTRATION – MAN ON SCALE
A woman walked into her bathroom at home. As she did, she saw her husband weighing himself on the bathroom scales, sucking in his stomach. The woman thought to herself, "He thinks that he will weigh less by sucking in his stomach." So, the woman rather sarcastically said to her husband, "That’s not going to help." Her husband said, "Sure it will. It’s the only way I can see the numbers."
HOW QUICKLY WE FORGET
Often this time of year, after the overindulgence of the holidays we make resolutions to change our habits and our way of life.
A new year gives us an opportunity to start fresh and better ourselves.
Come the middle of January we somehow forget our resolutions and go back to our old ways.
Now by a simple show of hands who can even remember their new years resolutions?
I heard about a man who moved into a retirement community to spend the rest of his life there. It wasn’t long until he had made a number of friends among the other residents. There was one lady he was especially attracted to, & she was attracted to him, also. So they spent a lot of time together. Finally one evening he proposed, asking her to marry him.
The next morning he woke up remembering his proposal, but he couldn’t remember her answer. So he went to her & said, "I’m really embarrassed. I proposed to you last night but I can’t remember if you said `Yes’ or `No."’ "Oh, thank goodness!" she replied. "I remembered saying `Yes’ but I couldn’t remember who asked me."
It is so easy to forget the commitments and resolutions we make at New Year’s
Resolutions basically fall into 3 categories. They deal with:
This is the 1st Sunday of the New Year. You know, when you think about it, all New Year’s Resolutions basically fall into 3 categories. They deal with:
1. Things to make us look better and live longer.
2. Things to make us have more.
3. Things that will help us to get along with everyone.
BIBLICAL?
I call them - Longevity, Prosperity and Peace.
BIBLICAL?
PROV CHAPTER 3 - . I’m titling this sermon 10 New Year’s Resolutions From The Wisest Man That Ever Lived. Proverbs - chapter 3.
PROV CHAPTER 3 - . I’m titling this sermon 10 New Year’s Resolutions From The Wisest Man That Ever Lived. Proverbs - chapter 3.
I. Resolution 1. LET Mercy AND Truth NEVER LEAVE YOU V 3-4
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.
Let these two qualities be the guiding lights in our lives - in everything we do. These must be foundational to all we do.
A. God Mercy is only reason we are who we are and where we are.
-Don’t forsake it, don’t think that you are better then someone else.
Definition of Faithfulness: keeping faith; maintaining allegiance; constant; loyal - [faithful friends] , showing a strong sense of duty or responsibility; conscientious, accurate; reliable; exact [a faithful copy]
B. Truth, God’s Word, don’t forsake it, for it is a guide book for your life.
C. Write these two upon the table of thy heart. Let them control your life, your actions
The results will be, you will find favour, good understanding in the sight of God and Man.
(ADVANCE)
II. V 5-6 Resolution 2. TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART.
A. Definitions of the word Trust:
1. firm belief in or confidence in, the honesty, integrity, reliability, justice, etc. of another person or thing;
2. confident expectation, anticipation, or hope [to have trust in the future]
3. Trust in the LORD with all your heart --
We are not lean on, to depend on our own understanding.
In the decesions you make are they based upon God’s wisdom?
Did you pray about it?
Our do you say I believe it is the right thing to do?
How do you justisfy your actions?
Definitions of the word Acknowledge:
a) to admit to be true or as stated; confess
b) to recognize the authority or claims of
c) to recognize and answer (a greeting or greeter, an introduction, etc.)
d) to express thanks for
e) to verify receipt of (a letter, gift, favor, payment, etc.)
f) to admit or affirm as genuine; certify in legal form !to acknowledge a deed"
III. V 7-8 Resolution 3. DO NOT BE WISE IN YOUR OWN EYES
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
Did you pray about your new years resolutions?
Did you ask God for guidance about what you are to work on?
Being wise in your own eyes is justifing your actions with no regard to or trust in God’s Word.
IV. V 9-10 Resolution 4. HONOR THE LORD WITH YOUR WEALTH
9 Honour the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
When you give, do as in giving to the Lord and not man
TV Evangelists give to me and God will bless you, no give to honor God, not give to get
Give to honor God and yourself
This starts with tithing
(ADVANCE)
Christmas a time when people get in the mood to give to other people they like…
V. V 11-12 Resolution 5. DO NOT DESPISE THE LORD’S DISCIPLINE
11 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
I don’t understand how someone can despise God, especially a Christian.
(ADVANCE)
How does someone despise the Lord?
By not listening to His correction
ILL. Jim Jones…Your not listening to me are you? I thought that is a funny way to start a conversation.
By not correcting our ways, continuing on in our sin
VI. V 13-24 Resolution 6. SEARCH DILIGENTLY FOR WISDOM AND FIND IT
What is wisdom?
It is walking God’s way
It comes by reading this Book
It comes by applying this book
*There is no stopping – We must find it!!!!!
ILL. RL games Finding Victorira
* It is an endless treasure
WHAT IS WISDOM? WISDOM HAS TWO GROUPS OF CHARACTERISTICS.
1. INFORMATION
2. KNOW-HOW
B. ILL. Do an analogy of a farmer with a tractor in a field. He must have the right equipment and materials - gas etc. But he still must know what to do and what not to do with it - how to use it and how not to use it - when to use it and when not to use it - and where to use it and where not to use it - if he is going to be a successful farmer.
D. V 21-24 talks about those characteristics of wisdom which deal with perception, discernment, judgement, reason, insight, prudence, discretion, and just plain ol’ common sense.
VII. V 25-26 Resolution 7. HAVE NO FEAR
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, 26 for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
Do you live in fear – depression anxiety? – Think there is a catch to everything in your life? Crime?
This is the results of finding wisdom
Fear is not of God, it is of the devil
ILL. Spiritists live in fear, it keeps them in bondage
VIII. V 27-28 Resolution 8. DO NOT WITHHOLD GOOD FROM THOSE WHO DESERVE IT
27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. 28 Do not say to your neighbour, “Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow” — when you now have it with you.
This is a hard one for me…How do I be desering?
IX. V 29-30 Resolution 9. DO NOT PLOT HARM AGAINST YOUR NEIGHBOR
29 Do not plot harm against your neighbour, who lives trustfully near you. 30 Do not accuse a man for no reason — when he has done you no harm.
Harm comes when people will not forgive
“No I am sorry but that person must feel what it is like to be in that position. After all they have done it it to me how many times?”
Harm comes when a person will not let go
(ADVANCE)
X. V 31 - 32 Resolution 10. DO NOT ENVY A VIOLENT MAN OR CHOOSE ANY OF HIS WAYS
Watch what you watch on TV this year. Satan is perverting you and yours through that box!
Watch what you watch on TV this year. Satan is perverting you and yours through that box!
CONCLUSION
We have a lot to do…How do your resolutions marry up to what Solomon wanted??
Blessing to you this year. May your mind and your heart be closely aligned to the will of God on your life and may you know his blessings for your obedience.
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