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Looking Forward

New Years  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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7 Principles for Processing the Past and Moving Forward. The New Year is a great opportunity to reflect on and learn from the past, so that we can pursue God's will as we move toward the future.

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Call to Worship

Scripture Reading

Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Intro

New Year’s is often a time of deep reflection.
New Year’s is often a time of deep reflection.
Reflecting on the previous year may come with thoughts and feelings of:
Regret - missed opportunities and sorrow over broken relationships and lost loved ones
Joy over memories shared, or accomplishments made.
After some of the horrors, tragedies, and challenges of 2017, some may struggle to believe what says about God’s plans.
The Secular approach to New Year’s
carelessness
licentiousness
superficial goals
The Opportunity of New Year’s
An opportunity to process and learn from the past
Play Slideshow: Remembering 2017
An opportunity to move forward.

7 Biblical Principles for Processing the Past and Moving Forward

Why do we look to God’s word rather than trivial resolutions?
God has revealed the purpose of our existence in his word.
Colossians 1:16 ESV
16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
God has revealed
Ecclesiastes 12:13–14 ESV
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
eccl 12:13
Paul put it another way: “Do all things for the glory of God”
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
God’s word
2 Timothy 3:16–17 ESV
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
*Only God’s word is sufficient to give the wisdom and understanding to process the past and to rightly guide us into the future*
My Prayer for Highland is and Eph
Proverbs 3:1–12 ESV
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, 2 for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. 3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. 11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, 12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
So this morning my hope is to flood you with God’s word, so that you may have ears to hear and eyes to see as we move into yet another year (Lord willing) in service to the King!

Let’s Pray

Principle 1

Repent

:1-12
2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV
14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
1 John 1:9 ESV
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Matthew 9:23–25 ESV
23 And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, 24 he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. 25 But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.

Principle 2

Give Thanks

James 1:2 ESV
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
James 1
James 1:
1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1

Principle 3

Be Strong and Courageous

Deut 31:3-6
Deuteronomy 31:3–6 ESV
3 The Lord your God himself will go over before you. He will destroy these nations before you, so that you shall dispossess them, and Joshua will go over at your head, as the Lord has spoken. 4 And the Lord will do to them as he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when he destroyed them. 5 And the Lord will give them over to you, and you shall do to them according to the whole commandment that I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
deut 31:6
Joshua 1:9 ESV
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Remember David
Transitions are often difficult but with God going before us we can have the utmost confidence that he go before us, guide us, and protect us!

Principle 4

Trust in God

Proverbs 3:1–12 ESV
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, 2 for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. 3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. 11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, 12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.

Principle 5

Seek His Will

Matthew 6:33 ESV
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
What is the kingdom of God?
Specifically - Salvation and all of it’s blessings - the full care and provision of God.
Romans 12:1–2 ESV
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Salvation
Rom 12:1-2
Romans 8:28–30 ESV
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
1 Timothy 2:4 ESV
4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Sanctification
Romans 12:1–2 ESV
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
1 Thessalonians 4:1–8 ESV
1 Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
Salvation, Sanctification, Glorification
Romans 8:29–30 ESV
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Romans 8:29 ESV
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
God’s will is your salvation, sanctification, and glorification!

Principle 6

Be the Church

Matthew 25:19–20 ESV
19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’
Matt
Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Acts 2:42 ESV
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Acts 4:32–37 ESV
32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Acts 4:32-
A Church that is Missional, Devoted, Unified, Charitable
In devotion

Practical Challenge: Assess & Pursue
In boldness
ASSESS: your devotion to Christ and his body (the church), and it’s mission.
PURSUE: increasing devotion, never grow complacent or satisfied with where you are!

Principle 7

Pray

It is God who:
breaks strongholds
heals
softens hearts
conquered the power of sin & death, and has defeated Satan
offers real and lasting hope
For Faith
Mark 9:14–29 ESV
14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
Mark 9:

For Boldness
Context: Peter & John commanded by the Jewish Council to stop preaching about the resurrection.
Acts 4:29–31 ESV
29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
Acts 4:29-31
For Wisdom
James 1:5 ESV
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
James 1:4 ESV
4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Closing Reflections

Closing Reflections

If you’re wondering why 2017 shook you up, maybe it’s because you haven’t adopted these biblical principles.
I assure you if each of us stands upon the rock of Jesus, and builds our homes upon the rock solid truth of his word no matter what we face we will:
know that all things are working together for our good
we will prevail in the midst of adversity
Satan will not be able to steal our joy
We will experience the surpassing riches of his grace, in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus
We will impact this community for Christ
God will continue to be glorified in us!

Play Slideshow: Remembering 2017

Although we will have some very specific ministry goals in order to fulfill Christ mission for the church we don’t need a business marketing approach, or the newest trend in ministry methodology to see that happen. We need to just be faithful to what God has called us to in his word.
Moving into 2018 Let each of us live by these principles
Repentance
Thankfulness
Strength and Courage
Trust in God
Seeking his will
Being the church
Prayer
As we hold onto
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Benediction

Ephesians 3:16–19 ESV
16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
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