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New Years 1999 - God Goes Ahead of Us

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Reading: Deuteronomy 31:1-8 and Hebrews 13:1-8

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deut. 31:8 (NIV)

I.   Heading into the Unknown

     A.  Where will ‘99 Take us?

           1.  What might happen this year?

                 a.  This might be frightening or exciting to think about.

                 b.  No doubt things we will experience as good and bad will happen.

                 c.  At the end of the year no one knows what the balance sheet will look like

           2.  Are you sick of hearing about Y2K yet?

                 a.  Fear seems to be a driving force in talking about this issue

                 b.  Not only will Y2K be a problem, fear of Y2K will be a problem.

                 c.  Some are even tying Y2K to Biblical teaching about the end times!

           3.  What will the end of this millennium bring?

                 a.  This year seems to be a magic number.

                 b.  How many religions will get started this year is anybody’s guess.

     B.  Going there Together

           1.  Nobody crossed the Jordan or had orders to enter the Promised Land alone.

                 a.  Is it scary to think about facing the future alone, it’s supposed to.

                 b.  Whatever it is that lies ahead of us, we go there together.

           2.  God’s plan is that we go together.

                 a.  Even in the garden it wasn’t good for the man to be alone.

     C.  Be strong and Courageous

           1.  Moses gives Joshua this command

                 a.  This is in the imperative voice.

                 b.  Be strong (not weak)

                 c.  Be courageous (not timid)

           2.  But notice that the basis of the command isn’t Joshua’s skills, but God Himself.

                 a.  How? By sucking it up? NO!
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

II.  God goes Ahead of us (Deut 31:8)

     A.  God promises to be With us

           1.  This promise throughout the Bible whenever God gives us a task to do.

                 a.  God made this promise to Moses (Ex. 3:12)

                 b.  Also to Abraham, Gideon, Solomon, Jeremiah, Mary, Paul and to us (Matt. 28)

           2.  He always promises to be with us until the task is completed.

                 a.  Whatever God has for us to do in ‘99 he doesn’t expect us to do it without Him.

                 b.  By design, I think, God will give us tasks too big for us to do without Him.

           3.  Is this not enough for us?

                 a.  If God is with us, what can stand against us?

                 b.  Nothing can happen that God and we can’t handle together.

     B.  God will be Faithful to us

           1.  God will also be faithful to us.

                 a.  Whatever else happens, we know He will be faithful to love and care for us

                 b.  He will provide all we need to accomplish the tasks he gives us.

           2.  Even when we are less than faithful to him.
Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. 2 Tim. 2:11-13

     C.  He has our future in his Hands

           1.  Whatever ‘99 will bring, God already has it in His plan.

                 a.  God isn’t too old to understand computers!

                 b.  God has already foreseen it all and knows nothing in it can separate us from his love.

           2.  Nothing can happen to thwart God’s plans.

                 a.  Did I mention that nothing can thwart what God has in mind?

                 b.  No promise for a life of ease,

                 c.  Just that God will be with us and give us what we need to make it.

III. We are free to be Content

     A.  Content with Loving each other

           1.  It’s not some other folks Heb.13:1 calls us to love it’s each other.

                 a.  It’s amazing how we can strongly agree with the law of love yet fail to love

                 b.  We are the brothers we’re supposed to love

           2.  It’s not by chance that most New Testament letters include this reminder

                 a.  It’s too easy to get this right on a test and wrong in life.

                 b.  It’s also too easy to opt out of loving some of the people God puts in our lives.

           3.  Because God is with us we can be satisfied with the folks He places in our lives.

                 a.  We can’t be best buddies with everyone.

                 b.  We do need to care for all those God brings in our lives

                 c.  If you don’t think you can, God will help you

     B.  Caring with those in Need

           1.  Travelers, strangers and victims. (Heb.13:2-3)

                 a.  Strangers here are usually travelers needing lodging or a meal on their journey.

                 b.  Those in prison are usually those imprisoned unjustly.

           2.  Trusting that God will provide, we are free to reach out to those in need.

                 a.  In need of our financial resources

                 b.  In need of our time

                 c.  In need of our care.

     C.  Content with the Blessings God gives

           1.  Honoring the marriages around me.

                 a.  Marriage is supposed to be honored by all — even those not married!

                 b.  Be content with the sexual situation God gives you to be in right now.

                 c.  In our times we need to underscore this.

           2.  Content with the material blessings I have.

                 a.  Does anybody really need a Furbie to be happy?

                 b.  If you love money, can it love you back?

           3.  Follow those who are following Jesus.

                 a.  If you don’t know how, look to those who do.

                 b.  Consider the outcome of their way of life — is God blessing them, are they content?

                 c.  Whatever else changes, Jesus stays the same yesterday, today and forever.

The Bottom Line:

Let’s be Confident, eagerly expecting God to Bless us throughout the coming year.

Blue #260 To the Hills I lift Mine Eyes.

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