Temple Baptist Church - 12-28-2008
Introduction: Paul said, “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind.” Facing the uncertain with certainty should be the theme of the New Year.
A. Another year is now coming to a close and what a year. Whew! I am glad to get this one behind me. Most of our years are uneventful and we cannot even remember what we did during the course of that year. Other years are never to be forgotten ones and this was one of them. It was a year never to be forgotten and, the Lord willing, never to be repeated.
B. I did not get everything that I wanted last year and probably will not get all that I want this year but I will face this new year with the hope of God in my heart and my eyes upon Him. Aren’t you glad that you do not know what you will face in 2009?
C. The past can do one of two things: it can either haunt you or it can help you! Which one applies to you is your choice. We need to make right choices this coming year in order to maintain both our Christian testimony and influence.
D. This morning, we need to put last year in its proper perspective. That perspective is this: last year is history and we cannot change it. I want to give you two things that will help you to face the New Year in a right way. I will try to keep this as simple as possible.
1. Put The Past In The Past!
2. Put The Future In The Present!
PUT THE PAST IN THE PAST! Forget those things that you cannot change!
1. Past failures not to be repeated. You blew it at times. I blew it at times. I was not always a good Christian this past year. May the Lord help me to be a better Christian in 2009.
Psalms 51:7-13 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
2. Past victories not to be forgotten but placed in a proper perspective. There were times when you were a good Christian last year. You grew in the Lord and were blessed and rewarded for it. (Earlington – 1967)
3. Forget your disappointments! NO ONE gets everything that they want! There were times when the enemy got the upper hand. There were times when you had to do without some things. There were times when you did not understand and probably still do not understand. God never said to understand; He said to trust.
4. Forget your hurts and forgive those who hurt you. Hurt always turns to anger and anger to bitterness if not dealt with properly. Forgiveness of our enemies is as much for our sake as it is for their sake.
Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled;
Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Put the future In The Future! Reflect upon those things that will not change!
1. God was good to us this past year! He will be good to us in the coming year.
Psalms 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Lamentations 3:22-23 [It is of] the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 [They are] new every morning: great [is] thy faithfulness.
2. God’s grace was sufficient this past year! His grace will be sufficient in the coming year.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, [even so] minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things [are] for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
3. God’s strength was made perfect in our weakness last year! His strength will be there in the coming year.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
4. God’s presence was with us last year! He will be there this next year.
Hebrews 13:5 [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (This verse became a real reality to my family this past year!)
Isaiah 49:15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
5. God’s promises were made sure to us when we needed them last year! We can rely upon them in the coming year.
2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him [are] yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. (You can rely upon God’s Word!)
6. Last year is history and next year will be history soon! “And it came to pass!”
Next year is just “future history.”
Psalms 90:9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale [that is told]. (Face the New Year with hope and trust instead of doubt and fear. The Lord will be the same tomorrow as He was yesterday and today