Temple Baptist Church 12-27-2009
A. I am not a lot of New Year’s Resolutions but, at the same time, do find some great benefits in them. Most people’s New Year’s Resolutions have to do with losing weight, quitting smoking, getting in shape, etc. and—while these things are important—the ones that count most are those with eternal value.
B. I used this same portion of Scripture last year to bring a different message but I find this verse a very important one as we enter into the year of 2010. In order to make the most of the New Year, we must put the last year in a right perspective.
1. Last year is history! It is gone! It is over for better or worse so we need to move on.
2. We cannot change what happened to us or what happened through us. We made some mistakes. We endured some real problems. They are over so we resolve not to make the same mistakes. Problems are a way of life and 2010 will bring about its own particular set of them.
3. We need to both put the past in the past and to put the future in the present. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives and what we make of it is up to us. We can be angry and bitter about last year or we can resolve to be better because of it. We can cry tears of sorrow about our failures or we can get them right and resolve not to repeat them.
C. I pray that this coming year will be a better year for a lot of us. It was a rough one on my family and one several other families in the church. At this point, let me say:
1. We made it through! The devil didn’t “eat us!” We are here!
2. God’s grace was sufficient! It was rough but not more than we could bear!
3. It will make us tougher! Just don’t let it make you harder!
D. I can, at this point, hope that it will be better and let nature take its course or I can resolve to help next year be better by taking some positive steps. I want to look at some of those steps that can help to make 2010 a better year.
1. I want to FORGET the past And press forward - Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
2. I want to KEEP my eyes on the Lord - Psalms 121:1-2 A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (2) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
3. I want to TRUST the Lord’s way and work - Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
4. I want to WALK in sweet fellowship with the Lord - Genesis 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
5. I want to CHOOSE the reproach of Christ over the pleasures of the world - Hebrews 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
6. I want to LEARN to be more patient in trials - Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
7. I want to BE an encouragement instead of a discouragement to the brethren - Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
8. I want to REMAIN faithful to the things of God - 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
9. I want to Study God’s Word - 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
10. I want to be found WATCHING for our Lord’s return - Mark 13:35-37 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: (36) Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. (37) And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.