Sunday, December 29, 2013

2014: A Year Of Commitment

Temple Baptist Church - 12-29-2013
Philippians 3:13-15
A. This year will soon come to an end. It has been a good year with unity in the church and some families added. Unfortunately some families were lost and we had some deaths in our personal families. We have given much to missions and many doors knocked and thousands of gospel tracts handed out. All-in-all it was a good year and the Lord was good through all of the ups and downs, trials and tears, and joys and rejoicings. Now is the time to look back and reflect; look forward with resolve.
B. I have no complaints or horror stories to tell. Exodus 34:6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
1. The Lord was more than merciful and gracious (to receive with kindness) – 1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
2. The Lord was more than good - 2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
3. The Lord was more than gentle - Psalms 103:8-10 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us–ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
C. 2013 is almost gone and there is nothing that we can do to change it. 2014 is ahead and it is limitless in its possibilities. What we do this next year if the Lord has not come is entirely up to us. The world makes New Year’s Resolutions that do not last because they are made one day a year, but the resolve of God’s children should be a daily determination to do those things that are right and to abstain from those things that are wrong. These wonderful verses could be the best life verses that you can find. The Apostle Paul learned some things in his life that can benefit us also. Let’s look at these verses this morning and glean from them.
1. A Time Of Realization – “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended”
2. A Time Of Reflection – “this one thing I do”
3. A Time Of Rest – “forgetting those things which are behind”
4. A Time Of Resolve – “and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.“
D. I want to look at three things this morning quickly about the coming of a brand new year.
1. There Is A Past That Is Finalized – 2013 is almost history and “What I have written I have written! Psalms 90:9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. (I wonder what tale will be told on me.)
a. The Past And Remembrance – There should be a critiquing of the past year: taking an honest look at our personal lives and service for the Lord, recognizing both our failures and our victories.
b. The Past And Reflection – What could I have done that would have been better?
c. The Past And Resolve – To not make the same mistakes; to do more than ever; and to put the past in a right perspective. Philippians 3:13-14 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, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
2. There Is A Prospect That Is Fantastic
a. The Prospect Of A Brand New Year – I am excited about 2014! I do not know what it will bring. It may bring me poverty, heartache, and sorrow. It will bring me VICTORY and closer to Christ if I let it!
b. The Prospect Of The Coming Of The Lord – My heart cries, “Even so come, Lord Jesus!” The trump may sound at any second and our life’s trials and tribulations will all be over. No more sorrow, pain and suffering, disappointments, discouragements, failures, heartaches or headaches! The glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ! Our beloved Bridegroom! The Lover of our souls! Our Redeemer! Our Protector! Our Lord and our God! Halleluiah! Praise The Lord!
c. The Prospect Of Our Home Going – Through the veil of death or through the glorious rapture of the church! How beautiful Heaven must be! The home of the happy and free! A haven of rest for the weary! How beautiful Heaven must be!
3. There Is A Present That Is Fresh
a. The Freshness Of A New Year – Today is the first day of the rest of my life! The past is now behind me and, hopefully, put in the right perspective.
b. The Freshness Of A New Resolve – By God’s grace, I will live for and love the One who gave Himself for me at Calvary. It is my “reasonable service!” What else could I do but love and live for Him! He has been so good to all of us! He has been so gracious to all of us! He has been so gentle with all of us! All I can do is thank Him and give Him my heart and life for the New Year.
c. The Freshness Of A New Opportunity - There are endless new opportunities to live for Christ. Opportunities to witness. Opportunities to work for him. Opportunities to worship. Opportunities to walk with Him.

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