Summary: Many of us are familiar with the story of Noah’s Ark. Just like Noah, God in His grace has given you a new year. It is a new beginning, a fresh opportunity, a brand-new start with a new year.
Making A New Start
Genesis 8:16-22 – Part 1
1. Many of us are familiar with the story of Noah’s Ark. A worldwide flood destroyed the world, but Noah and his family escaped. God delivered them from judgment and protected them in the ark of safety. (It is a picture of our salvation – Christ is our deliverance.)
2. But finally (after a year), the time came for Noah to leave the ark. What a time of new beginnings. As he and his family exited the ark so many things would change. It was a new year (vs. 13)! They would start their life anew. Noah and his family had received a second chance.
3. This is so applicable to us at this time of the year. Last year (2015) is over. Today, it is 2016. Some of you may be sad to see 2015 go into the books. For some of you, you are glad because it was not that great.
• Maybe there were some deep valleys to pass through, maybe you feel like you failed in many areas, maybe it was filled with disappointment or frustration.
4. Just like Noah, God in His grace has given you a new year. It is a new beginning, a fresh opportunity, a brand-new start with a new year. How do you successfully make a new start? Some of you are going through this right now.
• Examples: a recent divorce – the start of a new job – newly married – a birth of a child – the recent loss of a loved one – moved to a new area – starting retirement – kids have left home – just got saved (a new Christian) – overcoming an addiction.
5. Let’s examine this man Noah. From the text, we will gain some biblical and practical insight into how to make a new start. Every person can make a new start! How?
First, you must acknowledge your need of others. vs. 16, 18
1. Can you imagine being cooped up with your family and your in-laws for over one year in an ark? When leaving the ark, look what God told Noah in verses 16 and 18.
2. Noah could have had the attitude, “Oh no, I have had enough. You go your way, and I’ll go my way. Just leave me alone.”
3. But he didn’t. God knew, and Noah was wise enough to know, that if he and his family were to be successful in making a new start, it would take teamwork. They would need each other.
4. Did you know that God made us with a built-in need for others? Some of you may feel very alone today. Maybe you have lost a spouse or a close friend or a family member. Maybe you have been hurt recently by another person that you love.
5. You cannot go into a shell or be an island unto yourself. You need others, and others need you! This is why having a local church is so important.
6. Even if you have no physical family close by, a local church is a spiritual family that can give you encouragement, support, and prayer.
7. The local church is pictured as a body. Those of us who know Christ as our Savior and have placed our faith in Him, we are members of that body.
8. But pastor, I am a Lone Ranger. I don’t need anyone. Do you know how many times Tonto bailed out the Lone Ranger? I know – I watched it every morning as a kid.
9. God recognizes our need for human relationships, and we need to do the same. Do you need to make a new start in some area of your life? Don’t try to do it alone. Acknowledge your need for others.
Second, establish worship as your number one priority. vs. 20-22
1. When Noah made a new start, the first thing he did was build an altar and worship God. God was # 1!
2. Did you know that God desires a relationship with you? He wants you to talk and spend time with Him. He longs for your worship and fellowship.
3. Let me give you some practical insight about worship from Noah’s example:
• Noah had a definite time and place of worship.
It did not say that he worshipped God while he unloaded the ark or tended the animals.
He built an altar and had a definite time and place where he met with God and offered thanksgiving and worship. Abraham did too. Genesis 19:27
We need to do the same thing. Have a time and place where you meet with God daily.
• Noah did not allow the issues of life to crowd out his worship time.