Summary: Message about reaching out for the full life Christ has for us.
A Different Kind of New Year’s Resolution
January 4, 2008
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT IS FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."
Me: This is the time of year when we really hope to make a new start on things, or maybe start something new.
I made a few resolutions last year. Made some of them happen, missed some.
My one big health resolution last year was to stop drinking caffeine, and I was successful.
Now instead of drinking caffeine, I just eat coffee beans straight…
Actually, I’ve only had caffeine twice in the last 4 months, and those were drinks given to me by people who didn’t know I was cutting off.
This year I’m hoping to drop a few pounds around my gut.
I’ve got some spiritual goals this year, mainly getting some reading done that I’ve been wanting to do for awhile that have to deal with the spiritual life of pastors, leadership, and things like that, as well as continue my habit of reading through the Scriptures each year.
One of my biggest goals for the year, however, is to get to the point where I can take Saturdays off so I can spend them with my family.
This means getting more organized than I’ve been up to this point, so I would be grateful for your prayers on that front.
I tell you that because, just like my caffeine goal of last year, I want you to feel free to keep me accountable, and see how I’m doing, okay?
We: Anybody here make any New Year’s Resolutions? Any that they’d be willing to share?
I used to kinda “poo-poo” resolutions because it seems like that while January is the time to make them, February seems to be time to forget about them.
Now obviously that’s not true for everybody and every resolution, but for a lot of people, that’s what happens.
And for some of those people, it just adds to a sense of disappointment and regret in their lives.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Today I want to offer you a resolution that you can keep making year after year, because really it should be a regular part of your life all the time.
And I’m convinced that if you’re serious about this resolution, you’ll find a fullness to life that maybe you never thought possible.
God: The basis for what I want to share with you is found in John 10:1-18 (p. 759-760) –
1 "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice." 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-- 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."