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Summary: a challenge for the new year

Today marks the first day of the first month of a new year. As you reflect upon the past year, what kind of year was it? A mile-marker year or a forgettable year, A year of blessing or hardship? As we look back at 2011, we see a lot of heartache, my Dad’s stoke, the death of Penny’s dad, and the many transitions that came because of it. But for us it was also a year of God’s incredible blessing and grace. And we look forward to 2012 with much hope and expectation.

For many of you the beginning of a new year involve the forming of new year’s resolutions.

A recent study shared that the top two New Year’s resolutions revolved around the issues of finances and weight. In fact a comedian once said that when they went to the gym at the first of the year it was so packed they could hardly find an exercise machine, but wait 2 weeks later and the gym’s crowd goes back to normal. We are great at resolving but we often fall short of keeping the things that we resolve to do or not to do.

This morning I want to offer to you some New Year Resolutions that you may want to consider for 2010 Resolutions that if kept would dramatically impact every aspect of your life- not just money and weight

The disciples too were faced with a new day. Their master Jesus had died. Their hopes were crushed. Their dreams shattered. As per Jesus instructions, they assembled in an upper room knowing what needed to be done but lacking both the power and the desire to carry it out. It was here in their doubt that the Holy Spirit entered the picture.

Turn with to Acts chapter 2 beginning in verse 1. It is here where The Holy Spirit powerfully entered their lives and they became bold preachers of the Gospel.

Listen as I read Acts 2: 1-11

Jesus spoke of this same Holy Spirit in John chapter 14 verse 26 when he said: But when the father sends the Counselor as my representative- and by the counselor I mean the Holy Spirit- He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I myself have told you.

As we contemplate a new year’s resolution, we must do so realizing that we can not be successful in keeping it apart from God. John 15:5 b says… Apart from me you can do nothing. And the me is clearly God. So you are not alone.

With these thoughts in mind, I would like to offer to you some good resolutions to consider.

First, Find time for God- Build that Personal relationship with Christ

In the course of each day make time to creatively spend with God. You know I have a saying that if you want something to happen write it down, put into an active calendar, and guess what the odds of it happening just increased. Look at your day… where in that day can you make an appointment to spend with Jesus. Then write under that time slot in your calendar Jesus. Invite Jesus to meet you.

In this time you can read your bible, read a inspirational magazine or book, pray, sing, walk, journal, etc. How boring are our friendships where we say and do the same things every time we are together.

Also start with short amounts of time… Us the exercise principles, If you spend a hour exercising in the beginning, you will be too sore to exercise at all the next day. Pace yourself. Jesus would rather meet with you for one minute a day that 20 minutes one day a year.

As you build that relationship, you will learn to hear the voice of God through the Holy Spirit, and The Holy Spirit will then personally convict ,guide, rebuke, teach, counsel, comfort, you name each of us. And when that happens our relationship will deepen and we will grow.

Second, Choose to in 2012 to truly make Jesus Lord of your life by sacrificing your money, your time, and your talents for His plan and His ways.

In 2012 what areas of your life are not turned over to God. The Rich young ruler came to Jesus… He asked him what he needed to know how to inherit eternal life. Jesus after a little interchange, sell all you have a give it to the poor. The man walked away because he could not give it all away.

The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box

"Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?" Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl’s upturned face.

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