Summary: We can have a new life in the Lord.
A NEW YEAR - A NEW LIFE!
INTRO.- We all could use a new year and some people could use a new life! Or at least a better life.
ILL.- A lady by the name of Cherise Wyneken from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, said, “My husband and I were young parents of three on a tight budget. After surviving measles, mumps, and chicken pox—times three—my nerves were frayed. Wonderfully for us, Pop and Mom agreed to babysit so we could get away.
"’Why are we going to stay with Grandma and Grandpa?’" four-year-old Nick, our oldest, asked his father.
"’Because your mother needs a rest. I’m taking her away someplace to rest.’"
“We packed up their things and took them to south San Francisco where their grandfather pastored. Of course, they were fussed over after the service on Sunday morning.
"’What darling children. Where are your parents?’" one person asked Nick.
“Nick looked for help, but Granddad was shaking hands, and Grandmom was in the choir loft pumping out the postlude.
“Finally, he said earnestly, "’They went to their resting place.’"
Brethren, the truth is we all could use a little rest now and then. Especially, after all the negative and
nasty stuff that we are faced with in life.
ILL.- Did you read or hear the headline news this last week? Death, crime, murder, hunger, high home-heating bills, etc
- A gunman named Michael McDermott went berserk and shot and killed 7 people at an Internet consulting company last Tuesday in Wakefield, MASS. He went crazy after the IRS requested that he pay his back taxes.
- Another headline. Seven jail escapees are being sought in Texas after gunning down a police officer
during a Christmas Eve robbery. The men had been serving sentences anywhere from 30 years to life
for crimes such as rape, murder, child abuse, etc.
- Another bad headline. Four masked gunmen killed six men and a woman in Philadelphia last Thursday night. And Philadelphia is supposed to be the city of “brotherly love.” What’s the world coming to? I’ll
tell you in one word: JUDGMENT!
- Another sad headline. "American Second Harvest” is a national network that provides food for working
poor families and the elderly. They estimate that 31 million Americans face hunger every day. 38% of
those served by the organization are children.
- Then there is the “high cost of heating,” which is making the news, AND HITTING OUR CHECKBOOKS!
ILL.- After paying a $37 gas bill in November, 84-year-old Catherine Jury of Belvidere, IL, thought her
December bill for $142.87 was a mistake. But it wasn’t a mistake. She has lived in her house since
1945 and was never so surprised by a bill.
Some people’s heating bills have already gone up two and three times what they were last year! It’s not funny! It’s somewhat frightening!
Brethren, why are all these bad or negative things happening? Why do bad things like the ones I’ve
mentioned happen to good people?
Let me remind you why. They happen for several reasons and we need to remember them.
1- Bad things happen to good people because the devil is real. He is alive. He is powerful. He is evil. He is a murderer. He is a liar. He is a deceiver.
He went after Jesus as recorded in Matthew 4 and tried to do a number on him. He tempted Jesus in three ways: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. HE THREW THE BOOK AT HIM, so to speak. He threw everything he had at him. But, of course, we know it didn’t work. Jesus knew his enemy. Jesus was prepared.
If Satan went after Jesus what makes us think he won’t go after us?
ILL.- It is said that Teddy Roosevelt had a little dog that was always getting in fights and was always
getting beat up. Somebody said to him, “Colonel, he’s not much of a fighter, is he?” Roosevelt replied,
“Oh, yes, he’s a good fighter. He’s just a poor judge of dogs.”
Brethren, you may be a good fighter, but don’t be a poor judge of the dogs you choose to fight with.
THE DEVIL IS A BIG, BAD DOG! And he’s a lot tougher and meaner and smarter than you.
But take hope in the promises of God’s Word.
James 4:7-8 “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near (or submit yourselves) to God and he will come near to you...”
ILL.- Several boys were trying to learn James 4:7 during children’s church. The teacher wanted the
boys to read the verse on their own but agreed to assist them with the harder words. Brennan accepted
the challenge and tackled the first word. But instead of "submit," Brennan said "sidewalk."