Summary: The turn of the year is the perfect time to deal with people about the big picture of their life's direction.
A New Year…A New Start
Pastor Eric J. Hanson January 1, 2017
People think of the start of each new year as a special time; a time of stepping through an important door into a new room; a room that has never been occupied and explored before. I believe that God has wired us this way. We mark our lives, both as individuals, and as groups of people, by years. The annual cycles of seedtime and harvest, of winter and summer, of the coming of Spring, fresh and new each time, are markers. They are milestones on life’s road.
The Bible speaks of seasons of life. It speaks of beginnings and endings. Consider Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 with me. These verses came from the pen of King Solomon after he had received a supernatural gift of wisdom from God. (Read and briefly comment on these verses.) Further insight into our place inside of time and eternity is offered in verses 11-13. (Read and briefly comment on these verses.)
In modern times, the New Year’s resolution has been a major thing. Even as school children, many of us began making resolutions. Many of our parents even suggested what would be good resolutions. My mother suggested such things as these:
-My brother and sister
How about you? Anyone wish to add to this list?
These are good things, but, unfortunately, almost all New Year’s resolutions have been given up on by February 1. This is true no matter how good and noble the resolution may have been.
Today I have a suggestion for each one of us. Let’s have 2017 be a new beginning by calling on the Lord to help us do what we would otherwise tend to fail at. Let me illustrate with an example from my own life.
(Tell about Bible reading/study.)
For you it may also be truly feeding on the Bible as God’s Word to you. It may be disciplined prayer. It may be overcoming a bad habit which harms you or others. It may be eating right. It may be getting going on something God put into your heart long ago, but which you have not moved ahead on, or began, and then quit.
Along with invoking God’s help, another great tool to move ahead in such things is to make yourself accountable to others in what you commit to do differently or better in the new year. I believe that greatly helps. Ecclesiastes has something to say about this too. (Read 4:9-10)
So, here is my challenge to each one here today. Let’s ask God to guide us to make a new start in at least one area of life where we have been really falling short.
I invite each of you today to make such commitments as the Lord leads you to make, and then to pray over these, and share them with somebody who can be a trustworthy accountability partner. I know that Nancy and I are always available in that way for you, but there are certainly other people too, who would be glad to hear the godly resolution the Lord has shown you, and to check in with you from time to time about it.
Let’s pray now.