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Summary: This sermon focuses on a new beginning.

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Can you believe it? Having just celebrated Christmas Day, we look to the end of our past year and the beginning of a new year. This morning , as we reflect upon this new year, I would to share with you once again a message entitled A New Year. It is my hope that this year’s resolutions will remember Christ and our personal relationship and worship with Him.

As the year 2004 draws to a close, what kind of year has it been for you? Has it been a year to cherish or a year to quickly forget? Whatever the year’s tone for us, this week fills us with hope. A hope that a new year will bring a change for us. A chance for a fresh new start- a new beginning. And with that many of us make new year resolutions- pledges or promises to yourself or to God that you will personally be different this year.

This morning I want to focus upon some new year’s resolutions that each of should consider for ourselves, but before we delve into our topic, I thought you might enjoy a few stories of failed resolutions:

A story is told that At the beginning of a new year, a high school principal decided to post his teachers’ new year’s resolutions on the bulletin board. As the teachers gathered around the bulletin board, a great commotion started. One of the teachers was complaining. "Why weren’t my resolutions posted?" She was throwing such a temper tantrum that the principal hurried to his office to see if he had overlooked her resolutions. Sure enough, he had mislaid them on his desk. As he read her resolutions he was astounded. This teacher’s first resolution was not to let little things upset her in the New Year.

Or how bout this one…A son called his parents to wish them a happy new year and when his Dad answered the phone, He asked his dad,” well Dad, what’s your new year’s resolution? His dad replied, To make "To make your mother as happy as I can all year," When his mom got on the phone he asked. her the same question. His mom replied my resolution is "To see that your dad keeps his New Year’s resolution."

Or some of you may have given up on resolutions taking the same attitude as the characters in the cartoon Calvin and Hobbes:

The cartoon character Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes once said, “God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I’m so far behind I’ll never die.”

Regardless of past successes or failures… I want you to give a new year resolution one more try but this time realize that keeping this promise is a team effort. Invite the Holy Spirit to join you this year…

The disciples 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. The Holy Spirit powerfully entered their lives and they became bold preachers of the Gospel.

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 thought in mind, I would like to offer to you some good resolutions for you 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. I remember in College I found this place called a weight room come to think of it was probably a result of a new year’s resolution to be a muscle man. I go into the gym and I see a tiny girl pumping the iron machines… I infer if she can do it so can I… I did realize that she had been working out like this for years… I was so sore the next day that I did go back there for a year… Pace yourself. Jesus would rather meet with you for one minute a day that 20 minutes one day a year.

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