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Summary: What is your promise for the New Year, a new beginning with Jesus or your old stuff

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A NEW YEAR PROMISE / RESOLUTION

“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.” — G.K. Chesterton .

I am sure that you have noticed at the end of each year, newspapers, magazines, television all show the best and worst of the year, all that has happened, on the next page is predictions of the year ahead.

So here we are, the first Sunday of 2015. I wonder how we will do it this year. Will it be as busy as 2014? Will we make any better use of our time? In 361 days when this year is over will we be looking back with joy or regret? Will we be looking forward to the year ahead with anticipation or dread?

There is a passage of scripture that I believe can be of help to us as we look forward to the rest of 2015 if we listen to it. Turn with me to:

EPHESIANS 5:15-20

So then, be very careful how you live. Don't live like foolish people but like wise people. Make the most of your opportunities because these are evil days. So don't be foolish, but understand what the Lord wants. Don't get drunk on wine, which leads to wild living. Instead, be filled with the Spirit by reciting psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs for your own good. Sing and make music to the Lord with your hearts. Always thank God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I do believe that the Apostle Paul presents some important lessons to consider:

1) OUR TIME ON EARTH IS LIMITED

I remember thinking oh dear those poor people over 40 are really old, now I am over 40 myself, I wonder where has the time gone to. It is like your daughter has gone out with her boyfriend, her time has gone by so quickly, but yours waiting at home has gone so slowly.

James 4:14

You don't know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears.

2) WE HAVE TO MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY

The devil will keep us busy with non-important things, and sin to keep us from doing what God wants us to do, time is an issue, there is not enough time. It is a mistake that we all make; we get so caught up in the past and now, what about the eternal?

We overload ourselves with commitments and work:

Always promising to go somewhere, do something for others, under pressure to perform correctly, we get confused – what next – which way to go. Tiredness eventually wears us all down. We get puzzled and unsure, doubt sets in about our lives. We get sick, our children get sick, we lose someone to death, we lose our jobs, and we end up divorced. We live in what is called a rat race, and it is hard, what then. We give up – but hang on it is ok to give up, to want to end our lives. WHEN WE ARE AT OUR WIT’S END, GOD IS JUST GETTING STARTED. WHEN WE GIVE UP ON OURSELF, AND LAY DOWN. JESUS TAKES OVER.

We overload ourselves with possessions and information:

We simply must have, people judge us by what we have, what we do. Too many Christians want like to be like paradise. We know it all, we have information on any subject, and we always want to be in the pound seat. We take over, say what we want, do want we want.

IS THAT THE RESOLUTION WE WANT TO MAKE?

JAMES 4:4

You unfaithful people! Don't you know that love for this evil world is hatred toward God? Whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God.

1 Peter 4:3-4

You spent enough time in the past doing what unbelievers like to do. You were promiscuous, had sinful desires, got drunk, went to wild parties, and took part in the forbidden worship of false gods. Unbelievers insult you now because they are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses of wild living.

3) Understand what the Lord’s will is

Now what do you think is God’s will for you in this New Year? Do you think He wants your mind so filled with worries, fears and problems that you forget to be spiritual? Do you think that he wants your calendar so crowded that you cannot even fellowship one day of the week?

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