Summary: More people plan how to end a year than begin one. Here are 4 things that will help make the New Year a fulfilling one.
A WRONG ENDING WITH A RIGHT BEGINNING
As hard as it is to believe, 2008 will be over in a few days and we will embark on a journey into a brand new year.
It is a tradition in our land to put together new year resolutions. Maybe some of you here have already begun working on your list.
There is lots of helpful advice when making yours and I’ll not spend time reciting them to you. However I did find one that could be most helpful.
There was a couple who were sitting with a marriage counselor for their first session and the good doctor asked them to identify what seemed to be the root of their problems. The wife responded, "It all started when we thought it would be cute to think up each other’s New Year’s resolutions"
It might be a good thing to stick with just making your own.
Once Christmas has passed, people start thinking about the upcoming new year.
Allow me to prove a point…
By a show of hands - how many have already made plans on News Year’s night. Regardless of what they may be.
Again by a show of hands - how many have a plan set in place that will help you succeed and grow in 2009?
More people spend more time planning how to end the year rather than how to begin one.
So this morning I want to try and help you set a plan together on how to begin a new year off right.
People all across our nation will end this year…
• Deeper in debt.
• Some without a job
• And some without a home.
• Some started the year happily married but are ending the year sadly divorced.
• The year began with the family all intact, but at year’s end, family members are missing.
• We began the New Year with hope for tomorrow and yet many are ending the year wishing that tomorrow had never came.
It’s sad to say - the majority of our world will end this year on a bad note.
And that bad note will continue to sound on in to the coming New Year.
I want to take you this morning to the book of Philippians, chapter 3…
This morning’s title is…
A WRONG ENDING WITH
A RIGHT BEGINNING
As you find our text -- There was an article a few years ago in which a man gave his idea of a perfect world.
He said, "In a perfect world you would feel as good at 60 as you did at 17. And you would be as smart at 60 as you thought you were at 17."
"In a perfect world professional athletes would be complaining because schoolteachers were signing multi-million dollar contracts."
"In a perfect world potato chips would have calories, but if eaten with dip, the calories would be neutralized."
"In a perfect world, the check in the mail would always come early and be for more than you expected it to be."
The truth is: this is not a perfect world and it never will be! But it can become a lot better in this New Year.
1 Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.
2 Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved.
3 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort,
4 though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!
5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law.
6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.
8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ
9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.