Summary: A sermon about starting the new year off with a clean slate
Well 2015 is in the books, one year of our life gone. I’m sure that all of us here today, as well as people all over the world experienced joy and happiness as well as heartache and pain as we journeyed through our life this past year.
I want you to think about 2015 for a moment. Are there some things that you could have done better? Do you have any regrets? How did you grow spiritually? Did you grow closer to Christ?
Now I want you to think about something, what if we could start out today with a clean slate? What if all of our mistakes and shortcomings were erased? What if we could start out this brand new year without the shoulda, woulda, and couldas? Well the truth is we can. We can all start out with a clean slate, we can start this year fresh and new, without all the baggage that we tend to carry around with us.
This month will be focused on a series of sermons that hopefully will help us to begin this new year with a positive outlook and help us release ourselves from the things that tend to weigh us down as we travel through this thing that we call life. Hopefully we will discover ways to grow closer to God and closer to each other, and in doing that we will be able to weather the storms and valleys that we encounter as we travel through this thing called life.
Let’s look at our text today (read Isaiah 43:18 – 19)
As we move into this New Year we need to be forward focused, last year is but a memory. There is not one single thing that we can do that will change anything that happened last year. Let’s face it there is nothing we can do to change what happened yesterday. So as we move forward into this unchartered territory we should do it with boldness taking each day as it is given to us and making the most of it.
Sometimes we get so focused on the Shouldas , wouldas, and couldas that we don’t see the things that are right in front of us. I shoulda read my Bible more, I shoulda prayed more, I shoulda tried harder. If I woulda done this then that wouldn’t have happened, or if I coulda just tried harder, or if I coulda been a better example. We have got to erase this type of thinking from our minds.
Sure we have memories, we have regrets, but we can’t keep thinking about them we must move forward and make the most of each day as it comes. We need to focus on the I wills, and the I cans, and the I am.
I will read my Bible more, I will have a better prayer life, I will weather the storm, and I will make it through the valley.
I can be a better Christian, I can be a disciple for Christ, I can be a prayer warrior, and I can turn my life around.
I am victorious, I am a child of God, I am gonna make it regardless of the adversity, I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
I can and I will make it through each day because I am a favored child of the Most High God.
We must go into this New Year expecting God to be in our lives guiding us and helping us through each and every day.
What is in store for you in the coming year, I think a lot of what we encounter can be good or bad depending on our outlook.
I think Charles Swindoll put it best in his poem Attitude
"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes”
Too often when life isn’t going our way we let Satan get in our head and we start acting like we are defeated before the battle even starts. It seems we forget what scripture tells us in Romans 8:28 -31 and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?