Summary: A new years sermon about how if we G.R.A.B. (Go - Risk - Adapt - Believe) that the new year will have endless possibilities.
Video bumper (sermon spice, endless possibilities)
• AS YOU – look back and reflect on the year 2013, what do you see?
• WAS IT – a good year?
• WAS IT – all you hope it would be, when the ball dropped 363 days ago, at midnight on January 1?
• DO YOU – want the year 2014 to (bigger, better, bolder and brighter)?
Do you? IF SO – you would you please stand up.
IF YOU – want the 2014 to be better, bigger, bolder and brighter… YOU ARE IN – the right place at the right time, because today 12/29/13 we are going to be talking about how to make the most of year 2014, in a conversation I am calling, ‘Endless Possibilities!’
AND – remember to get the conversation going at
NOW… I want to kick off our time today… with a parable and with a passage of Scripture?
R U ready to do this?
John Eldredge begins His book “The Journey Of Desire, Searching For The Life We’ve Only Dreamed Of” with a parable about a sea lion.
Once upon a time there lived a sea lion who had lost the sea.
He lived in a country known as the barren lands. High on a plateau, far from any coast, it was a place so dry and dusty it could only be called a desert.
A kind of coarse grass grew in patches here and there, and a few trees were scattered across the horizon. But mostly, it was dust. And sometimes wind, which together make one very thirsty.
Of course it must seem strange to you that such a beautiful creature should wind up in a desert at all. He was, mind you, a sea lion. BUT – things like that do happen. HOW the sea lion came to the barren lands, no one could remember. It all seemed so very long ago. SO LONG, in fact, it appeared as though he had always been there. NOT that he belonged in such an arid place. How could that be? He was after all, a sea lion. But as you know, once you have lived so long in a certain spot, no matter how odd, you come to think of it as home.
LISTEN - sometimes people (and that would be us) can become just like that sea lion.
AND WHAT – I mean by that, is that…
THEY - have lived so long in a certain place or in a certain way, that even though it is not where they belong, they come to think of it as home.
Something awful has happened, something terrible. Something worse, even, then the fall of man. For in the greatest of all tragedies, we merely lost Paradise – and with it everything that made life worth living. What has happened since is unthinkable…we’ve gotten used to it. We’re broken in to the idea that this is just the way things are. The people who walk in great darkness… have adjusted their eyes to it.
MAN – I wish it wasn’t true by Eldredge is soo right.
I MEAN – way too many of us settle for a life that is far less than who we are… as a people created in the very image of God… and recreated in Christ to do the good things God planned for us long ago…
LISTEN – as I have said countless times before…
WHAT – drives me as a pastor, is to connect people to the lives that were created to live… A LIFE – by the way, that was never meant to be lived in a dry barren wilderness.
Now, the passage…
If you have your Bibles go ahead and turn to Isaiah chapter 43. WE – are going to begin reading at verse 15 .
The year is about 700 BC. AND – God’s people were not doing so good… Things are pretty tough in the nation. A large part of Judah and all of the northern kingdom of Israel were in exile in various parts of the Assyrian Empire.
YOU SEE BECAUSE…
• God’s people had sinned and turned their backs on Him…
• They had bowed down and worship of foreign gods…
GOD - removed His protection and allowed their enemies to come in and conquer them… and Assyria did just that.
YEAH – things were bad… AND - they would only get worse.
IN ABOUT – 100 years Babylon would come riding in to finish the job that Assyria had started.
King Nebuchadnezzar and his army would: level the city, tear down the walls, reduce the Temple to rubble, kill thousands of men, woman and children, and take even more into captivity. Understand