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Summary: This sermon was delivered at the watchnight service on December 31, 2002 at White Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Lyons, GA. where Rev. Matthew Wilson is Pastor. The topic was chosen to encourage the listeners to continue to serve God, even though the

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Evangelist Carolyn Malaika Foster-Brooks

Founder

The Ministry of S.A.R.A.H.

(SERENITY*ATONEMENT*RESTORATION*& HEALING)

LYONS, GEORGIA

Prayer:

Heavenly Father I have thanked you all year for the many blessings you have bestowed upon me that I didn’t even deserve. Father I am thanking you right now for bringing me to this appointed place of worship to serve and honor you for the last time in this year of 2002. God please grant me the wisdom and the words you want me to use as encouragement for the sisters and brothers who are going to receive Divine encouragement through me. Thank you Father for allowing me this opportunity to deliver the last message of this year.

We turn aside from the things that ordinarily occupy our waking hours and we wait for the strike of midnight that will usher us into the year 2003 in Your presence.

Have grace and mercy upon us Lord and turn our scars into stars!

Through your divine word let the people who read this receive the many blessings you have in store for them.

Amen

SCRIPTURE:

John 17:20 -22(nlv) ....The Prayer of Jesus....

"I AM PRAYING NOT ONLY FOR THESE DISCIPLES BUT ALSO FOR ALL WHO WILL EVER BELIEVE IN ME BECAUSE OF THEIR TESTIMONY. (21)MY PRAYER FOR ALL OF THEM IS THAT THEY WILL BE ONE, JUST AS YOU AND I ARE ONE, FATHER-THAT JUST AS YOU ARE IN ME AND I AM IN YOU, SO THEY WILL BE IN US, AND THE WORLD WILL BELIEVE YOU SENT ME.

(22) I HAVE GIVEN THEM THE GLORY YOU GAVE ME, SO THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, AS WE ARE ONE."

TEXT:

Even though....so that they will be one, just as you and I are one......

This is a night to count our many blessings because even though we have faced many trials and tribulations, WE ARE THE DESCENDANTS OF THE PROPHETS and as God said to Abraham in Acts 3:25, " THROUGH YOUR DESCENDANTS ALL THE NATIONS ON THE EARTH WILL BE BLESSED."

And, yes, I know that often life has seemed unfair and more than you could bear....It was just yesterday that some of our faith may have been shaken and we had to get down on our knees and cry out to God to deliver us from all sin and manners of evil....there’s a familiar gospel tune that says, "Troubles in my way, I have to cry sometime. Troubles in my way- I have to cry sometime. I laid awake at night, but that’s alright. ’Cause Jesus, He will fix it, after awhile!"

So, even though nothing seems to be going right, tears may endure for a moment, but joy....comes in the morning! Amen?? And according to Psalms 27:14 (nlv) when we WAIT FOR THE LORD’S HELP...BE STRONG AND BRAVE AND WAIT FOR THE LORD’S HELP. SO WHAT SHOULD WE SAY ABOUT THIS? IF GOD IS WITH US, NO ONE CAN DEFEAT US. (Romans 8:31 nlv)

We are here tonight anxiously awaitng the coming of 2003 because GOD’S MERCY IS GREAT AND HE LOVED US VERY MUCH. Even though IT WAS NOT BECAUSE OF GOOD DEEDS WE DID TO BE RIGHT WITH GOD and even though we were spiritually dead because of the things we did against God....HE SAVED US THROUGH THE WASHING THAT MADE US NEW PEOPLE THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT. WE HAVE BEEN SAVED BY GOD’S GRACE AND HE GAVE US NEW LIFE WITH CHRIST. (Titus 3:5-6/Eph. 2:4-5 nlv)

And when you really think about it, isn’t it amazing that so many of us still doubt God?? We feel uncertain about God because things just don’t seem to be happening fast enough?....well, even though we do think like that, in Luke 12:29-31 nlv, the bible says DON’T ALWAYS THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WILL EAT OR WHAT YOU WILL DRINK, AND DON’T KEEP WORRYING. ALL THE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE TRYING TO GET THESE THINGS, AND YOUR FATHER KNOWS YOU NEED THEM. BUT SEEK GOD’S KINGDOM, AND ALL THE OTHER THINGS YOU NEED WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU.

YOU SEE THE LORD IS NOT SLOW IN DOING WHAT HE PROMISED THE WAY SOME PEOPLE UNDERSTAND SLOWNESS. BUT GOD IS BEING PATIENT WITH YOU. HE DOESN’T WANT ANYONE TO BE LOST, BUT HE WANTS ALL PEOPLE TO CHANGE THEIR HEARTS AND LIVES. (2 Peter 3:9 nlv)

I have been reminded that God promised us only 3 scores and 10 ( meaning 70 years to live.) And for anyone past 70 years old, God has let your golden moments to roll over a little longer and you are on blessed, but borrowed, time! Even though that is true, considering God’s patience and not wanting anyone to be lost, I believe some unsvaed people past 70 years old are still alive today because for some of us, it takes a little longer to get the devil out of us! Amen???

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