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Summary: Things work when God is first.

Getting Started Again

Haggai 1:1-4

Rev. Brian Bill


I came across some funny school excuses that parents have sent in.

• Please excuse John from being absent on January 28, 29, 30, and 33.

• Marge could not come to school because she was bothered with very close veins.

• John has been absent from school because he had two teeth taken out of his face.

• Please excuse Joe on Friday. He had loose vowels.

• Please excuse Blanch from P.E. for a few days. Yesterday, she fell out of a tree and misplaced her hip.

• Please excuse Johnny from being. It was his father’s fault.

While these excuses make us laugh, the making of excuses is not funny to God, especially when we’re trying to excuse something that He expects us to do.

I sensed during the sermon last week that the Holy Spirit was really moving. Recognizing that our good intentions don’t always lead to application and our excuses can pile up like old Christmas trees on the curb, I thought it would benefit each of us to go back and pick up some of the main points. If you’re like me, you’ve already forgotten most of that message, and your attempts at living it out may have gotten off-track. If you were not here, you can read or listen to the entire sermon here.

Our main text was Ephesians 5:15-17: “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

Our outline was simple:

• Live wisely (15)

• Leverage your time (16)

• Learn God’s will (17)

And we put the sermon into a sentence: Since our time on earth is limited, let’s make the most of the time we have left. Here were some of the main points.

• Let’s start saying, “Carpe Momento,” which means “Seize the Moment.”

• Every time you can do something good you should.

• God doesn’t want us to kill our time; he wants us to fill our time. Wasting the gift of time insults the giver of time.

• The “Lord’s will” is primarily focused on transformation, and less on location. We tend to focus on where God wants us while God is all about who we’re becoming. If you want to know God’s will then do the will of God that you already know.

• Read the Bible through in 2012. There are several Bible reading plans available at the Resource Center or you can download a wide variety by clicking on the Resources tab on our website (www.pontiacbible.org).

• Plug into a Connection Group. I’d like to make one change about what I said last week. We have more people interested in joining a group than we have qualified leaders willing to lead one. If you’re a member of PBC and you’re gifted in this way, please contact Pastor Andy.

After preaching the sermon I realized that there were two huge areas of application that I missed. I thought about them all week. If you’ll allow me a “do-over,” here’s what I’d like to add.

1. Related to the topic of God’s will, the Bible is very clear about what God wants for each of us. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5: “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God.”

2. Speaking of God’s will, if you are a parent or a grandparent, can I urge you to live wisely with your family? Will you leverage your time with your children and grandchildren? The window of opportunity is short…it will close one day. Many parents in this community got a scare when the high school issued a “Code Red” on Thursday. None of us really knew what was going on initially but we knew “Code Red” was something potentially very serious. Thankfully, it looks like it was a prank but it served as a reminder to not take the time we have for granted. God wants us to do all we can to connect our kids and grandkids to Jesus and then equip them to be growing and faithful followers.

We’re going to take a look at some major excuse-makers this morning. They started off strong and then they fell off. It’s timely on the second Sunday of the New Year, isn’t it? Their resolve had dissolved and their excitement had turned to excuses. That reminds me of something I heard this week: A resolution goes in one Year and out the other.

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