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Summary: Looking forward to the coming year knowing that God has promised He has a perfect plan for each one of us. It may not be the plan we expect but it will always be the best plan.

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Well we have reached the final Sunday of 2009,

for some 2009 has been a time of great blessing, for others a time of trial.

For some 2009 has been a time of joy,

for others a time of sadness.

We have rejoiced in baptism, rejoiced as people have started worshiping with us or joined the membership.

And through loved ones have left us and finished the race we rejoice knowing that they have heard God say “Well Done, faithful one – welcome to your eternal home”

I consider it a privilege to stand here on the final Sunday of 2009 and bring the last message of the year to you.

As this year draws to a close I want us to look forward to 2010 by considering four HP’s together this morning.

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NO, not the sauce,

His Planning, His Purpose, His Provision and His Presence

And we will do this by focusing on part of the bible God keeps leading me to,

in fact, over the last few weeks I have not been able to escape this passage of the bible,

I’ve seen it in my daily reading on 6 occasions, David has mentioned it in a sermon,

I went into the Christian Bookshop in town and on the shelves in front of the door as you walk in it was there, I’ve found it on a keyring, on a pen and two friends have emailed it to me as part of their electronic Christmas cards.

So I have come to the conclusion that this is the verse that God wants me to share with you this morning.

But by way of introduction, there is a salesman I know that loves driving around the country on business, but it’s not the driving that he likes the most.

No, there are other things that he likes to do before he even gets in the car and starts it up.

Even though he has a top of the range Sat Nav he loves looking at maps.

He gathers information about his destinations, and the researches and plans every trip.

He works out his mileage and probable petrol consumption and costs, he works out which hotel he will spend the night in, and where he might stop for lunch.

He loves the scheduling, and the packing that goes along with all of it, too.

Now, you may think that is a little weird, especially if you’ve never done any of those things before you have driven anywhere, but, your probably thinking that some of them are necessary, aren’t you?

Every trip you take, every excursion you make, every walk out the door needs some type of planning, doesn’t it?

A trip to the local shop, a trip to the supermarket, or even a trip to a restaurant has some amount of planning involved.

If not, you’ll either not take enough money, or you’ll spend too much.

Now, I’m sure there are probably some of you thinking that planning for 2010 doesn’t seem like a big deal.

There may even be one or two of you thinking that the year is going to happen no matter how you plan for it.

Yes, it will happen, but, that does not mean you should just Let it happen

If you never plan to check the engine oil in your car, the engine will burn up and stop.

Or if you never check the pressure of your tyres you could lose control on wet roads.

Do you see the thought process?

Do you see where we’re going with this?

If you just let your life or your year run its course and never make any plans, or never have any short term or long term goals, then, this time next year, you’ll look back and say, “I haven’t really accomplished anything this year and 2010 is almost over…”

Or worse than that, you’ll look back when you’re three quarters of the way through your life and say, “Wow, I haven’t really accomplished anything for God, have I?”

Christians that don’t plan their lives may appear to be busy, perhaps always running around, but never really accomplishing anything.

One of the guys I used to work with often had people running up to him trying to get him to do something for them really quick, when they should have done something a long time before,

He used to tell them “You’re failure to plan does not constitute an emergency on my part.”

Imagine if Noah had waited for it to start raining before beginning construction of the ark.

Someone once said, “Failure to plan, is actually planning to fail.” It doesn’t have to be that way.

So let’s look at the verse that keeps coming up in my life that God has laid on my heart to share with you this morning.

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