Summary: An encouraging sermon for the new year or church anniversary

Traditionally the New Year is a time of new beginnings. It is a time that we make new commitments to do better in the New Year than we did in the last year. It is a time that we sit down and make a list of how we are going to better in the New Year, than we did in the old. (Can I get a witness?) It’s a time that we say we are going “Out with the Old and in with the New”. The New Year is a time when we make resolutions, and rulings; we make declarations & decrees, we make pledges & promises to do better than in the New Year than we did in the old. The New Year is a time when we vow to not do the same ole stuff we being doing all our lives, we vow to have a better church, we vow to treat people better, we vow to read our bible more, we swear to come to church more, we declare to be a better person in the New Year.

But isn’t strange and I find it quite bothersome that some of the same promises we vowed to do last new year are some of the same problems and plagues that we are stilling dealing with this new year?

- Some of the same lies we said we wasn’t gonna tell leaving last year we still lying & telling this year.

- Some of the same folks we said were gonna get out our lives last year are still sleeping in our beds in this year

- Some of the same bills we said we was gone pay off last year are still ruining our credit report this year

-Some of the same traditions we said we was gonna break last year we still doing them this year

- Some of the same devils we buried last year are the same devils we resurrected & gave CPR to January 1 this year (Help in here)

Some of the same habits (you know, drinking, smoking, gambling) that we swore to stop last year, they have already reared there ugly head up this year!

But yet and still God is still keeping us; and has kept anybody here another year!

- Anybody know God is keeping you?

- Has God been keeping anybody this year?

- Has God had to come to your rescue already this year?

- Has God had to rock you in the midnight hour?

- Has God been with you through the sickness & health?

- Has God had to bring anybody through the storm & the rain?

- Anybody know God is keeping you? (High five your neighbor and say God is keeping me!)

I come to give you a revelation from God today, and that is in the New Year God doesn’t want another resolution, he doesn’t want another broken promise, he doesn’t want a new declaration, but God wants a New You! God wants you to live a different way. God is tired of us playing church; he wants us to be the church. (Wish I had a witness) God wants a new You! He wants you to use your time, he wants your talents and he wants you to be a better Christian.

God is keeping you for a reason

God is keeping you for a divine purpose.

God has given us more time for a spiritual intension.

God has given us one more chance;

God has given us one more sunny day!

God didn’t keep us hanging around just for us to look good;

He didn’t keep us here just to show how good we can preach.

God didn’t keep us here just for us to be bench members

But he is calling on us to work; he wants us to bear fruit!

God has a purpose for our lives. (Wish I had a praying church)

So here in our text today

We find ourselves in a vineyard – this owner planted a tree and expected the tree to progress, to grow He expected to find some fruit on the tree. (3 things I see)

I. The owner of the tree made a REASONABLE REQUEST. (say reasonable request)

a. It was his tree and he expected this fig tree to have done better than in previous years. This man planted a fig tree. In Biblical times, fig trees were valuable. The represented a tree of value. It was worth something. And so it is, God has planted us because we are valuable. We are worth something. So it’s only right that the owner expects a return on his investment.

b. So this man did not plant any old type of tree – He planted a tree that was valuable.

He expected to find fruit. So it is with God, he expects to find some fruit hanging on your tree! Don’t think you just coming here just to be coming. Everyone one of you has a gift, and God expects you to use your gift. You have to do more than just come to church on Sunday morning. (I didn’t expect no Amen’s right there)

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Rev. Howard Lewis Jr

commented on Nov 20, 2020

Thank you fellow Pastor for a wonderful word on this morning. It is 9: 12 am here in Ackerman MS and I want you to know Christ has been dealing with the words ," He's Keeping Me " , and you brought it out beautifully. Keep doing what you doing when comes to His Holy Word. Enjoyed it!!!!

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