Sermons

Summary: If we want this new year to be different we need to clarify what we really value in life and we need to determine to grow like Jesus

Grow Like Jesus

#ThisYearCanBeDifferent

WELL – welcome to 2019, I’m glad you made it!

NOW THIS MORNING – we are kicking off a 4 week series, that I am calling… ‘This Year Can Be Different.’

1/6 – Grow Like Jesus

1/13 – These Three Things

1/20 – What Does It Matter

1/27 – Redeem The Time

OKAY – confession time… let me tell you how this series came about… Basically I spent time asking God what I needed to hear, learn, do… so that my 2019 can be different.

AND YOU KNOW – when the…

• The ball dropped in Times Square

• The peach dropped in Atlanta

• The giant peep dropped in Bethlehem, PA

• The huge chunk of cheese dropped in Plymouth, WI

• The pickle dropped in Mt Olive, NC

• The massive potato dropped in Boise, ID

• The guitar dropped in Memphis, TN

AND – everyone cheered, shouted and celebrated.

ISN’T – that what they were all hoping for…

THAT – this new year would be different, that it would be better.

I MEAN – do you really think that anyone was hoping that their new year, that 2019 would be a terrible year for them?

QUESTION – what do millions of people make every New Years Day, in hopes that the new year will be different, better.

They make new years resolutions…

NOW - the tradition of the New Year's Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 B.C., when Janus a mythical god of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar.

Janus was the god of beginnings and transitions… and presided over passages, doors, gates and endings, as well as in transitional periods such as from war to peace.

He was usually depicted as having two faces looking at opposite ways, one towards the past and the other towards the future.

Over time Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year.

NOW - some say making new years resolutions goes back even further, about 4,000 years to Babylon in 2000 BC…

The Babylonians celebrated the new year at the beginning of spring (in March) with an 11 day festival.

Like today, the Babylonians thought of New Year's as a time of reflection on the year past and looking ahead to the future.

They believed what they did on New Year's Day would effect the rest of the year. They also made New Year's resolutions, most commonly to return borrowed farm equipment.

OKAY – but, whatever the history is, we all know that January the first is the time that many people make new years resolutions…

IN FACT - about 60% of all Americans make resolutions at the beginning of a New Year… but only about 8 percent of us are successful in achieving them. Regardless of whether we achieved our previous resolutions, most of us go right ahead and make a new set of resolutions -- hoping for the best.

Here are a few more interesting facts about New Year's resolutions:

• Saving money is one of the top five New Year's resolutions and also in the top five for most commonly failed.

• Over 80% of respondents said that they fail their resolution before January 31.

• Women make health-focused resolutions while men pledge to find a new job and lay off the alcohol.

So, what are we all wishing for in 2019?

Here are the top 10 New Year's resolutions according to a recent survey….

#10 Spend more time with family and friends (13 percent)

#9 Drink less alcohol (15 percent)

#8 Find another job (16 percent)

#7 Read more (17 percent)

#6 Quit smoking (21 percent)

#5 Learn a new skill or hobby (26 percent)

#4 Save more and spend less (32 percent)

#3 Lose weight (54percent)

#2 Exercise more (65 percent)

#1 Diet or eat healthier (71 percent)

QUESTION – are there any of yours on the list?

NOW - statistics indicate that…

• after only week, almost 25% of us have bailed out on whatever it was we had resolved to do;

• after a month, more than 50% have given up;

• and not long after that only 20% still hang in there –

• and by years end only 8% actually kept them.

There is an old Irish toast that says, “may your trouble in the coming year be as short as your New Year’s Resolution.”

BUT LISTEN - even though people fail to keep them, most people still keep making them… Why?

BECAUSE - there is something in us that looks forward to new beginnings, isn’t there?

YES - there is something in us that desires change, something deep within that longs to reach higher and dreams of better.

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