Summary: This is the final in a series in the book of Nehemiah. This message transitions from the previous week vision commitments, to some simple steps to take towards fulfillment of that vision.
We have made it. We have reached the end of our look at what really amounts to just the first third or so of the book of Nehemiah. In the middle of the book you obtain some names and listings related to the building and completion of the wall around Jerusalem, and then in the second half of the book you see some activities and actions related to post-vision completion.
Read on. Study on your own. Grow from what you see in the rest of this book. There is some good stuff there that we may come back and look at down the road, once we have seen some of our visions fulfilled and come to fruition.
Our focus during this series has been on obtaining a vision. Finding that place of passion and concern in your life, which Nehemiah discovered for his life. And I thought it would be good, as we wrap up this series, to ask you a question that I’m sure you are ready to answer. With 13 more shopping days until Christmas, gifts to buy and wrap, items to ship, parties to attend, cards to address, and countless other things to do. . .I couldn’t think of any better time to stop and ask, “What New Year’s resolutions have you made for 2006?”
All right, I know most of you are thinking, “You have to be kidding me.” Right? “You don’t really think I have even given 2006 a thought yet do you? New Year’s resolutions? Sure, let me list them for you.” Is that pretty close to what you are thinking?
This is why I ask that. Last week I was thrilled to receive 20 “Ready to Pay the Price” inserts from you, naming out more than 40 different vision statements, areas of concern and passion that are burning in your hearts. If you didn’t have a chance to complete one, and you would still like to let me know how to be praying for you in the coming year as you pursue God’s vision for your life, raise your hand and we’ll get you a copy of one. I would love to pray for those with you.
However, those visions, those Nehemiah like callings, will not simply come in to being on their own. They will take diligence, faithfulness, and planned pursuit to see them happen. So as we sit just a few weeks away from a New Year, what resolutions have you made to make sure that those visions that God has for your life are fulfilled?
There is a simple truth. A simple fact of life. As you reach this point in each and every year, the pews are filled with people who are feeling things like, “Man, where did the year go? I never got this done. I never reached that goal I was striving for. It’s like my life is just passing me by.” But in most of those cases, those same people were sitting in those same pews in the year prior, and the year before that, and the year before that. . .and have never made any specific plans to pursue their passion. Never laid out any specific, life changing resolutions.
You may remember that I shared with you near the beginning of the year a few of my resolutions. I wanted to run 600 miles. I am proud to report that with about three weeks still to go, I am at just over 643 miles. Mission accomplished. I wanted to lose some weight. As long as I don’t blow it over the next three weeks, which is highly possible, I’ll be down about 10 to 15 pounds for the year.
I shared that I wanted to read through the entire Bible during the year via the Chronological Bible. Today is December 11th, and I’m proud to report that I am currently on December 13th of my One Year Bible. Right on track. Would be a good resolution for many of you in 2006.
I have learned in my life that if I want to achieve things, especially those things of passion that I sense a call from God to. Those areas of vision and concern that God gives me. I have to set some goals, make some resolutions, put some plans in place to make sure that I stay focused and stay on track. So with 2006 just 20 days away, let me ask you again, what New Year’s Resolutions have you made?
Now, truth be told most people don’t even believe in making New Year’s resolutions anymore. In fact, many people are so tired of coming up short, not achieving the goal, breaking the resolution that they just figure why even bother. I won’t ask you to show hands, but if I asked how many of you had some resolutions in place, there would be very few. . .and if I asked how many intended to make some, there wouldn’t be a whole lot more.