Summary: The changes we want to make to improve our lives come from our relationship with God through his Son, not the year in which we are living. However, as we begin a new year we often think of the changes we need to make.
1. The beginning of a New Year is a time to reflect on where we have been and where we want to go with our lives – we make plans to change – weight; jobs; education; etc.
2. 2012 Average Plastic Surgery Costs For a new you:
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) $5,130
Buttock augmentation $4,500
Buttock lift $4,379
Calf augmentation $3,900
Cheek implants $2,739
Chin augmentation $2,000
Forehead lift $3,161
Hair transplantation $4,676
(other than injectable materials) $1,683
Lower body lift $7,247
Otoplasty (ear tuck) $3,054
Pectoral implants $3,810
Rhinoplasty (nose job) $4,306
Thigh lift $4,507
Upper arm lift $3,729
3. What is the one thing you would change about yourself?
4. Philippians 3.14-16
I. Remove the Misplaced Priority (4-7)
Jeff Ferrera of Waukegan, Illinois, was reconciling his checkbook and called First National Bank of Chicago to get his current balance. The electronic voice droned, “Your primary checking account currently has a balance of $924,844,204.32." Ferrera was one of 826 customers who were almost billionaires for a day because of the biggest error in the history of US banking. The mistake amounted to almost $764 billion, more than six times the assets of First National Bank. “It had a lot of people saying in jest to transfer it to the Cayman Islands and run for it,” Ferrera said. But, like most others, he simply reported the error to bank Officials, who could only say that it was a computer programming error.
How ridiculous it would have been for Ferrera to place any confidence in his new found wealth. He recognized the temporary nature of his millionaire checking account. It would have been utter stupidity for him to make plans and arrange his life around something so uncertain and fleeting.
Yet, that’s exactly the way that most of us operate. We’re given these brief life-spans and rather than focus on the things that really matter, we squander our time, thoughts and talents on the trivial. God tells us to reach for the eternal but we settle for the temporary.
A. The Temporary
1. Nothing wrong with the Physical – “Good and Very Good”
2. Problem of Near-sightedness
3. Externals do not last [Movie Stars and Aging
B. Categories within the Temporary
1. Heritage – Genealogies today
a. Hebrew of Hebrews = Language
b. Pharisee of Pharisees – study and knowledge of scripture; Gamliel and Hillel
a. Misplaced Zeal – persecution of the church
b. Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2 I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened. 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Romans 10.1-3
4. Personal Righteousness
II. Resolve to Focus on Yeshua (Jesus) (7-11)
A. Emphasis on Yeshua (Jesus)
1. Note the number of times he mentions “Jesus”
2. Note how he wants to know him – intimately
3. Problem – treating him as a silent Pal rather than an outspoken LORD!
B. The Emphasis of Yeshua (Jesus) – Matthew 6.33
1. God gives physical needs NOW, not just things in the World to Come (WTC)
2. We tend to turn the priority upside down – we want to seek our necessities first (including entertainment) – THEN if there is time we expect spirituals to be added to us
3. What would happen if we committed to making Yeshua (Jesus) the LORD?
a. If we make the LORD’S Day HIS Day?
b. We make God the centerpiece of our discussion
c. We give him first fruits of our labors?
[Remember first love? Could not get enough of the person; thought of them all day; couldn’t wait to be with the person; but then time passes
4 But I have this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. 5 Therefore, remember where you were before you fell, turn from this sin, and do what you used to do before. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your menorah from its place — if you don’t turn from your sin! Revelation 2.4-5 (CJB)
A.W. Tozer said, "We are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God."
4. It is a LOVE Issue
5. What happens when other things take precedence? – “No other gods” (Exodus 20.3)
III. Renew the Right Plan (12-14)
A. Be Responsive of Our Present
1. We have not “arrived”
2. The closer you get to God the further away you may feel
3. Remember that God does not grade on a curve
a. If I got a 66% on a test I would feel bad unless I found out that most of the class made less