Summary: Paul writes that we are to live wisely, making the most of our opportunities and seeking God's will
Living In The New Year 2012
Intro: Today is the first day of 2012. It seems like only a year has gone by since I stood in this same spot and delivered to you a message from God’s word about how to live closer to God in 2011.
. Time sure does fly when you are having fun doesn’t it?
. The new year brings with it a sense of hope and newness.
. Many of us take this time to look at ourselves and make commitments or resolutions for what we consider a better life.
. We want to get rid of the old and put on the new don’t we.
. New years resolutions are much like the molting process that the lobster goes through once a year after they are adults.
. “In order to grow, lobsters have to rid themselves of their old, hard, protective shell and grow a new, larger one. This process of shedding an old shell is called molting. They do this about twenty-five times in the first five years of life and once a year after they become adults.
“It is an ugly, messy process. Under the pressure, the old, hard, protective shell cracks. Then the lobster lies on its side, flexes its muscles, and pulls itself from the cracked shell. For a short time—between the leaving of the old shell and the hardening of a new one—the lobster is naked, feeling very vulnerable to the elements.”
. “In a sense we are all lobsters. … Our growth into Christ likeness requires we get rid of our old, hard, protective shells and allow God to take us to a new place in him.”
New Years is as good a time as any to follow the example of the adult lobster—to molt at least once a year, leaving our old, hard, protective selves behind and allowing ourselves a new sense of vulnerability and room to grow.
. In our scripture this morning the Apostle Paul writing to the church in Ephesus gives us some direction on how a Christian should live their lives.
. As we follow these guidelines for living not only will our physical lives flourish but our spiritual lives will also be brought into a closer relationship with God.
. Eph. 5:15-17 [nlt]
. 15So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.16Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.17Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.
. The first thing we see here is that we are to live wisely.
. To live with wisdom.
. You know, sometimes we find wisdom in strange places.
. I’m sure you have heard the phrase “out of the mouths of babes”. Listen to the wisdom of some of these children.
• Patrick, age 10, said, “Never trust a dog to watch your food.”
• Michael, 14, said, “When your dad is mad and asks you, "Do I look stupid?" don’t answer him.”
• Michael, wise man that he was also said, “Never tell your mom her diet’s not working.”
• Randy, 9 years of age said, “Stay away from prunes.” One wonders how he discovered that bit of wisdom.
• Kyoyo, age 9, said, “Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time.”
• Naomi, 15 said, “If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse.”
• Lauren, age 9 said, “Felt markers are not good to use as lipstick.”
• Joel, 10 years old, said, “Don’t pick on your sister when she’s holding a baseball bat.” and
• Eileen, age 8 said, “Never try to baptize a cat.”
. Some true wisdom if I ever heard it.
. Paul writes that we are to live wisely.
. Now I googled definition of wisdom and this was the first thing that came up.
. The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting;
. Paul says to live by what you know as truth.
. The world will tell you that there is no truth.
. That everything is up to the individual and that what is true for one person is not necessarily true for another.
. This is called relativism. I googled this also and here is what I found.
. Relativism is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration.
. There is no absolute truth.
. Paul writes that fools believe that there is no truth.
. True wisdom is knowing that there are absolute truths in our world.
. In john 14:6 Jesus says; I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.