Summary: Looking ahead to the new year, 2008.
Each year, we all make the choice to do better, don’t we? We hope (and pray) for a chance to create for ourselves a better year than the one we just went through. This morning, I want to give you four things to help you in this journey for 2008 – because God wants this year to be better than last!
If this is not true, Jeremiah 29:11 (For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.) is a lie. You may notice that I have used that verse a lot over the past year, and there is a purpose. I feel that God is trying to get our attention and let us know that we have so much more to live for than the status quo.
God wants your life to be better -- He wants you to succeed and do more than you ever had before -- and I know that if God wants something for you – then we need to simply stand back, listen to his voice, be obedient to His leading, and receive!
We must make every effort to make 2008 count. Who knows? It could be the final year we have to live in God’s Grace on this Earth, and if you think of each day as an incredible gift from God, it is amazing how your priorities WILL change!
Let’s look at some life challenges for 2008.
Have you ever made a list of things to do? I try to write things down so that I will remember them because frankly, I will forget. When people tell me things I try to make a little mental note so I will remember, or I ask my family to help me remember – but more times than I care to admit, I forget what I had to do.
Today, I have created a little list of things to do for 2008 that I hope you can see yourself in these items as well. Perhaps if we shared a list, we could help hold one another accountable to get things done – and give each other encouragement that we CAN get things done.
Remember our theme for 2008 is:
We attempt great things for God … We expect great things from God.
So together, let’s make a “to do” list.
Point 1 – Give: More time to God
We were created for one reason, to have fellowship and serve God, period. With that knowledge, we need to give more time TO God!
Seems pretty easy to do, right? Why is it then, that when it comes down to doing something as simple as a daily devotion it just does not get done? I am not going to ask anyone to raise their hand if they do one, because God already knows – but I want to say that for those who do not have a devotion time in place – GET ONE!
Revelation 4:11 says, “Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.”
Colossians 1:16 also says, “All things were created by Him and for Him.”
We must ensure that we recognizing the complete sovereignty and holiness of God, and stand amazed that He would take man and “crown him with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:5), and that He would bring Himself to our level and call us “friends” (John 15:14-15).
There is nothing else in this entire world that should be more important than giving yourself wholly to God, and knowing that He desires to spend time with you.
I realize we are all busy. I realize that our schedules are demanding and that everyone wants a piece of you and there never seems to be anything left for you – but think on this for a minute. Is your schedule all the devil has to use to keep you from God?
Yes, I said it. The devil will use your own schedule to keep you from God – and here is the worse part of this situation: FIRST he convinces you that you are too busy, and THEN you use that to justify to God why you don’t spend time with Him! Isn’t that the most ludicrous thing ever?
Commit to spending more time with God – He desires to spend time with you!
Next, devote yourself to serving where God has put you – your church!
Point 2 – Devote: Myself to serving
Each of us has a place in the Kingdom, and each of us has a mission to do from the Lord. Many of us have been afraid to ask God what it is that we should do, and that is just another tool the devil is using to keep you from serving!