Summary: learning and appreciating from past experiences
Looking back to look ahead New Years Eve December 31 2006
Lorenzo Nicholson Sr. Life-Line for Jesus community Church
We may think of the year 2006 as a journey that we all embarked upon at the beginning of the year. As we set out, none of us actually knew for sure that we would complete the journey to the end of 2006. I say this because life is so temporal and there was no guarantee that we would be here tonight to tell the story but we are here. Therefore we are presented with a just cause to be responsive to God, who has kept us by his power. He has already kept us and we should not so quickly forget. There are indeed things that we ought to forget but there are some things that we should never forget. We cannot remember the things that we should remember if we do not look back.
We are admonished to forget some things while on the other hand we are encouraged to remember others.
Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Isa 43:18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
We should remember the things that pertain to God’s involvement in our lives.
If we are to enter this “New Year” and be responsive to God as we should, we must start by “looking back” to recall God’s faithfulness to us. I dare to say that if we do, we will at the same time be faced with our own unfaithfulness to him.
We may become more responsive to God by an:
I. Acknowledgement of God’s grace
A. Goodwill, favor and kindness towards us…
B. If we had to earn God’s favor…
C. We have to conclude that all of God’s interactions in our lives mandate an acknowledgement of his grace.
II. Appreciation for his love, mercy, provision, and divine protection.
A. Appreciation is an outward expression of an inward gratitude. If there is an appreciation then how do you express it?
B. Last year at this time (2005) we had come so close to the end of the year and we were reminded of God’s intervention in our lives. There were those of us who knew that it was nobody but the Lord who kept us.
1. Psa 73:2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.
a. It is so easy to fall in the traps of life.
b. It is so easy to go astray.
c. It is so easy to enter the forbidden zone.
d. The enemy was continuously seeking to bring us into captivity but the Angels of the Lord were working day and night in our defense.
2. Psa 94:18 When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.
3. By “looking back” you can see those traps of the enemy and you will understand how to avoid them as you “look ahead.”
C. Let me give you some suggestions as to how you can display your appreciation.
1. 1Ch 16:8 Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
2. 1Ch 16:34 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever.
3. Psa 79:13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.
III. Anticipation of God’s continuous interaction in our lives as we enter this New Year.
A. Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
1. You must remember what God has begun by looking back. If you can just see what he has done, it will give you the courage to look ahead.
IV. Finally we may become more responsive to God by an Active Involvement in his work. There is room for everyone to serve. I am grateful because many of you are finding your place so that you can be actively involved in God’s work.
A. There are those of us who are involved but lets become more involved.
B. There are those of us who are not involved so lets get involved.
C. Start your involvement by being in place for worship.