Summary: Noah and his family received a second chance. In the same way, 2015 is gone, and 2016 is here.
Making A New Start
Genesis 8:16-22 – Part 2
1. Previously, we began to examine Noah’s life, post flood. We saw God’s extension of grace to Noah and his family. God delivered them from judgment and protected them in the ark of safety.
2. But, after being on the ark for over a year, the time came for Noah to leave the ark.
3. Noah and his family received a second chance. In the same way, 2015 is gone, and 2016 is here.
4. God in His grace has given you a new year. It is a new beginning, a fresh opportunity, a brand-new start with a new year. But how do you successfully make a new start?
5. Let’s continue to look at Noah’s life. From the text, we will gain some biblical and practical insight into how to make a new start. Every person can make a new start! How?
First, you must acknowledge your need of others. vs. 16, 18
Second, establish worship as your number one priority. vs. 20-22
1. We saw how Noah responded to God’s extension of grace.
2. We learned about Noah’s example in worship to God.
• Noah had a definite time and place of worship.
• Noah did not allow the issues of life to crowd out his worship time.
• Noah worshipped God when others did not.
• Noah’s worship moved the heart of God.
Third, move forward out of the past. vs. 16-19
1. We see the word “forth” in every verse in verses 16-19.
• “Go forth…” (vs. 16)
• “Bring forth” (vs. 17)
• “And Noah went forth…” (vs. 18)
• All the animals “…went forth out of the ark.” (vs. 19)
• Webster’s defines the word “forth” as “forward; onward in time.” It says that synonyms are “onward; ahead; forward.”
2. Noah and his family were in the ark for over a year, but now it was time to leave that stage of their lives and move forward. God said, “Go forth... ” (vs. 16)
3. Noah didn’t sit around in the ark and say, “No, I’m staying right here. I know this ark. I know I’m safe here, and I just want to stay here. I want everything to stay the same. I am satisfied right here!”
4. No, he realized that he had to move forward. Things would never be the same as they were the past year for Noah and his family. The previous year was unique and different. He couldn’t sit around talking about the way things used to be.
5. It was time to leave this chapter of his life, move on, and launch out into new territory to pioneer new ground.
6. What a lesson for us today! This encourages me personally and as a pastor, especially as it pertains to this ministry, CrossRoads.
7. CrossRoads is at a “crossroads.” We can live in the past or move forward and go forth into the future. We can say, “No, we are comfortable in the ark. We aren’t moving.” Or we can say, “The ark has stopped moving. God is calling us to make some changes.”
• Illustration: A sailboat is trying to get to the other side of the lake. The sails have been set in order to utilize the current winds. But the winds change and the boat quits moving. Somebody suggests, “Let’s change the sails in order to take advantage of the winds and reach our goal. Our current paradigm is not working.” Somebody objects and says, “But we have always set our sails this way in the past. I am comfortable with the past and the way we have always set the sails.” That is fine, and it is an option. But you must concede to sitting on the lake and not moving. Therefore, you must be okay with living in the past, not moving forward, and not reaching your goals.
• Personally, I am not okay with this as it pertains to our church.
• We are no longer in 1996 or 2006; we are now in 2016. What we did to reach people and to help people grow in 2006 is irrelevant. Truthfully, what we did last year really doesn’t matter. We have to move forward. We have to constantly adjust and reset the sails. If not, we become immobilized – spinning our wheels. We quit moving.
• I want to encourage you, as we endeavor to make changes in order to reach people and optimize our effectiveness as a church, don’t live in the past. Don’t be a person who wants to just sit in the ark or sit idle in the sailboat on the lake. Be a forward-thinker. Be a person that is all about going forth and moving forward.
• A church is a living organism. It is like a person. It cannot stay the same forever. Just as you have to press forward and make changes based on where you are in life, a church has to do this too. Especially, if it is to continue to be vibrant and impact people for Christ. Life has its seasons, and this is true in the life of a church. We have to move forward.