Summary: New Years Eve service
Making the Most of 2003
Well, it’s almost here. 2003, sounds strange doesn’t it, even futuristic.
“This is typically the time of year to make resolutions. In the dictionary resolution is defined as “a course of action decided upon; a fixed purpose.” We resolve to do things differently. To lose weight, to exercise more. To be a better person. To dispense with old bad habits and begin some new good ones. A newspaper in Boston has been allowing people to post new year’s resolutions on their website. Here are a few interesting ones:
I resolve to stop feeding the office plant leftover coffee. I will use water instead.
As much as I hate government intervention, I resolve to try and get a law passed that requires every person on the face of this earth to have to use their common sense at least once a day!!!!
This year, I resolve to try REAL hard to stop eating fast-food for 2 out of 3 meals a day. If that isn’t possible, I promise to at least clean the remains from my car.
To become as wonderful a person as my dog thinks I am.”—Compiled by Matthew Rogers
What if the Lord were to send us a message today. What if that message said “This will be your last year on earth.” What would we want to change about the way we live? What would happen to our priorities, our relationships, our attitude?
I. IF YOU KNEW 2003 WOULD BE YOUR LAST WOULD IT BE TIME FOR SALVATION?
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) II Cor 6:2
A) Why have you waited?
1) Has it been procrastination? Just figured that you would get around to it one day?
I can understand procrastination. I am the king of it. When in college I had a class on Church Growth. In that class our professor told us on the first day of the semester that we would have a 12-15 page paper due on that topic. It had to include a real survey of our home church in the area of growth statistics over the last 10 years. I started compiling data right away….then procrastination set in. There was always something else that needed to be done first. On the night before it was due, Ben K. and I went to the office of his dad’s church in Little Rock. We got there at 10 p.m. and started. At 6:00 am the next morning we finished but not without a very interesting night.
Now I tell you that humorous story but please understand when I say that there is nothing funny about procrastinating in the area of Salvation!
2) Has it been because a professing Christian has been a stumbling block?
If I had a heart attack tonight I would not sit at home say “I’m not going to that hospital, there are sick people there.” I want sick people to get help. I want believers to be in church hearing the teaching of God’s Word.
B) God offers salvation to you today. He does not promise tomorrow. Won’t you let this week, the first week of 2003 be the first year of your spiritual life?
II. IF YOU KNEW 2003 WOULD BE YOUR LAST WOULD IT BE TIME FOR RECONCILIATION? And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Eph 4:32
A) Do anger, resentment and bitterness find a home in your heart A rattlesnake, if cornered, will sometimes become so angry it will bite itself. That is exactly what the harboring of hate and resentment against others is—a biting of oneself. We think that we are harming others in holding these spites and hates, but the deeper harm is to ourselves. E. Stanley Jones, Reader’s Digest, December 1981?
B) It can affect our relationship with God. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Matt 5:23-24
C) One of the saddest things I see at funerals is family members that haven’t spoken in years torn by the guilt and anguish of allowing hurts to fester so deep that they destroy relationships. I heard Paul Harvey tell about a family that hadn’t spoken to their sister in months. One of the other sister’s children had gotten married and she didn’t come or even call. The authorities found this lady dead in her home. Decomposed. She had died before the wedding.