Summary: A sermon to challenge people to make 4 biblical commitments which can change their lives in the new year
NEW COMMITMENTS FOR THE NEW YEAR
Well it’s that time of year again when in a fit of optimism many of us make great promises to ourselves about what we are going to do in the New Year that we usually abandon about the second week in January.
Let’s be honest now.
How may of you kept to the diet?
How many of you actually kept going to the gym past February?
So I am not the only one, am I
Well this year I am determined its going to be different.
I have made a couple of New Years resolutions I know I will be able to keep for the whole of 2002.
Are you ready here they are.
I have decided to eat more and exercise less.
I have decided to spend at least an extra half an hour a day with my feet.
Now I might well be able to keep those kind of resolutions but they wouldn’t make a great deal of difference to my life, except perhaps to increase my waist size by several inches.
This morning in contrast I want to talk to you about some resolutions, some commitments which I guarantee will make a radical difference in my life and your life if you follow through on them.
In fact, what I want to do is to offer to you a way of starting the New Year which could significantly change your life.
Here is what I want to suggest to you: if you will make four commitments that God in His Word encourages you to make I guarantee you that the start of 2002 could become one of the most significant events in your life.
New Year instead of being simply about having a few days off, if you will follow God’s advice, could become a way for you the gate way to have a better life. I want to challenge you to make 4 new commitments for this New Year.
Here they are
1: COMMIT YOURSELF TO FORGET YOUR FAILURES
2000yrs ago one the first Christian leaders, Paul gave this advice “Forgetting what is behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:13-14 That advice from God’s Word has stood the test of time. I don’t know of any more relevant and practical advice for us at the start of 2002 .
God is here that you have not live your life imprisoned by your past.
Big story of the last year … failure of team Phillips yacht
But let’s be honest is not just the designer of Team Phillips who is going to enter this new year remembering his failure of last year.
All of us have failed in some way in our lives over the last year.
Probably we won’t see our failures recorded for history on tv but they are recorded in our hearts and minds.
For many of us our failures are painful memories. Maybe for you it is a memory of how you failed in a relationship. You made the wrong decisions, said and did the wrong things and the relationship ended.
Some of you who are parents probably know that you failed your children in some way, many of us are aware that we have failed our parents and it’s more than likely that many of us know that most of all we have failed ourselves in some ways.
What God’s Word is saying is that we must not allow ourselves to be bogged down by our past failures. That we have not dwell on our past so that it stops us moving forward into the future that God has for us.
I think that the start of New Year is a good time for you to rise to that challenge. To say to yourself I am going to, with help of God, forget my past. I am going to stop torturing myself about what I did or didn’t do. This New Year is a good time to stop being chained to your past failures. God is saying here in His Word that he doesn’t want you to go through your life branding yourself as a failure.
On the Cross died so that he could forgive. When we become Christians on purpose that forgiveness becomes a reality in our lives. When we have received Christ’s forgiveness it allows us to forgive ourselves and forget our failures.
Do you need to do that? Right here this morning do you need to accept Jesus forgiveness and then forgive yourself?
2: COMMIT YOURSELF TO GIVE UP YOUR GRUDGES
I want you to listen to these words from the book of Colossians because in them you’ll hear the second challenge I believe God wants you to rise to if you want to make 2002 a significant turning point in your life .