Sermons

Summary: Share the need to work on those new year's resolution

“New Year – New Commitment”

January 27, 2013

The first month of the year is almost over. 2013 is one twelfth gone. Let me ask you a question. How are those New Year’s resolutions going for ya? A lot of people have given up already.

I heard about a high school principal who decided to post his teachers’ New Year’s resolutions on the bulletin board. As the teachers gathered around the bulletin board, a big commotion started. One of the teachers was complaining. "Why weren’t my resolutions posted?" She was throwing such a temper tantrum that the principal hurried to his office to see if he had overlooked her resolutions. Sure enough, he had mislaid them on his desk. As he read her resolutions he was astounded. This teacher’s first resolution was not to let little things upset her in the New Year.

Some of you guys are like the couple a son called to wish them a happy new year and when his Dad answered the phone, He asked his dad,” well Dad, what’s your new year’s resolution? His dad replied, "To make your mother as happy as I can all year," When his mom got on the phone he asked her the same question. His mom replied my resolution is "To see that your dad keeps his New Year’s resolution."

Some have a plan and they are sticking to it. Maybe you are like the guy who asks his friend for a cigarette. The friend replied “I thought you made a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking,” The young man answered ’I’m in the process of quitting. Right now, I am in the middle of phase one.” “What’s phase one?” his friend asked. The young man says, “I’ve quit buying.”

A boy asks his father, "Dad, if three frogs were sitting on a limb that hung over a pool, and one frog decided to jump off into the pool, how many frogs would be left on the limb?"

The dad replied, "Two."

"No, that incorrect," the son says. "Let me say it again. There are three frogs and one decides to jump, how many are left?"

The dad said, "Oh, I get it, if one decides to jump, the others would too. So there are none left."

The boy said, "No dad, the answer is three. The frog only DECIDED to jump."

Does that kind of sound like your New Year’s resolution? Good intentions – but that’s about all they were -just ‘intentions’! Many people never even tried. A few are doggedly persisting with their commitments. But why do we even make them? Why do we even try? That’s a good question. Why try? Isaiah knew. God says,

“...Well do I know how treacherous you are; you were called a rebel from birth.” Isaiah 48:8b

“The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” Genesis 6:5

Jesus said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” Matthew 15:19

We have a problem – a BIG problem. We don’t naturally do what we ought to do. We are born in rebellion. We are in rebellion with God. We are in rebellion with anyone who would go against our wills. We are even in rebellion within ourselves. The Bible says,

“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” Galatians 5:17

“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.” Romans 7:19-21

Can you relate? We have a battle going on within us. The battle is good vs. evil. When I worked as a correctional officer I met some of those guys who gave in to evil and didn’t fight it. They didn’t resist it. They embraced it. They were evil. They would rob you, rape you, or kill you if they thought they could get away with it. It seems like there and more people like that – judging by the school and workplace killings. Don’t be in denial that there are those kinds of people out there.

As a pastor I have met many people who have totally surrendered to the good side. They are fully committed to doing the right thing; doing the good thing; they are fully committed to doing God’s will. I’m speaking to some of them right now. You are good people- why? Because God is good and He is working within you to accomplish good as you submit to the Spirit’s leading.

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