Summary: If we?re going to make New Year?s resolutions, let?s make some that will make an eternal difference in our world, such as more, I. Passion For Lost Souls; II. Proclivity For The Scriptures; and III. Progress In Our Spirituality.
NEW YEARâ€™S NEEDS
Text: Eph.4: 10-13
Intro: Iâ€™m not sure why it is, but every year when New Yearâ€™s Day rolls around, I find myself experiencing a certain excitement and expectancy. Perhaps itâ€™s just the sense of starting over. Or maybe itâ€™s the thought of a new beginning coupled with the prospect of things somehow being better. Whatever it may be, the beginning of a new year seems to elicit a kind of renewed hopefulness. Unfortunately, that excitement and expectancy usually doesnâ€™t last past March, when my thoughts begin to turn toward April and tax time.
However, even though we have to pay taxes, we Christians have more cause for hope than anyone. Jesus has promised us His presence (Matt.28: 20b), His peace (John 14: 27), His provision (Matt.6: 33; Phil.4: 19), and His power (Acts 1: 8a). We, of all people, ought to look forward to this new year, knowing that our heavenly Father means us good, not evil.
New Yearâ€™s Day is traditionally a day of making resolutions. These resolutions usually pertain to things that will better us in some way. We all have good intentions in making these resolutions, but we often fail to follow through. However, the things that I want to suggest to us today are far more vital and serious than the usual self-help resolutions we see so much of each year at this time. To be quite honest, they are humanly unobtainable if one depends on willpower alone.
Though there are many admirable spiritual goals that could be mentioned today, I believe the following are basic.
Theme: Let us pray for more:
I. PASSION FOR LOST SOULS
A. Because Many Donâ€™t Know The Savior.
Matt.7: 13 â€œEnter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.â€
I John 5: 19 â€œAnd we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.â€
NOTE: The word â€œwickedness,â€ as used in I John 5: 19, does not refer to a moral condition, but to a malicious characterâ€”Satan himself. The meaning of this word is â€œwicked oneâ€ or â€œevil oneâ€ (Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuestâ€™s Word Studies, Vol. II: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan; The Exegesis Of I John, pg. 183).
B. Because The Penalty Sin Is Serious.
John 3: 36 â€œHe that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.â€
Rev.20: 15 â€œAnd whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.â€
C. Because God Loves Every Sinner.
Rom.5: 8 â€œBut God commendeth (â€œprovedâ€ or â€œestablishedâ€) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.â€
II Pet.3: 9 â€œThe Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.â€
NOTE:  It is easy to determine when something is aflame. It ignites other material. Any fire that does not spread will eventually go out. A church without evangelism is a contradiction in terms, just as a fire that does not burn is a contradiction.
Christian Theology in Plain Language, p. 162.
 Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962), the world-famous violinist, earned a fortune with his concerts and compositions, but he generously gave most of it away. So, when he discovered an exquisite violin on one of his trips, he wasn?t able to buy it. Later, having raised enough money to meet the asking price, he returned to the seller, hoping to purchase that beautiful instrument. But to his great dismay it had been sold to a collector. Kreisler made his way to the new owner?s home and offered to buy the violin. The collector said it had become his prized possession and he would not sell it. Keenly disappointed, Kreisler was about to leave when he had an idea. "Could I play the instrument once more before it is consigned to silence?" he asked. Permission was granted, and the great virtuoso filled the room with such heart-moving music that the collector?s emotions were deeply stirred. "I have no right to keep that to myself," he exclaimed. "It?s yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into the world, and let people hear it."
Our Daily Bread, February 4, 1994.
D. Because Time Is Short.
John 9: 4 â€œI must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.â€
II Cor.6: 2b â€œâ€¦behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.â€