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Summary: Today is the beginning of a New Year a new start and we should be making New Year’s resolutions which focus not just on physical, relational or financial goals but on spiritual goals for our life this year as well.

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Sermon Jan 1, 2012

“New Year’s Resolutions”

Series: “12 in 2012”

Opening Video Illustration: From Blue fish TV “New Year’s Resolutions - Kids”

Thesis: Today is the beginning of a New Year a new start and we should be making New Year’s resolutions which focus not just on physical, relational or financial goals but on spiritual goals for our life this year as well.

Scripture Texts: Which address the subject of a New Year and it’s potential.

Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (NLT).

Philippians 3:13-14: “No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven “(NLT).

Isaiah 40:31: Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary” (NASB).

Ecclesiastes 3:11: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (NIV).

Lamentations 3:22-24: “The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!" (NASB).

Introduction:

Reflection on this New Year of 2012 and the old year of 2011

Today is also an opportunity to look back over the past year of 2011 to see if we were able to accomplish what we set out to do. Do you know how you did on your 2011 New Year Resolutions? Did you reach them by 100% - 50% - 25% - 0%?

The sad statistic is only 8% of New Year’s Resolutions will be fulfilled in a given year.

The beginning of a New Year is always an opportunity for a new beginning and a time of reflection and goal setting. It’s a time to look back and a time to look forward. Do you have a sense of excitement and anticipation for this New Year – its new opportunities - for new mile markers in your life?

2012 is coming in with a buzz about December 21, 2012 – It’s the last recorded day on the Mayan calendar, the Hopi Indians point to this same time as something catastrophic is going to happen. The Hindu’s have prophecy’s which point to this same time frame as something happening to the earth as we know it. And most of you have heard Nostradamus predictions for this same time frame as the end of the world. There have been other prophetic words as well from other sources but the Bible does not give us a date as to the end instead it tells us to just be ready now. So are you ready today if it was the end? Are making New Year’s Resolutions that prepare you to meet the Lord at any time? As I search through the top ten New Year’s Resolutions I quickly discover that very few people make Spiritual New Year’s Resolutions:

The top ten list of New Year’s Resolutions from http://pittsburgh.about.com/od/holidays/tp/resolutions.htm

New Year's Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past and reflecting on what we have learned, and more importantly, looking forward to the coming year. It's a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. Did your New Year resolutions make the top ten list?

1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends

Recent polls conducted by General Nutrition Centers, Quicken, and others shows that more than 50% of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends this year. Make plans to meet up with friends for an evening of camaraderie at a favorite restaurant or take the family to one of these popular places for family fun. Work shouldn't always come first!

2. Fit in Fitness

The evidence is in for fitness. Regular exercise has been associated with more health benefits than anything else known to man. Studies show that it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, and even improves arthritis. In short, exercise keeps you healthy and makes you look and feel better.

3. Tame the Bulge

Over 66 percent of adult Americans are considered overweight or obese by recent studies, so it is not surprising to find that weight loss is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions. Setting reasonable goals and staying focused are the two most important factors in sticking with a weight loss program, and the key to success for those millions of Americans who made a New Year's commitment to shed extra pounds.

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