Summary: Don’t hold back this year!
NO HOLDING BACK
A single step with no regret is our theme today. There’s a saying “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. How do we take those steps that we need to take? How do we live with no regret? To look back over your life sometimes can be filled with regrets and bring incredible pain as we find with the following examples.
A war veteran regrets killing an enemy soldier whom he now believes was trying to surrender. A woman regrets not being able to say goodbye to her husband who dies overnight in hospital. An older man looks back over his life and says that he wished he had risked more, loved more and been more courageous. How are we going to live a life with no regrets? We’ve got to make some decisions to not hold back.
There’s been a lot of holding back in the last few years. As we go into 2007 we must make a decision to not hold back.
The apostle Paul had this spirit that is worthy of imitation. Where did he learn it? From the master Jesus Christ.
Acts 20:13 We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had made this arrangement because he was going there on foot.
Acts 20:14 When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene.
Acts 20:15 The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Kios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus.
Acts 20:16 Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost.
Acts 20:17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church.
Acts 20:18 When they arrived, he said to them: "You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia.
Acts 20:19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews.
Acts 20:20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.
Acts 20:21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
Acts 20:22 "And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.
Acts 20:23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.
Acts 20:24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.
Acts 20:25 "Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.
Acts 20:26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men.
Acts 20:27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.
Acts 20:28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
Acts 20:29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.
Acts 20:30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
Acts 20:31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
Acts 20:32 "Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Acts 20:33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.
Acts 20:34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions.
Acts 20:35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ’It is more blessed to give than to receive.’"
Acts 20:36 When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed.
Acts 20:37 They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him.
Acts 20:38 What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.