The first week in January, has to be the most depressing week of the year! The holidays are over, all the family and friends are gone, the presents have all been opened, the Christmas candy has dwindled, and now it’s time to go back to work and school! What a drag! While I think that all of those things are very depressing, they are not the most depressing aspect of the first week in January. The most depressing part of the first week in January has to be starting those New Years resolutions! You see up to December 31, you can tell yourself, next year I’m going to getting more active in church, next year I’m going to get my finances in order, next year I’ll start getting in better shape, but after December 31, there are no more excuses! It is next year, this is where the rubber meets the road! Where we find out if we are talking the talk, but are we willing to walk the walk! Well this year, like many others across the country, I decided to make a couple New Year’s resolutions! I was going to lose some weight, and I was going to learn to be a more patient person! I wasn’t going to be depressed, I was just going to start my resolutions and not think about it! So that’s what I did. I woke up on January 1, put on my sweat pants and went over to the exercise room and worked out. For lunch I had a nice big salad and for dinner some steamed vegetables and a grilled chicken breast. The next day I woke up went and worked out, ate a salad for lunch and salmon and veggies for dinner. The next day when I woke up, I hurried into the bathroom stepped on the scale, but I hadn’t lost any weight. How depressing! I was so depressed, that I put my sweat pants, sweatshirt and tennis shoes on got into the car and drove to the United Dairy Farmers and got a large Cappuccino and 3 Krispy Kream Donuts. While I was driving home some eating my donuts and Cappuccino, so jerk driver at Easton pulled out in front of me, I slammed on the breaks and my Cappuccino went sailing onto the seat. I laid on the horn and yelled at the guy something to the effect of “watch where you’re going, your idiot”. Yeah not very nice, is it! So within the span of three days, I had broken both of my New Years Resolutions! And I thought, how depressing! But you know from those broken New Years Resolution, I have learned an important lesson: that “New Year’s Resolutions Require More Than Duct Tape.” But what does that mean? Read Mark 10:17-22
I. A QUICK FIX Mark 10:17-22
What must I do to inherit eternal life? The man in this story came to Jesus with sincerity. He fell to his knees before Jesus, but this man was only looking for one thing, he was looking for a quick fix. When I was younger, Duct Tape could fix about anything. The cracked seat on a bicycle, a broken tennis racquet, and a leaky pipe. It was good for rolling into a ball when our whiffle ball busted. It was good for putting around our wrists when we were playing WWF wrestling. And it’s especially good for putting over the mouths of Buckeye fans who only want to talk about their teams National Championship! If you could it name, then duct tape could probably fix it! However there was one small problem with Duct Tape, after a while it would start to tare and rip. If it got too wet it would begin to loosen and after a while your bike seat, tennis racquet, leaky pipe, or wiffle ball would be broken again! Duct Tape was only a quick fix! It was only a temporary solution! This morning there are people out there who are living lives covered with Duct Tape! People always looking for the quick fix. You can’t say yes I want to take control over my finances and continue your money on useless stuff, you can’t say yeah I want to have a better relationship with my kids and continue to work 80 hours at the office. You can’t say Yes Lord I want to have a dynamic and growing relationship with you, and continue to give Him an hour out of your week! You can’t say Yes I want to see great and awesome and powerful things happen here at New Albany and continually refuse to get involved. You see New Years Resolutions require more than Duct Tape! It requires more than just a quick fix! The man in the story came to Jesus and said teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus said keep the commandments, Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, honor your father and mother! You can almost hear the man can’t you? Yeah, yeah, yeah I’ve done all that! Hurry up and tell me what I can do to inherit eternal life? So what did Jesus say to him? One thing you lack, go and sell everything you have and give it to the poor, then come and follow me! The man went away sad, because he had great wealth. When Jesus challenges us to make a change in our lives, He doesn’t ask us to change things that we are already doing well! Maybe you spend a lot of time with your kids, and maybe you have control over your finances, and maybe you are involved in every activity here at church. Jesus isn’t asking you give Him those areas! Maybe He is asking you give Him your pride, your greed, your envy, your jealousy! When Jesus challenges us to change our lives, He calls us to lay down difficult areas of our lives! Why? Because New Year’s Resolutions require more than Duct Tape! They require more than a quick fix!
II. THE LASTING FIX Hebrews 12:1-3
18 years ago my parents decided to fix their roof. They had the old roof torn off and a new one put on. I remember thinking that the new roof would last forever. However this next year my parents will need to fix the roof yet again.
It is almost impossible to find anything that will last, isn’t it? I went to radio shack and bought some batteries, I could have bought the less expensive batteries, but I noticed that the Energizer Batteries said that they were the longest lasting battery. And I also remembered the commercial, that they keep going and going and going! So I took the batteries home, put them in my CD player and within two weeks those batteries were dead! It’s almost impossible to find anything that will last! You see friendships don’t lasts, Job security doesn’t last, houses don’t last, our health won’t last! It’s almost impossible to find anything that will last! Did you catch the key word? Almost! You see I was able to find one thing that will last. 1 Peter 1:25 says, that the word of the Lord will last forever! Jesus talking to His disciples in Matthew 24:35 says, that heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will last forever! In a world filled with people who are empty and broken. People who have their lives held together with Duct Tape, we still find hope for a lasting solution! The only thing to do now, is to put the lasting fix into effect in your life! But how do we accomplish that? Read Hebrews 12:1-3! How do we put the lasting fix into effect in our lives! We do it by throwing off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, we do it by fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfector of our faith, and when we do those things it will give us the strength to not grow weary and lose heart! It gives us strength to finish the race marked out for us. Because New Year’s resolutions require more than Duct Tape!
The summer of 1998 I was home from college and I was sitting at my house, missing my girlfriend Megan who was 1,500 miles away. I was so depressed that I wouldn’t get to see her again for 3 whole months, but then something happened! I saw a commercial on T.V that said one simple phrase “Diamonds are forever”. That’s it, I thought! I decided then and there, that I never wanted to be without Megan again. I wanted to show her how much I loved her and to tell her that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, and what better way to show my lasting and unending love, than with a diamond engagement ring! That whole summer I worked and saved until I had enough money to buy the ring. But it just couldn’t be any ring. It had to be special! I searched everywhere, I went to Kay jewelers, Debeers, I went to Eddies Diamonds who worked out of his truck! I take that back, it was more of a van than a truck! Finally I went to the international diamond center. They told me that they would cut a diamond especially for me. I told them what I wanted and within 1 week they were done! That fall when I went back to school, I asked Megan’s dad, if I could marry his daughter and for some strange reason he said yes! So that weekend I took Megan to Skyview Lake where we had our first date, and there I got down on my knee and asked Megan if she would take this symbol of my lasting and unending love and marry me. And again for some strange reason she said yes! But you know what? That is exactly what our heavenly Father has done for us! God loved you so, and He never wanted to apart from you so much, that He searched high and low to find a gift that bring you back to Him! The gift that He gave wasn’t a diamond ring, but it was the life of His one and only Son, Jesus Christ! This morning the Father offers you not simply a quick fix, but rather a lasting solution! The only thing left to do, is to say Yes to His invitation!