Summary: As we begin the New Year I want to provide some spiritual resolutions I believe we need to make and keep in 2009.
Resolutions for 2009--Part I
Introduction: Today is the first Sunday of 2009. I don’t know about you, but it seems that time just keeps moving faster and faster. As we celebrated this past week at my parent’s house, it was hard to believe that Blake Jr. has already been in the Marines for two years, that Lindsay has already finished a semester of college, and then the biggest perspective of all--Brittany and Brandon announced their engagement. My baby is getting married this summer! Where did the time go? When did they grow up?
In addition to all this, Lenea reconnected with her sister who she hasn’t seen or heard from in years, and a friend of mine from High School who I hadn’t talked to in 28 years found me on the computer. All this got me thinking about the past, and as I was working on my sermon this week I was reminded of the community production of the musical Fiddler on the Roof which my friend from High School and I were in back in 1977. It specifically reminded me of one of the songs from the play:
IS THIS THE LITTLE GIRL I CARRIED?
IS THIS THE LITTLE BOY AT PLAY?
I DON`T REMEMBER GROWING OLDER, WHEN DID THEY?
WHEN DID SHE GET TO BE A BEAUTY?
WHEN DID HE GROW TO BE SO TALL?
WASN`T IT YESTERDAY WHEN THEY WERE SMALL.
SUNRISE, SUNSET, SUNRISE, SUNSET,
SWIFTLY FLOW THE DAYS;
SEEDLINGS TURN OVERNIGHT TO SUNFLOW`RS,
BLOSSOMING EVEN AS WE GAZE.
SUNRISE, SUNSET, SUNRISE, SUNSET,
SWIFTLY FLY THE YEARS;
ONE SEASON FOLLOWING ANOTHER,
LADEN WITH HAPPINESS AND TEARS.
"One season following another, laden with happiness and tears." That is the reality of life. Time continues to march on, and we are challenged to answer the questions that it brings, and those challenges will be laden with both "happiness" and "tears." So how will we answer those questions and challenges? I guess we could be like a lot of people and make New Year’s Resolutions though after listening to these "Word on the Street" interviews we might wonder if they really do any good.
Show Video Clip: Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? www.essentials.tv
I hope that IF we made any resolutions we do a better job than these folks. But the reality is we are probably not much different. We are only 4 days into 2009 and I’m guessing we have already struggling. Even so, I would like to offer you FIVE resolutions that I think each of us should make for 2009. They are found in Proverbs 3:1-10. We will look at a couple of them today and then finish up with the rest next week.
Each of these resolutions is paired with a reward. If you do this--then God will do that. I don’t think we should have to receive a reward in order to do the things God wants us to do, but I am thankful that God blesses us when we are obedient to Him. So let’s see consider what we might resolve to do in 2009.
Resolution # 1
I will get in the Word and stay in the Word (1-2)
The Bible is annually the best-selling book. I wish that being the most sold book translated into being the most read book! Unfortunately, I know that is not true. Let’s see what Proverbs tells us about getting into and staying in the Word...
1 My son, don’t forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands;
We all need to make a renewed effort to be good students of God’s Word. We need to be reading it daily. We need to be studying it with others. Which means if you aren’t coming to Sunday School you should start next week. If you can’t be here at 9:30 then come back at 4:00.
You can’t BE who Jesus wants you to BE if you don’t KNOW what Jesus wants you to BE. So how do you KNOW? Where do you find the instructions for living a life that pleases the Lord? IN THE BIBLE! But it’s not enough just to read the Word, we need to be studying the Word, and I believe we need to be doing that together.
The author of Proverbs also says that "iron sharpens iron" (Pr. 27:17) which means that we need one another if we truly want to sharpen our spiritual lives. I don’t mean to diminish the value of personal Bible Study, but I believe it is both arrogant and foolish to believe that you can study the Bible alone without any interaction with others and get all that the Lord wants to reveal to you.
You being in Bible Study and sharing what God has shown you might be exactly what someone else needs to grow in their spiritual lives. I can’t tell you how many times I have learned important lessons about life and God’s Word while teaching others.