Summary: This lesson is given that we may resolve to spend more time with the family of God, increase our spiritual fitness, and shed the weight of sin that we may have a blessed New Year.
Resolutions For A Blessed New Year
Text: Hebrews 10:24-25
In a lesson last Lord’s day we considered developing the habit of reading the Word of God daily as a resolution for this New Year which began just this past Thursday. As often is the case there was an article in the newspaper about the most common New Years resolution made by people in the US. The top three were: (1) Spend more time with family; (2) Increased fitness; and, (3) Lose weight. As I read the list I was struck by how easily these most common resolutions could apply to our spiritual lives and so this morning, the first Lords day of the New Year, I’d like us to explore resolutions not for a physical happy New Year but for a spiritual blessed New Year. (Appropriate as the Greek word for blessed, makarios, is often translated as “happy.”)
I.Spend more time with family
A.Who is our family?”
1.Jesus identified all who do the will of the Father as family.
Matthew 12:46 - 50 (NASB) While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.” But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
a.Romans 8:16 (NASB) The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,
b.1 John 3:1a (NASB) See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.”
2.There are dozens of scriptures which instruct us in dealing with our family.
a.Romans 12:10 (NASB) Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;
b.We are to bear with one another; forgive one another; be kind to each other; encourage, exhort, and admonish one another.
c.Most importantly, we love another
John 13:35 (NASB) “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
1 John 3:11 (NASB) For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;
3.We should seek to increase our time with our spiritual family.
a.Paul called us God’s household (1 Timothy 3:15)
b.Hebrews 10:24 - 25 (NASB) and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
1)Simply put, God has commanded that we gather together and encourage each other. We cannot do that if we do not gather together.
2)Going to services faithfully allows us our family in Christ while we build ourselves up in Christ, too.
3)Typical year has approximately 8700 hours. We spend on average 2900 hours sleeping, 2400 hours working, and 1100 hours eating. If you attended each (of our) scheduled worship service and bible study it would be 208 hours in the year. (Leaving roughly 2100 hours of “free time.”)
[Let’s resolve to spend more time together in this New Year...]
A.Fitness requires proper diet and exercise
1.What does “diet” really mean? We associate with diet the fact that we are trying to lose weight, which is technically a part of the definition, but here is the definition:
i.di·et - noun (plural di·ets)
1)What a person or animal eats: the food that a person or animal usually consumes.
2)Controlled intake of food: a controlled intake of food and drink designed for weight loss, for health or religious reasons, or to control or improve a medical condition a wheat-free diet.
3)Regular intake of something: a continuous or daily experience of, or indulgence in, something other than food: living on a diet of soap operas and game shows.
ii.What is your spiritual diet this morning? Our diet plan is given to us in scripture:
i.John 4:31-34, where Jesus is speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well, we have this recorded conversation between Jesus and the disciples: “Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”
ii.Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”