Summary: I talk about starting the new year with 1Corinthians 10:31 as a theme verse.

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Intro: Reality television is sweeping the nation and the world. Dozens and dozens of “reality” shows are on every day of the week. Some of them are good others are down right goofy. Come on, for the most part these shows are shallow. For the next several weeks I want to preach a new series of messages based on the titles of some of these popular t.v. shows. One of them is called Starting Over. It is about a group of six women who have personal issues/hang ups who move into this house. They have projects and assignments to complete. After a certain amount of time in the house they get to graduate from the house. Supposedly after they leave the house they will have started over.

Many of us view the beginning of a new year as a “starting over” point. That’s why we make new year’s resolutions. Have you made any this year? I came across some new year’s resolutions for internet junkies:

10 I will stop checking my email at 3:00 in the morning

09 I will think of a password other than “password”

08 I will read the manuel

07 When I hear “Where do you want to go today?” I won’t reply MS Tech Support

06 I will spend les than one hour a day on the internet.

05 I resolve to back up my 10 GB hard drive daily…well, once a week…okay, monthly, then…or maybe…

04 I will answer my snail mail with the same enthusiasm with which I answer my email

03 I resolve to work with neglected children—my own.

02 I will stop sending email to my wife.

01 I will try to figure out why I “really” need 7 email addresses.

Every year we make resolutions for a better life. We feel as though “this is the year” that we’re going to get that start we need. We’re full of hope and anticipation. But year, after year, the same thing happens. Within a few weeks its all gone and we feel deflated, sad and guilty. I’m not a big believer in new years resolutions. But, one thing resolutions do remind me of—people want their lives to count. They want their lives to make a difference in some form or fashion. I haven’t met too many people who say, “It’s my goal in life to waste it.” I want to grow up and be an absolute loser. I want to waste my life.”

The sad reality is, there are far more people wasting their lives and don’t even realize it. They aren’t intentionally doing it. But, they do not know better. The good news is that “you don’t have to know a lot of things for your life to make a lasting difference in the world. You only have to know a few great things that matter, perhaps just one, and then be willing to live for them or die for them.” John Piper (Don’t Waste Your Life) The good news—is everyone in here can make an eternal impact with their lives.

ILLUSTRATION: In his book, “Don’t Waste Your Life”, John Piper recalls a story from the February 1998 edition of Readers Digest. A couple took “early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30 foot trawler, play softball and collect shells.” Piper notes, “At first, when I read it I thought it might be a joke. A spoof on the American dream. But it wasn’t. Tragically, this was the dream: Come to the end of your life—your one and only precious, God given life—and let the last great work of your life, before you give an account to your Creator, be this: playing softball and collecting shells. Picture them before Christ at the great judgment day: “Look, Lord. See my shells.” This is a tragedy. (p. 46 “Don’t Waste Your Life” John Piper) I don’t want you to stand before God and only be able to say, “Look, Lord. See my boat.”

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