Summary: A New Years message that focuses on keeping our eys on the goal and Scripturally managing our time.
January 3, 2010
“The God of Beginning Again”
Intro.: Welcome to 2010. Today we crossed over the threshold for another year. Just as a new year has started I would like to remind you that the God of another year is a God of wonderful and amazing grace. He is the God of forgiveness and He is the God of beginning again.
Tomorrow the routine begins again for work, school, schedules and appointments. I don’t suppose many of you are very excited about that. I suppose if I took a poll this morning I could ask ‘how many of you feel exhausted, I mean wiped out?’ Some would say that since the holidays are over I feel like I’ve been run over by a Mack truck.
It happens every year but all of a sudden we wake up in a new year and for most of us we are not ready. We need a holiday from the holidays so we can rest.
Someone once described the journey of life like this: When as a child I laughed and wept – TIME CREPT; When as a youth I dreamed and talked – TIME WALKED; When I became a full grown man – TIME RAN; and later, as I grew older – TIME FLEW; soon I shall find while traveling on TIME GONE.
Several weeks ago I read a passage out of the book of Judges that is appropriate for us to look at on this first Sunday of another new year. The background has to do with Gideon but I want to use it today as something that we can build from and help us prepare for this year. In doing so I want to share with you some practical steps about your time in 2010.
The statement is found in Judges 8:4 and it comes at a time when Gideon and his army have defeated one of their enemies and they are about to move ahead and defeat others. The statement is this: “EXHAUSTED BUT STILL IN PURSUIT.”
I. ALWAYS Keep Your Eye on the Goal
A. This is the time of year in which some people engage in New Year’s resolutions. (set goals)
1. Some are noble goals and some are secondary goals.
2. They all are probably important, but some may have more priority or emphasis.
3. Things related to health, relationships, spiritual matters are certainly important and need daily attention.
B. Is this not true? Our problem of not keeping our goals occurs when we get sidetracked and distracted.
1. When there’s not an end product/picture we tend to give up, many times just a few minutes/days too early or just a few tries too early.
2. We say things like “Life became busy.”
3. Before we knew it - something else made it’s way to the top.
4. What use to be the most important has now become the least and what started out as the least importance has now become the most important.
5. “Life became busy?” – the truth is life turned upside down.
6. Kids got older, schedules got hectic, time seemed shorter.
C. Anybody remember what happened December 4th 2009?
1. The weather agency officially recorded “snow” in Moss Bluff.
2. Illus.: Putting up Christmas lights in the rain and snow.
3. Why would I do that? Because I made a promise to my family and in essence I set a goal for myself.
4. The work we are doing for the Lord is far greater than some snow in SW Louisiana and putting up Christmas lights.
5. The work we are doing for the Lord has eternal value, it’s significance is way beyond temporal enjoyment.
D. There are certainly going to be times when we don’t feel like doing the Lord’s work.
1. We all could admit there are Sundays when we don’t feel like coming to church.
2. Times when we feel overloaded, faint, weary, exhausted, I mean just slap-tired.
3. But when we keep our eyes focused on the goal the most amazing thing happens - we keep going.
4. We get up one more time, go one more day, stay one more hour.
5. We know that it’s worth it because He is worthy; we know it’s worth the cost because of the great price Jesus paid for our salvation.
6. Our goal is not to check things off a list as having done them for the Lord; it’s not achieving a position or status in the Christian life; it’s not measurable forms of accomplishments.
7. Rather the one goal every believer should have in this life is submission to the Heavenly Father and the transformation process that occurs through sanctification.
E. What am I saying? I’m saying when you stay focused on what God desires to do in your life no matter how you feel you can keep going.