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Summary: The New things for the new year

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The New Hopes for the New Year

2 Cor. 5:17

LEARNING CONTENTMENT

One day a fisherman was lying on a beautiful beach, with his fishing pole

propped up in the sand and his solitary line cast out into the sparkling

blue surf. He was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and the prospect

of catching a fish. About that time, a businessman came walking down the

beach, trying to relieve some of the stress of his workday. He noticed the

fisherman sitting on the beach and decided to find out why this fisherman

was fishing instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his

family. "You aren’t going to catch many fish that way," said the

businessman to the fisherman, "you should be working rather than lying on

the beach!" The fisherman looked up at the businessman, smiled and replied,

"And what will my reward be?" "Well, you can get bigger nets and catch more

fish!" was the businessman’s answer. "And then what will my reward be?"

asked the fisherman, still smiling.

The businessman replied, "You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a

boat, which will then result in larger catches of fish!" "And then what will

my reward be?" asked the fisherman again. The businessman was beginning to

get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions. "You can buy a

bigger boat, and hire some people to work for you!" he said. "And then what

will my reward be?" repeated the fisherman. The businessman was getting

angry. "Don’t you understand? You can build up a fleet of fishing boats,

sail all over the world, and let all your employees catch fish for you!"

Once again the fisherman asked, "And then what will my reward be?" The

businessman was red with rage and shouted at the fisherman, "Don’t you

understand that you can become so rich that you will never have to work for

your living again! You can spend all the rest of your days sitting on this

beach, looking at the sunset. You won’t have a care in the world!" The

fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, "And what do you think I’m

doing right now?" Contentment is a difficult attitude to learn, but so

important. It’s easy to get caught in the world’s trap of working harder

and harder to earn more and more, when we may well already have what can

provide us with the greatest possible happiness. "Now godliness with

contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it

is certain that we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing,

with these we shall be content." (I Timothy 6:6-8).

Hope is the word that we need in this world.

2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old

things are passed away; behold all things are become new.

Life As An American: We yell for the Government to balance the

budget, and then take the last dime we have to make the down payment on a

car that will take 5 years to pay off. We demand speed laws that will stop

fast driving, then won’t buy a car if it can’t go over 100 miles an hour. We

know the line-up of every baseball team in the American and National Leagues

but mumble through half the words in the "Star Spangled Banner." We’ll spend

half a day looking for vitamin pills to make us live longer, and then drive

90 miles an hour on slick pavement to make up for lost time. We tie up our

dog while letting our sixteen-year-old son run wild. We whip any enemy in

battle, and then give them the shirt off our backs. We will work hard on a

farm so we can move into town where we can make more money so we can move

back to the farm. We run from morning to night trying to keep our "earning

power" up with our "yearning power." We get upset we’re spending over a

billion dollars for education, but spend five billion dollars a year for

cigarettes. In the office, we talk about baseball, shopping or fishing, but

when we are out at the game, the mall or on the lake, we talk about

business. We’re supposed to be the most civilized nation on earth, but we

still can’t deliver payrolls without an armored car. We have more experts on

marriage than any other country in the world and still have more divorces.

We’re the country that has more food to eat than any other country in the

world and more diets to keep us from eating it.

A. We need hope for a new faith in the new year.

1. For a faith centered in Jesus Christ, Heb. 12:2 We do this by keeping our

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