Summary: The New things for the new year
The New Hopes for the New Year
2 Cor. 5:17
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