Summary: Here’s some good solid advice for making the new year better. 1- The new year - Be careful 2- The new year - Be thoughtful 3- The new year - Be thankful
INTRO.- ILL.- Pete, at a New Year’s party, turns to his friend, Ken, and asks for a cigarette. “I thought you made a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking," Ken responds.
“I’m in the process of quitting,” replies Pete with a grin. “Right now, I am in the middle of phase one.”
“Phase one?” “Yeah," laughs Pete, “I’ve quit buying.”
ILL.- Top 10 New year resolutions:
1- Spend more time with family and friends.
2- Fit in fitness. (take care of your health - exercise)
3- Tame the bulge. (Over 66 percent of adult Americans are considered overweight)
4- Quit smoking. (On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good)
5- Enjoy life more. (sounds good)
6- Quit drinking. (no problem for me)
7- Get out of debt. (You won’t do it in a year. It will take some planning and some saying “no” to yourself and others)
8 - Learn something new. (I say, “Why?” I’ve got enough to do without taking on something else)
9 - Help others. (How quaint! That’s thinking of someone else for a change instead of ourselves)
10 - Get organized. (Some might say, “I never have. Why start now?”)
ILL.- I wrote a preacher in the middle of the week and asked him what he was going to preach the next Sunday. He wrote back and said that he didn’t know. He said he had to wait for the mood to strike him. That’s poor planning! I’ve heard it said that if you fail to plan then you plan to fail!
Did you notice that these top 10 resolutions had nothing to do with spiritual improvement? Or that God was not included? That’s the way it is with many people. They don’t include God or Christ in the picture of their lives.
Let me suggest to you that the Lord should be included in every aspect of our lives: marriage, family, children, work, play and pleasure, etc.
ILL.- THE BIG WINNER. Donny Osmond was declared the new champion of "Dancing with Stars," taking home the show’s mirror ball trophy in the season finale of the ABC contest reality program.
Osmond, the former teen pop star of the singing Osmond family, said the show has been a highlight in a career of ups and downs.
"I did it!" Osmond exclaimed. He promptly rushed to the audience and plucked out his wife, Debbie, whom he carried across the stage. BUT THERE IS SOMETHING BIGGER AND BETTER. And that’s being a winner in the eyes of God in the new year!
PROP.- Here’s some good solid advice for making the new year better.
1- The new year - Be careful
2- The new year - Be thoughtful
3- The new year - Be thankful
I. THE NEW YEAR - BE CAREFUL
15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Be careful in living. Be careful in the way you live. Be careful. Be wise. Be careful with your time, which is God’s time. Don’t contribute to evil. Be wise. Seek the Lord’s will in all things. Every day and in every way.
ILL.- Steve Roe’s catalogue of self-induced injuries reads like something out of The Spanish Inquisition Handbook: fractured skull, torn rotator cuff, shattered fingers, broken wrists, fractured elbows, torn muscles, sulfuric acid burns, self-stabbings, multiple broken noses and, as of last month, a ruptured tendon in his ankle.
“I didn’t trip or anything,” says the 46-year-old patent attorney from Madison, Wis. “I was just walking down the hall, in a hurry, and I went around the corner and it suddenly felt like somebody hit me in the ankle with a baseball bat.”
Hurry, worry, multitasking, stress — you might call them the four horsemen of the accident prone. Stress is such a huge factor when it comes to accidents, in fact, it was recently linked to an increase in post-9/11 traffic fatalities by researchers at the University of Minnesota.
Brothers and sisters, we’re all vulnerable when it comes to accidents, but obviously, some are more prone than others. HURRY, WORRY, MULTITASKING, AND STRESS lead to accidents, etc.
The same is true in the spiritual realm. If we are not properly focused in life, we will suffer for it. And most of the time, we are far too worldly or materially focused than we are spiritually focused. LET’S BE HONEST ABOUT THIS. We are not as spiritual-minded as we should be. We are far more earthly or worldly-minded.
Colossians 3:1-4 tells us what we should be doing and/or focusing on. 1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.