Summary: When the party is over, the work begins!
THE PARTY’S OVER!
INTRO.- What party? It might have been that New Year’s eve party.
Did you have one? If so, what did you do? Eat food? Play games? Watch TV? Watch some movies? Laugh? Talk? Enjoy one another’s company? I hope that whatever you did, you enjoyed yourself.
We need to be thankful for the good gifts and the times of enjoyment that God gives us. IT IS ALWAYS GREAT TO BE GRATEFUL! God always appreciates our appreciation! And God always blesses the blesser!
ILL.- Let me tell you about a New Year’s Party that would be considered somewhat strange by most people’s standards. Each year, Brian Bierley of Bloomfield Township, Mich., toasts the New Year with sparkling grape juice and the same person - his grandmother Clara, now 90. They play cards, watch a little football, eat good food and make confetti with paper punches, the 30-year-old Bierley says. Then they watch Dick Clark’s annual New Year’s Eve show. Bierley says the tradition has probably "cost me a girlfriend or two."
"But I always told them that they can have 364 days a year of my time," he says. "This day is reserved for me and my grandma."
Very good, Brian Bierley! YOU DID GOOD! YOU DID VERY GOOD! Especially, in the light of what some people do on New Year’s Eve.
That New Year’s eve party is over. NOW WHAT?
There is always a time when the party is over and then comes the difficult stuff. It’s every day living. It’s going to work. It’s washing clothes. It’s cleaning house. It’s carrying out the garbage. It’s doing the every day stuff, be it good, bad or otherwise.
PROP.- Since the party’s over, let’s attend to business. Here is a part of our business as Christians. Important business.
1- Get spiritual
2- Touch others
3- Analyze everything
I. GET SPIRITUAL
ILL.- A preacher and his wife lived in southern California. His wife was driving one day as they entered the freeway during the rush hour. He said to his wife, "Keep on driving, dear, and I’ll keep on praying!"
I’m sure that driving on the California freeway during the rush hour is bad, like driving on a race track with cars zooming all around you. It makes you want to pray and pray hard!
I believe that life makes us want to pray hard! Life should make us want to get more spiritual, because our only hope of survival is by becoming more spiritual.
How do we get that way? Well, not the way a lot of people do it.
ILL.- I read an advertisement on MSN Live about a "new year, a new you." It read, "Are you striving for meaning in your life? Is this the year you’ve vowed to get it together - but you’re just not sure how. Spiritualist Deepak Chopra may not have all the answers, but he might lead you to the right questions."
HE MIGHT NOT HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. I’ll guarantee you he doesn’t have all the answers. Just because he claims to be a "spiritualist," that doesn’t make him spiritual in the eyes of God!
Deepak Chopra is a "spiritualist" who deals with ancient poetry from India and Persia. His mission is that of "bridging the technological miracles of the west with the wisdom of the east."
Brothers and sisters, not everyone who is advertising spirituality is dishing it out!
ILL.- A preacher told a backslider in his church, "I want you to go outside and look up to heaven. You’ll get a revelation from the Lord." The man said, "But it’s pouring rain outside." The preacher said, "Just go do it and you’ll get a revelation from the Lord."
So the man went outside and came back in a few minutes soaking wet. He said to his preacher, "I kept looking up at heaven but I didn’t get a revelation. I’m just soaking wet and I feel like an idiot."
The preacher, "Not bad. That’s quite a revelation for a first try."
Brothers and sisters, there are times when we all need a revelation from the Lord. HERE IT IS: If we don’t get more involved with the church, it’s ministry, it’s outreach and get more involved in Bible study and prayer, life won’t get any better for us! In fact, we may not survive!
I John 2:15 "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
V. 17 "The world and its desires pass way, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."
That’s a shocking revelation to some people. DO NOT LOVE THE WORLD. It’s not that we can’t enjoy some of the things of the world. We can, but we are not to be taken in by the world or swept away by the world.