Summary: Looking back at the old year and forward to the new
Three “R’s” of the New Year
Have you ever thought that you would like to be able to see into the future? You would know at the beginning of the year all of the blessings and heartaches that you would have throughout the year.
You might say that would be great! But think about it, if you knew that on June 23, 2010 some terrible tragedy would happen to you and you could not change it, it would happen. Life would be miserable during the months leading up to the date.
What if you knew that on June 23, 2010 you were going to come into a large sum of money? The anticipation would be unbearable. The thoughts of coming into that money would consume your life.
I guess it is better that we don’t know the future.
Here we stand at the gate of a new year. We have no idea what will happen to us in 2010. But no matter what happens we should keep our focus in Jesus throughout the year.
Paul talks about winning a race and gaining the prize at the end.
Paul talks about forgetting about the past.
I know that we cannot forget the past nor should we.
The past is there to help us with the future
Paul was saying not to live in the past.
A. We need to reflect on the past.
1. What were the mistakes that you made in 2009 that you don’t want to repeat?
2. Some sin committed?
3. An angry word spoken?
4. An attitude to correct?
Our country is mired in making mistakes. Our political leaders cannot learn from the past. Instead of passing laws that have been proven to work they do things that did not work and expect a different result.
B. We have seen an avalanche of the lack of morality in our country in 2009.
1. We could start with our nation’s leaders
a. Lying, Presidential promises made and not kept
b. Bribery, Congress paying each other to vote their way
c. Infidelity Governors having affairs
d. Corruption in high places
2. The antithesis of morality was spelled out in the news on Wednesday
a. A priest said that it was scripturally ok to steal as long as you do it from a large company and not the mom and pop stores
b. Another priest entered a poker game and won $100,000 for his church. I guess it is ok to gamble as long as the winnings go to the church.
C. As you reflect on your own life do you see changes that you want to make?
1. Some people are into making New Year’s resolutions.
2. That’s ok if you intend to keep them
3. It is always good to look at the areas that need correcting.
4. How else can we improve?
D. On the positive side.
1. What did you do right this past year?
2. Emphasize the good things and repeat them.
A. Make an evaluation of all the things in your life that needs improvement
1. Look at the sins that you have committed
2. Make a list of the sins of omission as well as commission.
B. Then repent of those things.
1. What does repentance mean?
2. Some say it is merely a turning around.
3. It is more than that
4. It is turning around never to go back again
5. It is easy to turn 360 degrees.
C. True repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change of actions.
1. It is more than a change of mind.
2. It is a change of will and actions.
Here are the five R’s of repentance:
2. Regret we cannot stop here
3. Relinquishment of sin (including confession) we love to hold on to our sins
4. Restitution is to make right what you have done wrong
5. Resolution not to commit the same thing again. If you are not a Christian the only resolution that you can make is to receive Christ.
A. Renewal follows repentance.
1. Renewal is becoming right with God again.
2. There must be a relationship to become new again.
3. Renewal is for you who are Christians
4. If not a Christian you must become new through the new birth
B. Seven steps to renewal
See the need to allow God to help you through others (I Peter 5:6)
You surrender when you see no other way
Accept the reality of your situation (Psalm 139:1)
Begin to open up about the reality of your life (James 5:6)
Accept responsibility to make changes that must be made (Galatians 6:5)
Forgive your own failures and the failures of those who have hurt you (Matthew 6:14)