Summary: To live according to God’s plan for us instead of ours.
Jer. 29:8-14 “To Do in 2002 What God Wants To Do” Jan. 6, 02 AM
At the beginning of a new year, a high school principal decided to post his teachers’ new year’s resolutions on the bulletin board. As the teachers gathered around the bulletin board, a great commotion started. One of the teachers was complaining. "Why weren’t my resolutions posted?" She was throwing such a temper tantrum that the principal hurried to his office to see if he had overlooked her resolutions. Sure enough, he had mislaid them on his desk. As he read her resolutions he was astounded. This teacher’s first resolution was not to let little things upset her in the New Year. (1)
The New Year filled with resolutions and promises of what we are going to do or not going do. Dreams and great feats we desire to do during this year. More than not these are “I” things and for the Christian that is not the way it works. Its not “I” want but what God wants. Our desire should be to please God by accomplishing God’s plan for our lives in 2002. To do in two what God want to do.
Background Vs. 1-4 – Israel carried to captivity for Repentance and renewal or revival. There must be a change from their sinful ways to God’’ ways. As we find ourselves facing a New Year Israel found themselves facing a new beginning and a new place. We must be willing to change things in our lives from our ways to God’s ways and the New Year’s is a great opportunity to do that.
I. Live your life to be productive – Vs. 5-9
a. Personally v. 5 – do not be idle just waiting around for something to happen. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 2 Thessalonians 3:7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you,” There ways to grow personally, Spiritual maturity is one. All of us who are Christians are to strive to be more like Christ. the goal of every Christian is Christlikeness. Ephesians 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. “ Responsible is another. What I mean is with maturity there should be the taking on of more responsibility in that there is growth in accomplishments. Education is another we must continue learning and applying what we learn. Deuteronomy 5:1 Moses summoned all Israel and said: Hear, O Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them.
Illustration: A man retires and tells his friend he wants to go back to college and get his degree. Friend says, "Why would you want to do that? You’ll be 70 years old when you graduate!" Man replies, "I never thought of that - but I’ll be 70 no matter what."
b. Family v.6 – we should continue to expand our families. We should not say, “well, the end times are near shouldn’t have any children.” It would be a sad Old World without babies and children. God has never told Christians to stop having babies. As we grow numerically we must teach our children and grandchildren the ways of God. Deuteronomy 11:19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
2. Seek Peace v. 7
a. Pray for Peace with God – you can not grow if you are at odds with God. This is the first thing that must be addressed in a person’s life. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Romans 5:1 NIVUS). To have peace with God you must accept His Son Jesus as Savior and Lord. Are you at peace with God? Or do the sins of your heart separate you from God?
b. Pray for Peace with others - Romans 12:18 if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
c. Result: peace for self and family
3. Seek Truth v. 8-9
a. Do not listen to worldly men, fortunetellers and diviners (we see them on TV with Tarot cards, physics and those who talk to the dead). All truth is of God that means all else is false. We should not listen to it.
b. Do not listen to your selfish ambitions or your self-righteousness. Satan is the great deceiver but we are the second best deceivers to ourselves. We must listen to God and His Word He will not deceive us.