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Summary: Suggestions regarding what to take with you on your journey into the new year to make it as enjoyable as possible.

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¡°Trip Tips¡±

Matt 6:25-34

25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 So do not worry, saying, ’What shall we eat?’ or ’What shall we drink?’ or ’What shall we wear?’

32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Back when I was in college, I had the privilege of going on a work-study trip abroad with faculty, staff, pastors, fellow students, and parents of students. There were about 40 of us. It was a 21-day journey that included visits to Rome, Greece, Egypt, and Israel¨Ca trip that would take me more than 20,000 miles...the biggest excursion of my life!

I had received a brochure from our travel agent that was filled with suggestions on what to do to be prepared¡ª¡°tips for my trip.¡±

Their suggestions included:

❏ what clothes to take

❏ money for souvenirs

❏ pills for motion sickness and dysentery

❏ what to expect when going through customs

❏ how to exchange currency

❏ drinking water hazards

❏ passport info

All of this was designed to help me enjoy my experience while traveling¨Cto make it as safe and pleasant as possible. I took them very seriously and enjoyed the trip more than I can express.

And this morning I would like to share some ¡°trip tips¡± with you, for all of us are about to embark on a journey¨Ca journey into a new year! We¡¯ve never been there before and we don¡¯t know exactly what it will hold for us. So let me share some suggestions for you as you prepare to enter 2004.

1. Travel As Light As You Can

We were only allowed to take one large suitcase and one carry-on. After we arrived I was glad. In fact, I wished I had gone even lighter. You see, we had to take our luggage with us and that meant several moves.

As we travel through 2004, we must understand that excess weight will slow us down and make us exhausted. We need to get rid of unnecessary burdens whatever they may be: sin, guilt, bitterness, fear, worry, and doubt. These things cannot be packed in our spiritual suitcase if we want to enjoy the trip!

Heb 12:1: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

When we¡¯re free from carrying personal burdens, then we¡¯ll have room to carry the burdens of others.

And there¡¯s another benefit: we¡¯ll also have room and energy to carry some spiritual souvenirs (testimonies) for others.

2. Don¡¯t Forget Your Map

Did you ever start out on a trip and then discovered that you forgot your map? You know, the one you had highlighted with a yellow or orange marking pen. The Bible is our roadmap¡ªand our guidebook and compass all wrapped up into one.

Psalm 119:105: ¡°Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.¡±

Spurgeon: ¡°A Bible which is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn¡¯t.¡±

This ¡°roadmap¡± will:

❏ keep you from wandering where you don¡¯t belong

❏ prevent you from getting lost

❏ wasting you time in unfamiliar territory

Illustration: ¡°The Little Girl Who Circled ¡®God¡¯ In Her Bible¡±

A mother of a five-year-old girl was startled to find her going through a new Bible storybook and circling the word ¡°God¡± wherever appeared on the page. Stifling her first reaction to reprimand the child for defacing a book, she quietly asked, ¡°Why are doing that?¡± The little girl¡¯s matter-of-fact answer was, ¡°So that I will know where to find God when I want Him.¡±

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