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Summary: The story of Charles Darrow is used in this sermon to help us see the importance of making the best of any situation that comes in the new year.

"What Will The New Year Bring?!"

A New Year’s Sermon

1 CORINTHIANS 16:1-9

[1] Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:

2On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. 3And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem.

4But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.

5Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia).

6And it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey, wherever I go.

7For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits.

8But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost.

9For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

Today, I’m going to tell you the story of Charles Darrow

Charles lived in Germantown, Pennsylvania.

It was a miserable winter in 1933.

The weather and the economy were both bad.

It was the time of the Great Depression.

Many people were struggling to get by.

Charles Darrow was an unemployed salesman.

He and his wife lived off what little money she made

Working as a weaver.

Life seemed hard and unfair for Charles Darrow!

But did he let it get the best of him?

Transition:

There are moments in life

that provide opportunities to be all we can be,

to learn lessons of trust and obedience,

to serve Jesus and man faithfully.

That moment may be some pain or suffering.

It could be meeting a person in need.

It might be a time of joy and peace

that just floods our hearts with a refreshing in God’s Spirit.

To all of us there come these and other significant,

but perhaps small, moments in life.

The new year will present many of these moments in life.

When those moments come,

how can we make the most of them?

How can we "strive to thrive in 2005?"

Point #1

FIND THE OPEN DOORS GOD PROVIDES:

9For a great and effective door has opened to me…

Sometimes God closes doors.

We want to do something…

and it becomes impossible for us to do it.

The door is closed!

It may be that:

1. We apply for a job and someone else gets it.

That door is closed.

2. We pray for an opportunity to buy a house or car

and we can’t swing the deal.

That door is closed to us.

Closed doors are often God’s way of protecting us

and guiding us

and teaching us.

The problem is that we look so long at that door,

or we pound so hard on it,

or we worry so much about it,

or we so deeply regret the closed doors!

And we miss the one God has opened!

For Paul it was an open door to preach the Gospel.

For us….it may be that!

Or it may be something else.

But God has opened doors to us.

If God closes one door,

He always opens another better one."

Jesus said to the Church at Philadelphia, "Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut." Revelation 3:8

I believe He still says that to His church as a whole

and to His people individually.

But there are moments in life when no door seems to be open.

We have to wait for it patiently.

God’s timetable is not ours.

We may have to learn to trust Him.

When nothing seems to be opening,

just trusting and not pushing is the best thing to do.

To find the open door

we must live in constant fellowship with Jesus!

We must obey His commands,

trust His Word

and follow where He leads.

We have to look for that open door.

To do that we pray for guidance;

we ask advice of godly people;

If we are seriously seeking, we’ll find it:

Jesus said: "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you."

Look for that open door in 2005!

Transition:

In years before the stock market crash of 1929…

Darrow had enjoyed going to Atlantic City, New Jersey.

But the depression left him little money for such foolishness.

Traveling around was just out of the question.

People had to find ways to entertain themselves at home.

One day, while sitting at his kitchen table,

Charles Darrow devised a table top game.

He and his wife began to play the game.

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