Summary: Just like Joshua had to make a decision for the future, you and I must make a decision to be fully committed to the upbuilding of God’s Kingdom.
Whom will you serve in 2003 Joshua 24:14
You did it! You made it through another year. 2002 is history. 2003 is a mystery. The new year divides the past from the present, the old from the new. This is a new year, full of all sorts of possibilities and opportunities. 12 long months. 52 long weeks. 365 long days. 8,760 long hours. 525,600 long minutes. 31,536,000 seconds. What will you do with all of this time? We have a choice to make and that choice is whom will we serve in 2003?
Some will serve the God of Money. Money will be the most important thing in their lives. Some will serve the God of material things. The more they get the more they will want. They will acquire 2 and 3 automobiles and will be too busy to come to church, working 2 and 3 jobs to pay for them. Some will serve the god of pleasure. Everything has to cater to the satisfaction of their senses; they will always want to have fun. They will always want to feel good. Some will serve the god of health. They will put health and exercise before God.
Some will serve the god of time. Their time will be wasted on carnal things and not used for spiritual things. My question to you that are here this morning at Truth and Light, whom will you serve in 2003?
This is a typical time of year to make resolutions. We resolve to do things differently. We resolve to get rid of the old things and begin some new good ones. We resolve to lose weight, eat less, exercise more, spend less, save more, stop smoking, stop drinking, stop sinning. We resolve to read our bibles more, and to be a better Christian this year than we were last year.
But, all too often we find ourselves making promises that we don’t keep. Making commitments that we don’t follow through on. Making resolutions that are not firm as we would like them to be. I used to be a smoker and every year on January 1, I would quit smoking. But that only lasted about a day and a half. Just like Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin said, “It’s easy to quit smoking, I’ve done it hundreds of times.” God is looking for somebody that is willing to be committed to what they say.
In spite of all of the unresolved issues that we have, the bible says that “God is faithful and is long-suffering towards us, not willing that any should perish, but they all should come into repentance.” The fact that we are still here is evident that merciful and gracious and that he looked beyond our faults and saw our needs.
I would be the first to admit that the reason that I’m able to stand before you this morning is not because of my goodness to God, but because of His goodness to me. It is not because we were so righteous that we are here today but it is because God is righteous. It is not because we were able to keep our covenant with God, but it is because God kept his covenant with us.
It is not because you are I were better than any one of those who didn’t make it over into another year. But only by the Grace of God we have been spared another year.
I just want to let you know that there is a purpose for God’s amazing Grace. I want you to know this morning that God is a God of reasons. He has a reason for doing whatever he does. God is a God of Order; He does everything decently and in order. God is a God of purpose. Everything is done according to his purpose and according to his will.
One thing we need to realize this morning is that life is meant to be lived in a progressive manner. In other words, we ought to be closed to God that we were this time on last year. We ought to be more mature and stronger in faith than we were last year this time. The things that used to wreck our nerves, last year ought not to bother us so much this year. There should be some growth between then and now. This is what the apostle Paul meant when he said, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling o God which is in Christ Jesus.
The basic law of nature demands growth and progress. When we fail to grow or progress, the end result is death. For anything that has life and is not growing or maturing is dying.