It’s been another year for us here at Sunrise Chapel. In my humble opinion, it’s been great year with our Lord. So many accomplishments for us; so many people’s lives changed through His word.
What a Year God has Given Us!
- 60+ Lessons presented.
- Several celebrations of life.
- The blessing of the bikes.
- The blessing of the rings.
- A new member in the Saints Motorcycle Ministry
- A new “Pastor-in-Training”
- Toys for the children and supplies for the needy collected.
- Our flock began with 6-8 people each week to 65+ last week… entering into our Third Year!
I’m not the kind to pick on any one person here but, I have seen change in many of you. I have witnessed some, going from barely paying attention, to giving testimony on what God has given them.
My one question for all of you this morning is, “Do you feel the change in yourself?”
Yes indeed, it has been a wonderful year for us in 2018. Now, let’s look ahead and try to see how we can make the new year even better for us.
I’m sure you would all agree with me in saying that our pasts often hinder our progress into the future. We’re all in the same boat: obstacles; difficult challenges; sickness and disease; financial problems interfering in our family lives; doubt and fear.
We need to remember to try and forget all these things that hurt us this year and look forward to far better things through Christ Jesus in the new year.
Philippians 3:13-14 – “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
How about those that had done us wrong? Should we hold grudges; not forgive them and remember what they’ve done to us, so it never happens again? This is not the way Jesus taught us.
Colossians 3:13 – “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Remember what we’ve said here in the past: “There is a reason why the rear-view mirror is so small and the windshield so much bigger… we’re not going backward but, instead, moving into the future!”
The past is irretrievable! As for the future, leave it up to God!
Scripture Helps Us with the New Year
- Look Back on His Blessings (1 Chronicles 16:11-12) – “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done, his miracles, and the judgements he pronounced.”
- Focus on the Future, and God’s Plans for You (Jeremiah 29:11) – “For I know the plans I have for you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
- Don’t Worry About What is to Come (1 Peter 5:7) – “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
- Plan Ahead for the Coming Year (Proverbs 13:16) – “A wise man plans ahead; a fool doesn’t, and even brags about it!”
- Find Contentment in God this Year and Give Thanks (Colossians 3:17) – “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Do you remember who you were before Jesus? Well, you are most certainly not that person today.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
This is a new year! You are a new person! Want some proof?
- True Desire is Proof – You know that strong desire or craving that you have to do good? That’s God’s way of letting you know you already have it… don’t be afraid to try!
- God is Not Through – God is not done with you yet and He has a very specific purpose for you. Don’t expect anything immediate from our Lord, just know it IS going to happen.
- How Unique We Are – Have you ever really thought about how special you are to God? Take your fingerprints as an example. They are yours and yours alone. There is not another living creature on this planet that shares the same fingerprints as you.Matthew 6:28b-29 – “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”Continued in verse 30 – “But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”Matthew 10:29-31- “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
…and being given another year, God is giving us One more Time!
Believe in God’s Purpose
Proverbs 19:21 – “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
So, let us not worry about the year to come. Instead, look forward to it with great hope. Allow God to take control and bask in the glory of His compassion.
After you have accepted God’s purpose and received the gifts He will bestow on you, let’s not forget something very important that He would want us to do… Reach back… pull someone else up!
I know this is the time of year where we all come-up with resolutions… things we would like to change about ourselves that we don’t really like about us. You’ve heard them all:
- Diet or eat healthier
- Exercise more
- Lose weight
- Save more and spend less–my personal favorite!
- Learn a new skill or hobby
- Quit smoking
- Read more
- Find another job
- Drink less alcohol
- Spend more time with family and friends
These are all fine and good and probably things we should concentrate on doing anyway. For me, I’ve got a different list:
- I’m going to Put God First – In any decision I make; in any challenge I may face; in any troubles I may endure… I will remember, God is with me!
- I am going to Love more – Just as Jesus as taught us to Love, I am going to Love with all that I am; all that I have; and all God is willing to give me… and that Love will endure through this life and into eternity.
- I’m going to bring you back – If you once believed but have lost hope due to difficult circumstances or the ways of this world troubling you here… I am going to reach-down from this boat I’m on (The Lord’s Craft), grab your arm and pull you from the waters and throw you down at His feet that you might, once again, understand and appreciate the Love He has for you.
- I’m going to make introductions – For you that don’t believe because you just can’t see Him, hear Him or touch His robes… I’m going to take your hand and put it in His, so you may know my God and partake in the gifts He so readily give to me.
- I’m going to fight – I know the devil will tear at me again this year. I know there will be those that oppress me; reject my beliefs or argue with me about the Love of my God… be forewarned, when you’ve beaten me down and I fall down on my knees, don’t take this as a sign of submission. I am simply calling in the back-ups which, with their help (God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit along with the legions of Angels that surround me every day… you will be defeated!
- Lastly, Satan, I know you’re listening – With the arsenal I will receive from God, I’m going to beat your evil little ass!
…and for you:
- Remember to give thanks and pray every day!
- Know that He is God, and you are His!
- Remember you have been cleansed in the Blood!
- Come to Church – Give up one hour of your week to give thanks with others. Even if you miss a day, He will understand. If you’ve gone fishing on that day, remember to cast your nets out on the right side of the boat and He will reward you!
- Most importantly, and as always, Believe!
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In Conclusion… Happy New Year, Gods Got This!
Go with God; be good to one another; always stay humble; always be kind… God Bless!