With the holidays behind us and into a new year, it is time to set our sights on what’s ahead of us and forget the past. I’m sure we’ve all set new goals for this year and, more than likely, they may be the same goals we tried for last year but were unsuccessful in our efforts.
As we set out to accomplish anything, whether it be a new resolution or new challenge that has been put before us, what do you feel is the biggest hindrance that blocks your path? I’ve got an answer for you… it’s the inability to stay focused!
Everything we set out to do, we do so earnestly and with best intentions in mind. What happens is, the troubles of this world step in front of us; shield our eyes; cover our ears; and, most importantly, close our hearts.
Well, this year, I think we can do this! I think a lot of us here today may finally have the realization that we are not alone in our efforts and, instead, have an Almighty God, a Savior that died for us as well as the power of The Holy Spirit, that will help us through our struggles this year.
Ask for Help
The first thing we should be doing when we set out on our new ventures, is ask for God’s help. This is easy to do when we simply remember how steadfast His Love for us truly is and how many times in the scriptures He has told us to do so.
Matthew 7:7 – “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
Remember the power of prayer? We talk about it just about every week. We have seen the results right here, within our little Church to people and families that are with us. Remember how simple it is to pray and how Jesus told us how to ask?
Matthew 6:7-8 – “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
So, this year, when we’re trying to accomplish our goals, let’s remember to ask for help. Ask God and understand that He already knows what you need!
We know we should ask for God’s help. We just talked about how to ask for it but, once again, I ask you… what is the most important part of prayer? Do you truly believe He will help you?
I have to tell you, from my own personal standpoint on asking God for help… every time I ask for it, I do so remembering the scripture and what was spoken straight from the mouth of Jesus.
Mark 11:24 – “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Remember what we talked about last week? Every thought, every wish or hope that comes into your heart that is good and kind, understand that this is a sign from God that you have already received it!
Again, God already knows what we need but, if you don’t ask Him for His help, how will we show Him that it’s truly what we want as well? Ask… and know you will receive it!
Okay, now I know this may sound a little premature, but it’s also a very important part of asking and receiving God’s help.
We’ve talked about how we should ask. We’ve talked about believing and understanding we will receive it… so let’s put the icing on the cake and remember after we’ve done steps 1-2 of 3, let’s complete the process… let’s give thanks!
When we thank God in advance, it’s really a declaration of our faith in Him. Your thanks is saying “God, I’m so sure of your goodness, I’m so sure that you’re working in my life that I’m going to thank you right now for what you are going to do tomorrow.” And “I thank you for all that I’ve been given and all I’m about to receive!”
Remember also, when you give thanks to God and believe in all you have been given and all you are to receive, you are glorifying His name.
Psalm 136:1-3 – “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.”
Enter with No Fear
God’s Word brings us a comforting promise, along with an insightful command as we face a new year.
Hebrews 13:5-6 – “ Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’”
We can live this coming year without fear if we apply these four incredibly wonderful truths to our lives and root them deep into our hearts.
The Contentment of His Provision
Contentment is not getting what you want, but it is wanting what you already have.
1 Timothy 6:6-8 – “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
If you know Jesus Christ, you have contentment. If you’ve got clothes on your back, something to eat, and Jesus Christ in your heart, you’re rich!
Do you know why we have fear? Because we think our needs or the needs of someone we love are not going to be met. Or we fear that the things we think are meeting our needs are going to be taken away from us. The deepest need of your heart can only be met in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Companionship of His Presence
I don’t know what I’m going to face next year. But there’s one thing I know, as we just read, He will never leave me. Are you a child of God? He will never leave you either. That, to me, is simply an amazing fact!
What’s another reason we may fear in the coming year? Because we’re afraid we’re going to have to face something we don’t understand, and we’re going to have to face it alone.
When God’s Word promises that God will never forsake you, it literally means that He will never abandon you. He will not give up on you. We need to practice the presence of the Lord this coming year. When the devil comes and knocks at your heart’s door, you can simply say, “Jesus, can you grab that for me?”
The Confidence of His Promise
We’re going to zero-in on a little phrase in our verses in Hebrews, “He hath said.” A promise is no better than the one who makes it. Who says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you?” It is the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God. This is the confidence of His promise.
In the coming year, when you say, “God, I just don’t have the strength.” The omnipotent God will answer, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” When you say, “God, I’m afraid of what is going to happen.” The omnipresent God says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” And when you say, “God, I don’t know what to do.” The omniscient God will respond, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” God Himself hath said it!
The Comfort of His Protection
Hebrews 13:6 promises, “So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’”
Like I said earlier, I don’t know what you’re going to go through this coming year. But I know you can boldly say, “The Lord is my helper.”, so I will not fear what man shall do to me. When you find your contentment, companionship, and confidence in Jesus. Then, you’ll find your comfort and courage in Jesus.
Help to Stay Focused
The Lord has told us to enter into the Kingdom as a little child. When you were a child, didn’t you have imaginary friends that you might sit and talk to for hours? How real were they to you?
Well, I can assure you, our God is very real. Picture Him, on His throne watching down on you; when you’ve fallen on your knees, exhausted and beaten, look-up and see Christ’s hands reaching out to help you to your feet.
Feel the Holy Spirit filling you each morning as you pray and prepare to face the day. Imagine Him coming down on you and filling your heart with Compassion, Wisdom and Understanding and know He will be with you in all that you do.
The Elephant and the Fly …read this short story
Has anyone here played baseball? If so, were you a good hitter? Again, if so, how did you do it? I can almost be certain it was due to the fact that you listened to your coach and “kept your eye on the ball.”
Remember when Peter took his eyes off Jesus
Matthew 14:28-31 – “’Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’”
Peter lost His focus when he looked away from our Lord.
Keep your Heart on God in Heaven
Matthew 6:20-21 – “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
(Please note, you must be logged-in to Facebook to view this video)
We’ve got a new year ahead of us. As we’ve gotten closer to The Father; The Son; and The Holy Spirit, our challenges may become even more difficult to overcome.
Put your trust in God. Focus on Him and ask for His help. Believe that you will receive it and give thanks in advance in this knowledge.
I will have to stay extremely focused this year as I have made a resolution to “Kick the devil’s evil little ass!” I’m going to need your help with that one as well.
Stay focused and don’t lose sight of your goals. Keep God in your heart and always within focus. Never lose sight of Him and know, without doubt, He is there with you throughout any trials you may go through. He is “The Constant!” Always there, always beside us and always watching over us.
Go with God; be good to one another; always stay humble; always be kind… God Bless (Amen)