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A New Year Of New Beginnings


A YEAR OF NEW BEGINNINGS adapted from Bruce Ball

 

Romans 13:11-14English Standard Version (ESV)

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

 

Isaiah 43:18-19English Standard Version (ESV)

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

 

What is the one thing most people have in common at the New Year?  Most of us make resolutions, don’t we?

Why do we make those things anyway? We make them because there are areas in our lives we are unhappy with.  We are going to stop eating this, stop doing that. We make these resolutions, and for a time we are steadfast in carrying them out and then……

We have to:

LEAVE IT COMPLETELY

When we pray, we often take our needs to the Lord and ask His help in dealing with them. And then what do we do? Instead of leaving them with Him, we take them back with us as we finish praying.

We need to learn to leave things where they belong. If 2015 really is a year of New Beginnings we should learn to leave some things completely.

We must leave behind those parts of ourselves that do us no good. Here are some suggestions as to what we might leave behind.

1. LEAVE YOUR RESENTMENT BEHIND

Ephesians 4:31English Standard Version (ESV)

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Each of us resent something. We might resent something we have said and done, or we might resent what someone else has said and done. But along with resentment comes unforgiveness. And unforgiveness is a very dangerous thing to keep in our lives.

Jesus said that if we forgive, God will forgive us. But if we do not forgive, God will not forgive us. Now, we must understand that to forgive does not mean the same thing as to forget. We cannot erase our memories, but we can erase our resentment.

So forget those things which hurt you. And forgive those people who did or said them. (Mark 11:25)  I like the old saying: “Look lovingly upon your enemies, for it is you who have made them.” We choose to dislike people, based upon what we like or think. We must realize that we are not the perfect examples, so we shouldn’t hold others accountable to our standards.

Also, if you stoop low enough to begrudge others - - THEY WIN! So make a decision to leave your resentment behind.

2. LEAVE YOUR WORRIES BEHIND

Matthew 6:25-34English Standard Version (ESV)

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

 

Why waste time doing something that not only hurts us and never helps us?

When we worry, it ends up taking over our ever thought and it becomes the predominate thought of our lives. Yet, it is also worry that causes mental illness, stress, and many other things that destroy our lives. Worry has killed more people than hard work ever did. Worry is the cause of fear.

So, leave your worries behind as you enter the New Year, too.

 

1 Peter 5:7English Standard Version (ESV)

casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

 

3. LEAVE YOUR FAILURES BEHIND

2 Cor. 5:17 English Standard Version (ESV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

We try so hard to be the best we can be, but we don’t always succeed. And it is in those times when we don’t succeed, that we get discouraged because we have failed. But what have we failed in? We may not have achieved just what we originally set out to achieve, but we haven’t failed.

The only time you fail is when you don’t try to do anything! We need to understand that God has called us to have faith long before He ever called us to achieve. We are called to be in Christ, and as long as we are in Him, we are successful.

‘Examine yourselves to see. Do you realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.’

As you let go of the past, we must learn to

2. GRAB HOLD OF THE FUTURE

Each New Year is a representative thing. It represents to us that there is a whole range of new opportunities for us; an unlimited chance to have a better life.

If it cannot help you in the future, leave it in the past.  Whatever it may be.

We must also prioritize so that we …

3. DO NOT LOSE WHAT WE HAVE TO OVERLOAD

How many times do we hear that, because somebody was so stressed from overload, they snapped or had a melt down? Have you ever heard of anyone having mental or emotional problems because they had everything under control?

We must be sure that we have our priorities set in order and that we realize which things must be done when, so we don’t get overloaded.

 

 

ECCLESIASTES 3:1-2 reminds us,

We must go into New Beginnings with our eyes wide open so we can grab hold of everything God is giving us. And that means to pay attention to Him, not just giving Him that occasional thought in passing.

There is a another thing we must do if we are going to use 2015 as a year of New Beginnings

We must …

KNOW WHAT THE LORD’S WILL IS FOR US

1.  Walk with God—develop a relationship with him.

2.  Surrender you will to God

3.  Obey what you already know to be His Will

4. Seek godly input

5.  Listen to God’s Spirit (John 10:27)

6.  Listen to your heart (Psalms 37:4-5)

Know that the Lord never says for you to be comfortable. He does, however, expect you to focus on Him and not things of this world.

To do this, you must be F.A.T

You must be FAITHFUL. How faithful are you to Jesus Christ?

You focus on Him and do things for His glory, even when it is an inconvenience to you to do so.

You must be AVAILABLE. How available are you?   Are you really available to do what God wants you to do?

And you must be TEACHABLE. Are you willing to listen

To be a Christian who is walking forward for the Lord, striving towards New Beginnings and not just sitting in one spot, claiming the miracles of Christ, we need to be F.A.T. (Faithful, Available, and Teachable.)

“Behold, I am doing a New Thing….do you not perceive it?”


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