YEAR OF NEW BEGINNINGS adapted from Bruce Ball
Romans 13:11-14English Standard Version (ESV)
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
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)
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
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)
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
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
2. LEAVE YOUR WORRIES BEHIND
Matthew 6:25-34English Standard Version (ESV)
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
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
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.
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)
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
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
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.)
I am doing a New Thing….do you not perceive it?”