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A Christian NEW YEAR all year long!

SERMON: A Christian NEW YEAR all year long!

TEXT: Philippians 3:13-14 - Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do:  forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


Introduction: Resolutions are typical this time of year. Most of us will make a resolution, promising to make change in our lives for the better. Therefore, commitment, dedication and determination are in full swing and great abundance. Losing weight, exercising more, better financial stability and enjoying life rank high on most lists. However, as February roles around, fires cool and steam fizzles; but it shouldn’t, especially for Christians. Resolute and resilient Christians should blaze the trail in the land called "Promises Kept,” but in what areas? In what ways will this year be any different than the previous?


1. THIS YEAR I will lose the weight of sin. I will lay aside every weighty transgression, encumbrance and distraction, and run with perseverance the Christian race (Heb. 12:1-2). I will NOT run a competitive race, but a cooperative one. I’m running with, not against, my brethren.


2. THIS YEAR I will exercise greater discernment between good and evil. I will repetitiously and habitually train my spiritual senses to discern good from evil (Heb. 5:14 - But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.). In doing so, my ability to teach God’s Word will dramatically increase; I will go from being a student to being a teacher.


3. THIS YEAR I will save the souls of my friends and family. Jesus is the only savior; so, I will live like Him, love like Him and labor like Him in bringing my loved ones to the precious and redeeming blood (1 Pet. 1:19). Great commission.


4. THIS YEAR I will improve my spiritual health. I will consume large quantities of spiritual meat (Heb. 5:13-14 - for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.).


My hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matt. 5:6) will help me grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18). I will be faithful and fit for the Lord!


5. THIS YEAR I will better organize my thoughts, words and deeds. I will clean out all the evil from my heart, mind and soul, replacing it with virtuous and praise worthy thoughts, words and deeds (Col. 3:5-17; Phil. 4:8).


Col. 3:5-17 - Put to death therefore kwhat is earthly in you:1 lsexual immorality, impurity, mpassion, evil desire, and covetousness, nwhich is idolatry. oOn account of these the wrath of God is coming.2 pIn these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now qyou must put them all away: ranger, wrath, malice, sslander, and obscene talk from your mouth. tDo not lie to one another, seeing that uyou have put off vthe old self3 with its practices 10 and whave put on xthe new self, ywhich is being renewed in knowledgezafter the image of aits creator. 11 bHere there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,4 free; but Christ is call, and in all.

12 dPut on then, as eGod's chosen ones, holy and beloved, fcompassionate hearts, gkindness, hhumility, meekness, and patience, 13 hbearing with one another and, iif one has a complaint against another,gforgiving each other; gas the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on jlove, which kbinds everything together in lperfect harmony. 15 And let mthe peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called nin one body. And obe thankful. 16 Let pthe word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, qsinging psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, rwith thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And swhatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, tgiving thanks to God the Father through him.



6. THIS YEAR I will enjoy my spiritual life more. I will rejoice in "newness of life” ( Rom. 6:4), repentance of sin (2 Cor. 7:9, 10), "joy of faith” (Phil. 1:25), "the Lord” (Phil. 4:4) and difficulties that strengthen my faith ( Jam. 1:2-4). I will realize more than I have in the past that lasting joy comes from a Christ-like mind (Phil. 2:5), faith filled heart (Phil. 1:3-11), soul centered hope (Heb. 6:19; 1 Pet. 3:15) and love motivated life (Matt. 22:37-39).


7. THIS YEAR I will quit making excuses and always abounding in the Lord’s work. I will conduct myself as an effective and faithful worker for the Lord (Eph. 2:10). I will refuse the notion that my efforts for Him are empty and worthless (1 Cor. 15:58b). I will work, not to gain salvation (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5), but to display it ( Jam. 2:18 - But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith rapart from your works, and I will show you my faith sby my works.)


Conclusion: Resolutions are only as good as the ability and dedication of the promise maker to reach their goal. Therefore, my work is clear and ordered! I must determine to be unwavering, grounded and unmovable in my commitment to reach spiritual goals. This year is for the Lord!


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