“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18, 19 NKJV)
Don’s sermon this morning, “A Fresh Start,” was highlighted by an acrostic. He loves acrostics. He found this last year and preached this sermon at The Tip, but I missed it because I was in Georgia with Mama Trudy. So, he preached it again today, only, I’m sure it was different.
The word is: START
S -- Stop making excuses! Take responsibility for yourself. Stop “passing the buck.”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3
Prov. 28:13. The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy. (Proverbs 28:13 HCSB)
T -- Take inventory of our life, also known as learning from the trials and troubles of your past and then move forward. The door to your future is only big enough for you, not you and your baggage.
A. Personal experiences (school of hard knocks)
B. Education (formal)
C. Spiritual experiences: church, retreats, Bible studies, prayer groups, mission trips, personal study and quiet time
D. Painful experiences of life
Gal. 3:4. Did you suffer so much for nothing — if in fact it was for nothing? (Galatians 3:4 HCSB)
A -- Act in faith; step out AND WATCH GOD WORK.
Matt. 9:29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “Let it be done for you according to your faith! ” (Matthew 9:29 HCSB).
Gen.12... Acts 3.....
R -- Refocus.. Leave the stinkin' thinkin' behind. Change your attitude. Make the positive choice. Our thoughts control our life.
Prov. 4:23. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:23-27 TNIV)
Romans 12:2. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2 HCSB)
T -- TRUST in God, in Christ alone.
Zechariah.4:6. So he answered me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by strength or by might, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of Hosts. (Zechariah 4:6 HCSB)
[Excellent material to meditate on and put into action in 2013! From my sermon notes.]
Please join us in A New Year Prayer:
God of our yesterdays, our today, and our tomorrows.
We praise You for Your unequaled greatness.
Thank You for the year behind us and for the year ahead.
Help us in Your new year, Father, to fret less and laugh more.
To teach our children to laugh by laughing with them.
To teach others to love by loving them.
Knowing, when Love came to the stable in Bethlehem, He came for us.
So that Love could be with us, and we could know You.
That we could share Love with others.
Help us, Father, to hear Your love song in every sunrise,
in the chirping of sparrows in our backyards,
in the stories of our old folks, and the fantasies of our children.
Help us to stop and listen to Your love songs,
so that we may know You better and better.
We rejoice in the world You loved into being.
Thank You for another new year and for new chances every day.
We pray for peace, for light, and for hope, that we might spread them to others.
Forgive us for falling short this past year.
We leave the irreparable past in your hands, and step out into the unknown new year knowing You will go with us.
We accept Your gift of a new year and we rejoice in what's ahead, depending on You to help us do exactly what You want..
I say it again, we rejoice!
In Jesus name,