Worship, Sunday, January 1, 2023
      • Bible Trivia
      • Bible Trivia
      • Bible Trivia
      • Bible Trivia
  • Arise Shine
  • Another Year Is Dawning
  • Isn't He?
  • Emmanuel
  • As I begin our message today we’re going to begin with some audience participation. So feel free to shout out your answer or just raise your hand, or both!
    How many of you stayed up last night to ring in the new year?
    If you’re here this morning after staying up that late, I just have to congratulate you as I probably wouldn’t have been. LOL I was in bed by 8:30, but stayed up to watch the end of a football game that was way to exciting to just turn off.
    How many of you make New Years resolutions?
    So many of us when we make resolutions they focus on our Physical health - diet, fitness, quitting bad habits (smoking, drinking, etc.)
    Mental health, like taking time for oneself, eliminating stress, avoiding toxic relationships.
    What about your Spiritual Health?
    What? Spiritual Health? Yes, your spiritual health. If your spiritual health is strong it impacts your physical and mental health. In fact, I would say that your spiritual health is even more important than your physical or mental health.
    Perhaps you’ve determined that this will be the year that you read your Bible daily, or perhaps read it all the way through. Or perhaps you’ve determined that his will be the year that you will dedicate a part of your day to intentional, undistracted prayer.
    When we pass from one year to the next there is a definitive marker separating us from the past. In our Bible’s we read the words of Paul when he wrote to the Corinthians,
    2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
    In Christ, we’ve been made, are being made, and will be made new.
    Colossians 3:9–10 ESV
    Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
    Being renewed, it’s a process. It’s one that Paul prayed for those he’d led to Christ in Philippi,
    Philippians 1:6 ESV
    And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
    You and I are in process.
    When I was a teenager there was a button a friend used to wear that had these letters:


    They stood for the phrase, “Please be patient, God is not finished with me yet.”
    The same is true for you. And it’s true for me. And it’s true for that person that irks you. We are in process.
    God said through the prophet Jeremiah,
    Jeremiah 29:13 ESV
    You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
    He said this to the Israelites as they lived in exile.
    Jesus told us to seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness.
    We all want this year to be better than the last. Yet too many feel like they’re simply in the same cycle, likely because they continue to do the same things.
    If we want 2023 to be better than 2022 one simple thing we need to do is to change. It’s easy to stand where we are and complain about one thing or another. But that doesn’t change anything.
    From Newton’s laws of motion we know that an object at rest remains at rest. An object in motion however will stay in motion and continue on it’s path unless acted upon by another force.
    I believe these laws work in our spiritual lives as well. If you’re not doing anything in your spiritual lives you cannot expect anything to change.
    I also believe that God is in control and if we simply get up and go any direction that God can and will change the direction for us if our intent is to seek Him.
    God is working, on us, in us, through us. God is working.
    Isaiah 43:19 ESV
    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.
    This past week I saw this on social media and it raised a good point.
    It’s not often I post a star trek meme in a sermon, but it makes a good point.,
    So, let’s take a look at 2 Cor 4:16
    2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV
    So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
    The truth is as we seek God, we are being renewed, changed, updated, sanctified. Yet there is something that must be happening on our side of things. We need to be active in our faith!
    Philippians 3:12–21 (ESV)
    Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
    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, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
    Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
    Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.
    For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
    But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

    Take action

    See those action words?
    I press on...
    Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward...
    hold true...
    This is not passive faith.
    As we come to 2023 let’s move forward, not back. Let’s press on, strain forward, hold true...
    When I was in college I was serving on a mission trip in Mexico as one year ended and another began. We’d all stayed up to celebrate the New year. We were enjoying a late dinner and as midnight approached our Mexican hosts began pushing their chairs back from the tables and getting down on their knees. Those of us from the United States and Canada weren’t sure what to do, so we joined them. They were praying in the New Year.
    I think we’re beginning on a good note when we spend the first day of the year in worship together. We’ve prayed and will pray more. We’ve sang praises to God, and continue in worship. And our sights are not focused on ourself but on the triune God.
    One of the simple resolutions we can make, one of the simple actions we can take as a congregation, as Christians is to be in church together once a week.
    A friend posted these benefits of being in worship together:
    We participate in weekly corporate worship because God commands it and designed us that way.
    It helps center our worship and lives on God and not all the influences of the world.
    We hold one another accountable and grow spiritually together (like a workout buddy). We notice when you’re not here.
    We partake in the sacraments corporately as Christ commands and experience his presence.
    We serve and accomplish more with the combined gifts of others to make a difference in this world for good and help others grow in their faith.
    Church attendance has been declining and it seems immorality and crime have been increasing. (You think there is a correlation?) I think increased participation in weekly corporate worship and living out the Biblical standards as a community of faith makes a profound impact on this country and the world.
    We need you in worship not just for your own spiritual health, but the spiritual health of our society; to work against Satan, who wants to separate you from the flock and hinder every effort to keep you and our culture away from the beautiful life and community God desires for us. The new year starts today. What better way to start the first day of the new year!

    Making All Things New

    AS we begin a new year my hope is that each of us will determine to draw closer to God. For it is God who is making us new each and every day. You are not the person you were a year ago, and neither am I. We’ve experienced too much, our bodies have gone through too much, and God has been working on us too much. Let us continue to move forward and bring glory to God. Amen.
    Let me pray for you...
      • 2 Corinthians 5:17ESV

      • Colossians 3:9–10ESV

      • Philippians 1:6ESV

      • Jeremiah 29:13ESV

      • Isaiah 43:19ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 4:16ESV

  • In Remembrance
  • What Can I Give Him
  • Let's Worship and Adore Him
      • Bible Trivia

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