Well it’s that time of year again when in a fit of optimism many of us make great promises to ourselves about what we are going to do in the New Year that we usually abandon about the second week in January.
Today in contrast I want to talk to you about some resolutions; some commitments which will make a radical difference in our lives if we follow through on them.
This is a new way of starting the New Year which could significantly change our lives. If we will make new commitments that God, through His Word will encourage us. If we make this commitment, I guarantee you that the start of 2015 could become one of the most significant events in our life. The New Year instead of being simply about having a few days off, could become a way to have a better life
2000 years ago one the first Christian leaders, Paul gave this advice; “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:13-14
We must not allow ourselves to be bogged down by our past failures and that we not dwell on our past so that it stops us from moving forward.
Commit to forget our failures, the past is the past.
Because our hope is in Jesus, we can let go of past guilt and look forward to what God will help us become. Don’t dwell on your past. Instead, grow in the knowledge of God by concentrating on your relationship with him now. Realize that you are forgiven, and then move on to a life of faith and obedience. Look forward to a fuller and more meaningful life because of your hope in Jesus.
Next we commit to give up our grudges. “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13
Harboring a grudge is about nursing a dislike for someone.
What you need to know is that grudges are dangerous because they are destructive. They can break up families, friendships and even some marriages. The key to forgiving others is remembering how much God has forgiven us.
Commit to restore relationships. “Do all that you can to live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18
In this day of lawsuits and incessant demands for legal rights, this command sounds almost impossible. When someone hurts you deeply, instead of giving him what he deserves, the Bible says to befriend him. Why? Forgiveness may break a cycle of retaliation and lead to mutual reconciliation. It may make the enemy feel ashamed and change his or her ways; however, repaying evil for evil hurts you just as much as it hurts our enemy. Even if our enemy never repents, forgiving him or her will free us of a heavy load of bitterness.
One of the most significant things that we can do to mark the New Year is not set off fireworks but to admit our past errors in relationships and humbly seek forgiveness from the one you have hurt. Make a commitment to restore our broken relationships in this New Year.
This New Year will really be something to celebrate if we’ll make forgiveness the heart of what it’s all about for us.
Have the courage right here today
· To forgive ourselves and “forget the past”
· To forgive others who have hurt us “and forgive whatever grievances we have”
· To ask for forgiveness from those you have hurt and “as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone”
· To ask for God’s forgiveness and “No longer be a slave to sin”
Will you rise to that challenge?
Please join us each Sunday at First Baptist Church at 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. We are located at 700 Hardy Way. For more information, transportation or to request prayer call 702-346-7061 and please visit our website at fbcmesquite.com.