Well, we've made it through 2014! Can you believe its 2015? What is the one thing most people have in common at the New Year? Most of us make New Year's resolutions, don’t we? One young boy asked his father what his New Year's resolution was, and his father said he was going to do everything possible in the New Year to make his mother very happy. Then boy turns to his mother and ask what hers was, and she said, “To do everything possible to make sure your father keeps his resolution.”
Why do we make New Year’s resolutions anyway? We make them because there are areas in our lives we are either unhappy with, or areas in our lives we want to be better. They did a survey last year and can you tell me what the top three New Year's resolutions that Americans made for 2014? According to an article on the website Statistic Brain, these were the top 3 New Year's resolutions for last year 2014. 1. Lose weight 2.Get organized 3.Spend less, save more. At the start of every year, we see magazines publishing predictions on how they think the world will be in the upcoming year. Some of these predictions have been accurate, but most have fallen way short of being true. One such prediction was back in 1967, experts predicted that by the turn of the century technology would have taken over so much of the work we do that the average American work week would be only 22 hours long, & that we would work only 27 weeks a year. As a result, one of our biggest problems would be in deciding what to do with all our leisure time. This is just one prediction that was way off. In fact it seems our schedules are more hectic than ever before and no matter how far advanced technology gets, we just keep getting busier and busier. I've heard many people wish if they had just one more day added to their week it would make life easier. Even if we could add another day to our week and have an eight day week, after a while our eight day week would be just as busy, and we would be wishing for a nine day week.
How many of you here this morning, would like to have a fresh start in our Christian life? Why not make a New Year's resolution for a clean start in our walk with the Lord. In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” The good news is, God says, "I want you to have a fresh start in life; I want you to have a new beginning. Doesn’t it make us excited to know that God desire to give each of us a fresh start, a new beginning in life? Last year maybe some of you said, “I am going to grow in my relationship with God. I am going to pray more, read my bible more and get more involved in my church. I’m going to spend more quality time with my family. ” The list could go on. But like many of our New Year's resolutions we have fallen short. Some of us have kept them, but many of us made some mistakes or we made some bad decision that hindered us from doing those things that
wanted to do. The bad news is there is nothing we can do to change last year. The good news is we can learn from last year and today we have the opportunity to start over and make some changes. At the beginning of every year He says, let’s wipe the slate clean and let’s start with a brand new year. But remember a new start doesn’t have to be at the beginning of the each year, every day and every moment we can be a new start with God. According to Isaiah 43:18, “The Lord says, “Forget about what has happened before.” Do not think about the past. Instead, look at the new things I’m going to do.” We need to understand that God is far more interested in our future than He is in our past. Some people think that God is stuck on their past. That all He wants to do is remind them of the things that they have done wrong. God is more interested in our future than He is with our past. He says, “Forget about our past. Forget about the former things. Don’t think about it. Look at the new thing I’m going to do.”
So here we are, at the beginning of 2015. I wonder how we’ll do this year? Will we make any better use of our time? When this year is over, will we be looking back with joy, or with regret? Will we be looking at the future with anticipation, or with dread? To help us start 2015 off with a clean slate we need to look at two basic elements; the first is to do a self-evaluation of ourselves -- examine where we are spiritually. The second is to set our priorities. Romans 13:11, 12 says "The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness & put on the armor of light."
So how will 2015 be for each of us? How will we spend the next 12 months? 52 weeks. 365 days. 8760 hours. 525, 600 minutes and 31,536,000 seconds? What will you do with all this time? Today all of can start off afresh with a clean slate. Will we take the 31 million seconds God has given to us in the next year and invest in it wisely to further His cause? Folks the end is near -- 2015 is one more year closer to the return of our Lord and Savior. Will we draw closer to Jesus this year?