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Making the New Year Count. December 30, 2012. Turmoil, Difficulties, Trials. All around us there are difficulties and hardships Close by Pastor Gordon in hospital Pastor Norm with foot surgery Personal worries and struggles Nationally Fiscal Cliff, Economic worries

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making the new year count

Making the New Year Count

December 30, 2012

turmoil difficulties trials
Turmoil, Difficulties, Trials
  • All around us there are difficulties and hardships
  • Close by
    • Pastor Gordon in hospital
    • Pastor Norm with foot surgery
    • Personal worries and struggles
  • Nationally
    • Fiscal Cliff, Economic worries
    • Division, polarization, increased hostility
  • Internationally
    • Trouble in the Middle East
    • Signs of the End Times
is our time so different or worse
Is our time so different or worse?
  • Think about the situation at Jesus’ time and after he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven
    • Roman occupation
    • High, unfair taxes punished by imprisonment or death
    • Christians isolated, a small group of heretics
    • James put to death
    • Destruction of Jerusalem
    • Poverty and lack of basic needs/food
    • Christians being hunted down and persecuted
their response
Their Response
  • They went and preached the good news – Acts 2:14+; 4:33; 5:20
  • Devoted themselves to teaching, prayer and fellowship, meeting every day at synagogue and in homes – Acts 2:42, 46
  • In face of persecution, they asked to speak more boldly and for God to stretch out his hand with signs and wonders – Acts 4:28-30
  • They took care of each others needs – Acts 4:34
our response
Our Response?
  • Don’t go into hiding
  • Don’t give into fear
  • Don’t sit back and lick our wounds
  • Don’t hang onto bitterness and hurts
  • Don’t look back but look forward
  • Make this new year truly new in Christ Jesus
how to move forward
How to Move Forward
  • Good time to review spiritual report card
  • How have you grown over the last 6 months/1 year?
    • Take time to thank the Lord for what He’s done in your life
    • Either way, make a commitment to move forward and grow in this new year

Matthew 11:12

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

challenges
Challenges
  • Reading and Prayer – Daily Foundation
    • Go for a deeper relationship – a time of fellowship with God, not mere duty; Spend at least one day a week in extended time with God; Use the Lord’s Prayer model; sing and give thanks; spend time listening
  • Talk to at least one person a week about Jesus
    • If you aren’t, are you an ambassador? Do you have saltiness? – Matt 5:13
    • Pray and ask God to bring you at least one person a week
    • Young believers can at least invite – John 1:41
    • One a week is minimum; You can keep increasing
    • Matt 11:12 – forceful men/women take hold of the kingdom of God
challenges cont
Challenges (cont)
  • Get into God’s word
    • Scripture Memorization – Psalm 119.11
    • Bible Study – Matt 11:12
  • Pursue Discipleship
    • Get into a discipling relationship – pray and ask God who
    • Matt 11:12 – Elijah and Elisha – 2 Kings 2
    • Meet minimum of every other week
    • Accountability – keeping going on growth
    • Maturity – showing areas you need to work on
    • Spiritual Fathers, Mothers – be available to disciple
  • Pursue God; Seek Him and find Him