Reaching the unseen

REACHING THE UNSEEN IN 2016

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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

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Mission: To be a resource to Pastors and Bible teachers in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. – Sermons to the World

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Vision: To reach the world on the internet to fulfill the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 – “to go into all the world and teach all nations”.

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Monday, December 28, 2015

A NEW YEAR - A NEW OPPORTUNITY IN 2016

VIDEO LINKS TO THIS SERMON




A NEW YEAR - A NEW OPPORTUNITY
by Pastor Mark Taylor

 “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5)

Today, I am not asking you to make a New Years Resolution but begin setting some realistic goals.  Create a Plan.  Ask for help.  Get started.

A resolution says I am going to lose 50 pounds this year.
A goal says I am going to find a nutrition plan that works for me.

A resolution says I am going to read the Bible through this year.  A goal says I am going to read the four Gospels one or two chapters at a time until I finish and then read another Book of the Bible that is interesting to me.

We are going into a New Year.  The Lord is a creator of new and wonderful things.   We should recommit ourselves to allowing our Lord to lead us in becoming new and better this year.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). “Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." (Revelation 21:5).

Our LORD is in the creating business.  He wants to create something new in you this year.  Every Spring He creates new flowers and foods for us to eat.

We are all different.  The same kind of plan will not work for everyone.  Some people are sequential logical thinkers and others are abstract random thinkers and doers. God has created some of you as "right brain" people who are very creative in talents involving music, art, and innovators.  Others of you God has created you to be "left brain" people who are problem solvers, direction followers, and good at staying on a budget.

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by him all things consist." (Colossians 1:16-17)

This could be your year to accomplish that new thing that God has given you the ability to create.  Ask him to give you both the desire and ability to start that new thing in your life.  Three years ago I started writing a book. Just a few days ago, I finished it.  Two years ago I started reading the BIBLE through and I just finished it.  

What is it that God you want Him to do for you in 2016.

Ask Him and then get busy working on it.  Read a book on self-improvement or learn how to do something new this year in technology or a new skill.  Join the choir or use your speaking and singing skills at a retirement home, nursing home, or some public venue.                                 

Set Realistic Goals.  "If you aim at nothing you will hit it."

I am not talking about us that are in our 60's and 70's running a marathon, but we could walk around the block several times a week.  No matter how many times you have failed it is time to start again.  Some people say they don't set goals because because they tried before and failed.  Let me give you some examples of some people who did not follow that way of thinking:

Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections, went bankrupt twice, and suffered a nervous breakdown before he became one of our nations greatest Presidents. He was elected as the 16th President of the United States after all of these failures.  He refused to give up.

Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit' 714 home runs.

At the age of 65 With his social security check of about $100 Cornel Sanders started KFC.

Get rid of the word 'I can't' and remind yourself of the scripture;  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4; 13.                  

As we enter this new year of 2016 we should expect God to lead us into new areas of growth and ministry.  He wants us to know that “you have not passed this way before now” (Joshua 3:4), and it may be somewhat different and even frightening.  

But He also wants us to know and have the confidence that He is with us when we attempt new things.

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;" (Philippians 1:5-6)

I would encourage our Church as well as all Churches to pray that God would do more with them this year than He did last year.  The Lord has given us a ministry to reach out to other people. When He accepted you into His family He has a purpose and mission for you.

How can you use your gifts and abilities that God has given me to make a living  to serve Him  next year?

Grace is about new beginnings and the mercy of God starting over in our lives.  

“The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy” (Psalms 145:8).  “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon you” (Psalms 86:5).

As we look into 2016 we look at a block of time. We see 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds. And all is a gift from God. 

We have done nothing to deserve it, earn it, or purchased it. Like the air we breathe, time comes to us as a part of life.  Like receiving a brand new calendar, the slate is clean and ready for us to post our appointments, meetings, dates, anniversaries and celebrations. 

So let us pencil this in, more time for loving our families, more time to take care of ourselves, more time to do what we really want to do, more time to follow our dreams and more time with the Author of time and the Author of all things, our Lord Jesus Christ.  


2016 is a new year with new opportunities.  You and I can start over.  Remember that our past sins can be forgiven by God: 

"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more" (Hebrews 8:12).

As we begin to think about this New Year, I would like for us to start our lives like the new calendar.  We are encouraged by the Bible to leave last year behind us.

 “But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before”   (Philippians 3:13). 

I realize we cannot completely forget, but we can purposely dwell on positive things that will help us this year.  

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Another thing we are encouraged to do to start our lives off with a clear slate is forgiveness. Even forgiving ourselves. For failures. Don't live your life as a victim.

Understand that all of us have been hurt by others.  Life is not fair and there are cruel and mean people who don't  care about others feelings.  The important thing is that we don't become victims.  We give them another victory by spending time and energy thinking about them.

We should ask forgiveness from our Heavenly Father for the sins we have committed this past year and make an effort to live better lives.  Grace is not only a matter of our receiving a “new beginning”, but it is our allowing others to do the same.   Forgiveness is difficult and the actions which have been done to us does not easily fade away.   Forgiveness is an unnatural act.  It requires divine assistance.  But regardless of how difficult it is, our forgiveness from the Lord is tied to our forgiveness of others.  

"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).  

Forgiveness is not about others deserving it, but it is about you.   When you forgive, you are doing something wonderful for yourself, and allow God to bless you with good things.

In starting your “new beginning” in 2016, set reasonable, realistic, and measurable goals.  It is God’s will that you be successful and happy.  

“Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper." (Psalm 1) .

God wants to bless you, but his blessings are directly related to your love and obedience to Him.  God’s grace does not give you permission to sin.  There is still a spiritual law of sowing and reaping.  Jesus said:  “If you love Me, keep my commandments”.  (John 14:15).

Today is the day to begin.  

“Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1). “This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it”  (Psalms 118:24).  

To use a football analogy:  

For Some of us it is half-time in our lives and we need to get back on the field and play the second half better.

For others of us it is the last quarter and we are behind in our goal setting and accomplishments.  We need to dig deep and work with our team to win.

For some of us we are at the two minute warning and we have the ball.  We need to look at our options and listen to the coach.  He has a plan and has led many other teams to victory.  I am talking about the Lord Jesus Christ - our coach.

Let us ask our Lord to give us the right plays this year.  It is not just about us, it is about winning for our children, grandchildren and our friends.  If they see us play the game of life well, they will be motivated to do the same.  If we quit it might affect their desire to continue.  They might quit too.

So let's have a great 2016 starting today.  Don't just make a resolution let's set some realistic goals, create a plan, ask for help, and get started.

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