Entering into a new year always brings some apprehension to our thoughts. Questions concerning the economy, the world-wide political scene, the ever-present aids epidemic, and countless other unknowns. We do what we can to prepare for the future, but there are some things that will surprise us for sure.
This morning I want to challenge you with some things that will make 1993 a great year for you regardless of what else may happen.
It ought to be the desire of every child of God to have God's blessing upon their life. Only then can we truly have a successful Christian life.
I. Totally Surrender Your Life to God. Note: Romans 12:1-2
A. To the person who has never been born again:
1. This means for you to give up!
2. Surrender means acknowledging that you cannot win.
3. There is no hope in rejecting the pleas of a loving God to be saved.
4. If you have never accepted Christ, you need to surrender to Him today.
B. To the believer:
1. It is a wonderful thing to experience the mercies of God that come to us at salvation.
2. However, if we fail to go on to total surrender we will rob ourselves of God's blessings.
3. God wants to be our Lord and will not accept anything less than that.
4. He will either be Lord of all or He isn't Lord at all.
5. He has a rightful claim upon our lives: "...ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price..." cf 1Co. 6:19-20
C. Note: Romans 6:11-13
1. Reckon (consider or believe) that we are dead unto sin and alive unto God.
2. By faith, we determine that we have only one purpose in life and that is to allow Jesus Christ to live His life through us.
3. Paul said, "...Neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy..." cf Ac. 20:24
4. He was totally yielded or surrendered to God, and this is what we are called upon to do if we seek His blessings upon us.
II. Obey All We Know To Be God's Will.
A. We do not have to find God's will.
1. God has revealed His will to us in His Word.
2. There are many things that we know to be God's will for us...we need to obey Him in all these areas.
3. As we mature spiritually we find more and more of what God would have for us to do.
4. James 4:17, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
B. God has made His will very plain in His Word to us.
1. "Repent and believe the Gospel" cf Mk. 1:15
2. Baptism = "answer of a good conscience toward God" cf 1Pe. 3:21
3. Prayer = "pray without ceasing" cf 1Th. 5:17
4. Witnessing = "ye shall be witnesses" cf Ac. 1:8
5. Church attendance = "forsake not the assembly" cf Heb. 10:25
6. Giving = "God loveth a cheerful giver" cf 2Co. 9:7
7. "Love one another" cf Jn 15:12 8. Separation = "Love not the world" cf 1Jn. 2:15
C. Note: Ecclesiastes 12:13
1. "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."
2. Our primary duty as Christians is to obey the will of God.
3. We will be blessed in the coming year if we will surrender our lives to Him and obey His will for us.
III. Acknowledge Him As Lord At All Times.
A. Note: Proverbs 3:4-6
1. Here is a promise to those who wish to have the blessing of God upon them.
2. "So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man."
3. There are no secret formulas or quick shortcuts to the blessings of God.
B. Many Christians live like practical athiests.
1. They may show up in church on Sunday.
2. But throughout the week they never acknowledge God's leadership or direction in their lives.
3. "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
4. If we will do as He said in His word, then our lives will be blessed as He directs us from day to day.
C. This may not be the easiest thing to do, but it will bring His blessing.
1. Sometimes it costs us something to follow His leading.
2. In the third chapter of Daniel we read about three young men from Israel who refused to bow down and worship the golden image.
3. They chose to acknowledge the Lord and was thrown into a fiery furnace for their decision.
4. Note: Daniel 3:17-18
5. They were ready to die rather than to compromise and worship a false god.
6. We must learn to live in the presence of God if we want His blessings upon us.
How can we make 1993 a great year? If you are not saved, then come to Jesus...that will make 1993 a year that you will never forget! Accept the gift of God which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Then totally surrender your will to Christ, obey all you know to be God's will, and acknowledge Him at all times in all ways. Make that your New Year's resolution!