Good evening everyone! It’s so good to be with you this evening, as we prepare to finish our journey through the year 2019…to enter another brand New Year of 2020! You know…sometimes it can be difficult to enter a New Year, due to chronic pain and illness…no job…grief or some other deep embedded heartache that we are experiencing at the moment; so I thought that if we walked into the New Year together; then we could learn how to leave the old year behind and anticipate God’s best, in the New Year to come. Are you ready to begin a journey with me…one that will eventually walk us into a brand New Year? Ok…let’s begin…
As we lift up our foot to take that first step towards the New Year…one of the first things we need to do; is to get rid of the excess baggage of the past…along with worry, doubt and fear, so the journey ahead can be a lighter one. Many times, we find it difficult to press on and face another new year because we are already drained and sometimes overwhelmed, from the year that we have been living…so it’s time to get rid of some unwanted baggage.
As we begin, let’s read Philippians 3:13-14, which reads… “No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, (14) I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us.”
The first piece of unwanted baggage we need to lay along the wayside; is to realize that we are not perfect people…and life will always be a continuous time of learning…for this is how we gain the knowledge and strength we need, to continue our journey through life. As we prepare for another new year, we need to begin, by not living up to people’s expectations and begin to live up to God’s expectations. When we make God happy; then we have succeeded in life and will find that through time…the journey through life will be much easier.
Now that we have left one piece of unwanted baggage along the wayside…by not living up to other people’s expectations; let’s let go of another one, by leaving the past behind; because when we choose to live in the past moments of hurt and pain; then we will never be able to enter the present moments, which will only make us feel as though we are not making it in life…which only leads to giving up. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t deal with the past because there may be moments when we need to do so; but at the same time, we shouldn’t make plans to remain in the past. When we can learn how to let go of the pain and heartache from the past; then we will soon find that we have also let go of one more piece of unwanted baggage.
The final piece of baggage that we need to unload, before entering another New Year; is to quit studying the mistakes and wrong turns we’ve made in life and continue to focus and strive for the prize that will become the reward we receive, for a journey well-traveled. When we begin to study everything that is wrong in our lives or even the hurtful moments of the past; then these moments only become other obstacles that enter our path, which only keeps us from pressing on.
Many today suffer with chronic pain and illness, along with deep heartache…and these moments can make it difficult to enter another new year because we tend to feel as though this journey never has an end; but rather than focusing on what is happening for the moment, why don’t we do as Paul did and strive to reach for the moments that can allow this awful part of the journey, to serve some great purpose in our lives.
Today, we can find hope and a reason to prepare for that second and final step into another New Year, when we are willing to leave all the unwanted moments of our lives behind, while choosing to exchange the negative thoughts and feelings, for a better outlook on life….knowing that a new year will also bring us new possibilities. When we choose to enter the New Year in this way; then we will find that the journey does become easier…the load does become lighter…and there’s much more room for God to work in our lives.
Well…I don’t know about you…but I have now laid aside all the unwanted baggage…and now, I’m ready to walk through a new door…into a New Year. I hope you will join me tomorrow evening, as we take that final step together, into another New Year…a year of new hope and new possibilities. Goodnight…and God bless!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
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