What did 2008 bring to you? Did it bring many difficult times?
In 2008, some people suffered a divorce; some suffered a financial setback; some suffered some serious health problems, and some people experienced the death of a loved one. People and things can bring a lot of misery into our lives. What are some of the things that we will need in 2009?
People believe that if they had companionship from a relative, a mate, a church member, or a close friend--then they will be happy. True friends are like diamonds--they are real and rare. False friends are like leaves....they are scattered everywhere. Be sure to select friends that truly love and care for us. The wise person finds companionship in a Bible-believing, Bible-preaching, people-loving church such as Kaplan Baptist Church.
Some people are looking for that PERFECT mate. A young lady was expounding on her idea of the perfect mate to some of her friends.
“The man I marry must be a shining light. He must be musical, tell jokes, sing, and stay at home at night.” And old granny overheard and spoke up, “Honey, if that’s all you want, get a TV.”
Perhaps you heard about the old maid. A very proud and happily married woman was waxing eloquent in her talk with an old maid one day. She said, “For every man, there is a woman, and for every woman there is a man.” She continued with a question. “You can’t improve on that can you?” The old maid replied, “I don’t want to improve on it. All I want is to get in on it.”
Preachers have to do some marriage counseling with people from time to time. One preacher, had a lady say to him some weeks after the marriage ceremony, “Preacher, I just don’t believe I can live with that man”. The preacher responded, “You need to consider the fact that you took him for better or for worse”. The discouraged wife responded, “Yes, but he is worse than I took him for”.
A WONDERFUL FRIEND, A WONDERFUL CHURCH FAMILY, AND A WONDERFUL MATE will NOT make you happy in 2009.
Unless in 2009 you allow the Lord Jesus to have that “special” place as Savior and Lord of your life, you will miss true satisfaction. John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Do you ever sense that something is missing in your life? The Lord Jesus is missing! His friendship is satisfying, enduring and astounding! He laid down His life for us--His enemies. Some so-called friends are our friends today, and tomorrow they may be our worst enemies. We may be married to a person that you think is the best mate on the face of the earth, but that same person may betray our love tomorrow. On the other hand, Jesus will never disappoint you.
Not only will we need companionship in 2009, we will need to forget “those things which are behind... (Philippians 3:13). Get your past sins behind you and learn from your mistakes. Some people are slow learners.
A humorous story is told about a lady who walked into a doctor’s office. Both of her ears were burned. The doctor asked her, “What happened to your ears?” She replied, “I was ironing and my boy friend called, so instead of picking up the phone, I picked up the iron and put it to my ear.” “Well,” responded the doctor, “what happened to the other ear?” “My boy-friend called again!”
In some cases, when we think about the past, the Devil doesn’t want the unbeliever to remember the guilt and worry produced in the heart from sexual sins. He doesn’t want you to remember the hangover after the use of alcohol, or the bad taste in your mouth, the stained fingers, the smelly clothes, the cough, and the smoke covered lungs caused by the use of cigarettes. Instead, the Devil wants you to think about the physical pleasure associated with sin. He doesn’t want us thinking about the penalty and consequences of sins now and in eternity.
You may ask, “But, pastor, what about the abortion that I had! I feel badly about that?” “What about the baby that I had out of wedlock?” “What about the divorce that I caused due to my sin?” “What about the time that I spent in jail or prison?” Give your guilty thoughts to Christ. Don’t desire the sins of the past. If your sins are under the blood of Christ, then they are gone--and gone forever! Consider the moment and your future opportunities for loving Christ. Let God give you a new heart and a new start with Him. Believe the Word of God! Jesus loves you!
Use 2009 as a learning opportunity. Use your past as a motivator to serving God and motivating others. Listen to Paul say in I Corinthians 15:9-10, “For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s Church. But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me--and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.” (LASB) This was not an arrogant, empty boast. Will you and I be able to say at the end of 2009 that we have worked hard and accomplished much for Jesus because we acknowledged God’s grace working in our lives?
Why not attend worship at Kaplan Baptist Church on 400 North Trahan? Sunday School--9:30 AM; Sunday Morning Worship--10:30 AM; Sunday Evening Worship--5 PM; Wednesday Prayer and Bible Study--6:30PM. We are doing a verse by verse study on the Book of Revelation each Wednesday.