New Year 2006/2007

Posted on 12/31/2006 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

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TRANSCRIPT:

Good morning, and welcome to our New Year's Eve service! It's an honor to gather together with you on this last day of 2006, as we honor God with the first and last of our time -- the last of the old year, and the first of the new year.

The worship team can come up now, and as they come, let's all stand to our feet and begin this service with prayer.

Lord God, thank you for giving us this past year, one whole year of opportunities to glorify your name, twelve months to declare your greatness to those around us and to the nations, fifty-two weeks to please you in everything we do, say, and think about, and three hundred sixty-five days to have continually deeper, sweeter, and more intimate fellowship with you.

Today we celebrate this time you've given us, and we also take a moment to ponder the opportunities to glorify Jesus and grow in him that we let pass by, so we can learn from those experiences, purposing in our hearts that in 2007, we will not let them pass us by.

And today we commit to you the coming year. May every single one of our three hundred sixty-five days find us seeking an ever-closer walk with Jesus; May every one of our fifty-two weeks find us seeking to please you in everything we do, say, and think about; and may every one of the coming twelve months find us declaring your goodness and your Salvation to those around us and to the nations.

Now accept our songs of praise. Come, Holy Spirit, and breath upon us, bringing our hearts and minds into focus upon Jesus, and preparing our hearts to receive your Word.

And it's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen!


Click-touch the pulpit for a notecard, and let's worship Jesus together with song!


EVERY MOVE I MAKE

Every move I make I make in You
You make me move Jesus
Every breath I take I breathe in You
Every step I take I take in You
You are my way Jesus
Every breath I take I breathe in You

Waves of mercy
Waves of grace
Everywhere I look
I see your face
Your love has captured me
Oh my God
This Love
How can it be?


YOU MAKE ALL THINGS NEW

You spoke and made the sunrise, to light up the very first day
You breathed across the water, and started the very first wave
It was You
You intoduced Your glory, to every living creature on earth
And they started singing, the first song to ever be heard
They sang for You

You make all things new
You make all things new

Then the world was broken, fallen and battered and scarred
You took the hopeless, the life, wasted, ruined and marred
And made it new

You make all things new
You make all things new
You redeem and You transform
You renew and You restore
You make all things new
You make all things new
And forever we will watch and worship You

You turn winter into spring
You take every living thing
And You breathe Your breath of life into it over and over again

You made the sunrise, day after day after day
But there's a morning coming, when old things will all pass away
And everyone will see

You make all things new
You make all things new
Come redeem and come transform
Come renew and come restore
You make all things new
You make all things new
And forever we will watch and worship You

Now and forever You are making all things new
You're making all things new

Hallelujah...


HE WHO BEGAN A GOOD WORK

He who began a good work in you
He who began a good work in you
Will be faithful to complete it
He'll be faithful to complete it
He who started the work
Will be faithful to complete it in you

If the struggle you're facing
Is slowly replacing
Your hope with despair
Or the process is long
And you're losing your song
In the night you can be sure
That the Lord has His hand on you
Safe and secure
He will never abandon you
You are His treasure
And He finds His pleasure in you


CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART

Create in me a clean heart oh God,
And renew a right spirit within me.
Create in me a clean heart oh God,
And renew a right spirit within me.

And cast me not away from Thy presence oh Lord,
And take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation,
And renew a right spirit within me.


Lord, we thank you for making all things new! Thank you that we who are in Christ are new not only when we first come to Jesus, but we are new every single day as we come to you for cleansing and forgiveness, and as our minds are renewed by reading and obeying your Word.

We thank you for being faithful, and that we can rest assured that no matter how side tracked we may have become, you haven't lost your way for us, and you promise that you will continue to work in us, finishing the good work you've begun in every single one of us.

And we thank you Lord, for being patient with us, merciful, forgiving, and that even though we may have messed up and missed the mark too many times to count, when we come to you in a spirit of repentance asking you to forgive us, you will honor our prayer, cleansing us from all unrighteousness, creating in us a clean heart, and restoring to us the joy of your Salvation as we patiently wait upon you.

Speak to us now by your Word. May I speak only those things which are pleasing to you, and may your Holy Spirit bring your Word to life in us today.

And it's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.


You may be seated.


Today is the last day of the year 2006. Some of us will be in watch-night services, some will be with family or friends, some of us will stay awake to greet 2007, others of us will be sound asleep.

But one thing is for sure: when tomorrow comes, it will be a new year.

Many of us will make New Year resolutions. Some of us may wait a few weeks before breaking them. An occasional resolution might be kept for good. Others of us will skip the whole resolution thing, and get right to the cabbage and beans.

But one thing is certain: when tomorrow comes, it will be a new year.

What most of us probably don't consider is that we can say the same thing every night of the year, that one thing is for sure: when tomorrow comes, it will be a new day.

And something very few of us keep in mind is that we can say the same thing every moment of every day, that one thing is for certain: when the next moment comes, it will be a new moment, a new opportunity, a new breath.

And yet since a new year comes only once every twelve months, we mark this day as a day of change, a day of new beginnings, a day of letting go of the old and embracing something new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, "Therefore if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away, and behold, all things are made new."

You may have heard this Scripture too many times to count, and perhaps it's lost its effect on you. I know I tend to read over it without stopping to ponder what it means for me.

Do you ever feel as though your past is a permanent part of your future? Do you ever feel as though you keep repeating your past over and over again? Do you ever feel as though nothing really changes in your life?

"If any one is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away, and behold, all things are made new."

Have you ever wondered why it's so hard to forget the past, and why it is even more difficult to break free from its effects on our thoughts, perceptions, and actions?

As a human race, we continue to repeat history, going through the same cycles and making the same horrible mistakes.

And the direction of the human race is the result of the choices of individuals; the choices of mankind are the result of the choices made every day by you, and by me.

And so it is with the Church. When a true revival or a great move of God sweeps the Body of Christ, we see from history it has always been preceeded by a call to holiness, a call to repentance, a call to fasting and prayer, and a call to walking in the Spirit of God.

"If any one is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away, and behold, all things are made new."

And so today, as I ponder the past year, do I see that God has had men and women, events, circumstances, and Scripture step on my toes, prick my heart, or shake me up in some way?

I know he has. And because he has been shaking old habits, attitudes, activities, and other things out of my life, I know that means he has something new in mind, something better, something that will move me forward on the path he has laid before me, and therefore something that will help move the Church in the direction he wants to take her.

How about you? What has God been doing or using in your life to change your heart, your mind, your actions, your attitudes, your habits, and your life? You know, because he has been shaking your old habits, attitudes, activities, and other things out of your life, that means he has something new in mind, something better, something that will move you forward on the path he has laid out before you, and therefore something that will help move the Church in the direction he wants to take her.

After all, "If any one is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away, and behold, all things are made new."

I know many times in my life I've felt as though every day is the same thing, every week is the same routine, every month is a repeat of the month before, and every year is an increasingly boring rerun.

Perhaps I've felt that way in those times because I was not walking as close to Jesus as I should have been. Perhaps I had stopped passionately running after him. Perhaps I had grown comfortable in my faith and had checked into Complacency Motel, not straying from the path, but not purposely walking forward.

Perhaps I've felt as though nothing is changing because I simply was unaware of what was happening behind the scenes, perhaps in the rearranging of things, or by the quiet, dry times in which God was waiting for me to learn to rest and wait in his presence, continuing to do what he has already told me to do instead of insisting he change his orders in my own timing.

I don't know where you are today, or what God is doing in your life. But I do know he is doing something in you, he is preparing you for what's coming next.

You may be at the time of waiting, or at the time of shaking, or stepping over the threshold of something new. But wherever you are, this one thing is most certainly true:

"If you are in Christ, you are a new creation. Old things have passed away, and behold, all things are made new."

I'm quite excited about this year that's about to begin. I believe as a ministry and as a body of believers, things are about to start happening.

God has been bringing the right people together, people he has prepared and chosen for "such a time as this." And this applies to every single one of you hearing or reading this message -- you are not here by accident, you are not just a perchance afterthought wandering by. God has a very specific and important part for you to play, a job for you to do, something that is part of your God-given nature and your deepest, most precious callings and gifts.

And wherever he leads you, it will be the best place for you to carry out his plans and walk on his path for you, and it will help to advance the Kingdom of God.

One thing I see coming for this world-wide body of believers here in the virtual world is a very intense focus on reaching the lost, obeying Jesus' command in Matthew 28:19-20 when he says, "Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you."

Jesus was basically saying, "Go everywhere and make disciples of everyone who will follow."

When Jesus walked the earth in his physical body, what did he do? He healed the sick, raised the dead, preached about a real and eternal hell, a perfect and everlasting heaven, and about true repentance of the heart and faith in him as the only way to the Father.

And he taught his disciples, including you and me, how to live in a way that pleases God and brings us into closer fellowship with him.

So why should we come up with a different agenda, thinking we have more important things to do than what Jesus considers important?

His focus was reconciliation with God through grace and forgiveness, and then increasingly intimate fellowship with God through him, as we walk the narrow road to life, the road of death to the flesh and life to the spirit.

And so we read in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, "And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; Which means that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not counting their trespasses against them; and he has committed unto us the declaration of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God is making an appeal through us: we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."

If you have accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then you have been entrusted with the declaration, or ministry, of reconciliation. And what does this passage say? "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not counting their trespasses against them; and he has committed unto us the declaration of reconciliation."

It was for the lost and dying, which we all were before we came to Jesus, to whom God is sending us as ambassadors of Christ, declaring reconciliation to God through Jesus Christ.

So let's strengthen our vision in 2007 to bring the presence of God and the message of a personal relationship with Jesus in the virtual world, by passionately pursuing the declaration of the message of reconciliation with God.

2007 will be a year of soul-winning and discipling. And therefore 2007 must also be a year of prayer, a year of walking more closely with Jesus than ever before, a year of letting go of the old and pursuing the new things God has for our lives.

And I leave you with this: as we leave 2006 behind, let's learn from but leave behind what has happened, both good and bad, and let's look straight ahead of us, keeping our eyes on Jesus and thereby staying on the path he has laid before us.

And if you have not yet been reconciled to God through Christ, if you don't know that you know that if your next breath was your last, you'd be ready to meet God face to face, then let 2006 fall behind you, along with all your sins, all your excuses, all your doubts, all your fears, and let 2007 mark your entrance into the Kingdom of God.

Jesus willingly came to earth, put on mortal flesh, and poured out his blood for you so that you could have fellowship restored with God, that fellowship for which you were created and for which the deepest, emptiest part of you cries out.

And it's really as simple as opening your heart to Jesus and asking him to come inside and make you brand new, for he has promised you today, "If you are in Christ, you will be a new creation. Old things will pass away, and behold, all things will be made new."

And as the ministry team comes and stands across the front, I would like to ask you now: Be reconciled to God! Accept the sacrifice for you of Jesus, the only way to the Father. Answer his knocking on your heart's door. Open your door to him today.

Whether you're already walking with Jesus or whether today is your day to finally open the door to him, I would like everyone to pray with me in your own words, talking to God with your own mouths. Don't type your prayer right now, just pray along with me now...

Jesus, forgive me for my sins. I accept the sacrifice you made for me. I accept your gift of Salvation. I accept your gift of reconciliation to God. Come into my heart Jesus, and make me a new creation. Let the old stuff in my life, my shame, my guilt, my failures, and my own ways, all pass away; and make me a brand new creation! Be the Lord of my life, and fill me with your Holy Spirit. Thank you Jesus! Amen.

This altar is open. If God has spoken to you today in any way, then make your way to the altar, and let's have a time of prayer in the presence of the Lord.

If you just gave your heart to Jesus or if you need prayer or ministry, please instant message one of the ministry team.

After this time of ministry we'll all meet next door for a time of fellowship, so please nobody leave. Come, and let's let go of the old, embracing the new things God has in store for us this coming year. Come!