Reflections and Resolutions

Posted on 01/04/2009 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (may not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***

Public Prayer Requests:

Please pray for Jadyn Westland as she continues her ministry on SL. She will be restarting a weekly prayer meeting and will be creating opportunities to help those who deal with temptations through a book study by Charles Stanley.
   –Salome Longfall

i need all the prayer that i can get thanks sr
   –jim Shelman


Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.



I love to be in Your presence
With Your people singing praises
I love to stand and rejoice
Lift my hands and raise my voice
You set my feet to dancing
You fill my heart with song
You give me reason to rejoice


I will bless the Lord at all times
I will bless the Lord at all times
His praise shall continually
     be in my mouth


I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul rejoice!
Take joy my King
In what You hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear

*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***

Today, I'm going to make the message extremely short, since I got hit by a nasty virus last week and my voice is almost gone. With the Lord's help, I'll get through today's abbreviated message, then we can have a time of prayer, ministry, and fellowship.

The title of today's message is "Reflections and Resolutions."

Yesterday on the way home from Kentucky, my wife brought the following passage to my attention, and commented that it was a great thought for the new year.

I'm going to ask my wife to read this for us. Mariposa, would you please read Ecclesiastes chapter three, verses one through eight for us.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1 To everything there is a season,

A time for every purpose under heaven:

2 A time to be born, And a time to die;
      A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill, And a time to heal;
      A time to break down, And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
      A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
      A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain, And a time to lose;
      A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear, And a time to sew;
      A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
8 A time to love, And a time to hate;
      A time of war, And a time of peace.

You see, there is a time and a season for everything. We like to think of the new year as a time of new beginnings, the mistakes and shortcomings of the old year as a thing of the past. And perhaps you've been in a season in your life; a season of death, a season of tearing down, a season of mourning, a season of loss, a season of tearing, a season of silence, a season of war.

But all things come for a season. And if you just hold on to Jesus and follow where he leads, then the fact that you're in these seasons is proof positive that another season is coming. A season of new birth, a season of harvest, a season of healing, a season of building up, a season of laughter, a season of dancing, a season of gathering, a season of embracing, a season of prosperity, a season of keeping, a season of mending, a season of speaking out, a season of love, and a season of peace.

God knows the times of your life. He knows the seasons through which he is taking you. Just trust in him, and in due season, he will bring it all to pass.

This Christmas and New Year's, my wife and I spent two wonderful weeks with my parents. One thing we didn't do was make New Year's resolutions. After all, they generally don't serve any real purpose except to sound good and make yourself feel a little better about yourself for a very short time.

I would like to suggest something a little different to you today. January 1st has come and gone. And if you made any resolutions, they likely will continue to fade with time, because your day of resolve will continue to fade into the past.

But there is a day of resolutions the Bible refers to as "Today." "Now" is the acceptable time. "Today" is the day of salvation. "There is a new day of rest.... (called) Today."

Resolutions you've made in the past are powerless to change anything at all in your life. It's only those resolutions you make today that matter.

My wife and I are going to take off some excess pounds. And there was a point in the very not-too-distant past that we resolved to do that. But if I don't resolve today that I am going to excercise and eat only what I should, then yesterday's resolutions mean nothing.

The same goes for spiritual things. Sometimes we go to the altar and resolve that we are going to start spending time praying and reading the Bible every single day. But as the days and weeks pass, that resolve slips further and futher into the distance, and we begin to falter.

But there are two resolutions we can make today that will matter.

First, you can resolve that today, January 4th, 2009, you give you life to Jesus, and you accept his free gift of Salvation through faith in Him alone. This carries with it a resolution that you will continue to walk with him and continue to give him the driver's seat in your life. You will continue to follow where he leads and obey what he says.

Second, you can resolve that tomorrow, January 5th, 2009, you will renew this resolution. And that if and when you fail, you will get up again and move forward.

So when tomorrow comes, whether that tomorrow is Monday morning, or whether it is 20 years down the road, even if you've faltered for a long period of time, you will remember what you have decided today, and will keep your word today.

Each day you should say that today I will spend time with the Lord, I will talk with him, worship him, fellowship with him, and read his Word. Today I will follow where he leads. Today I will obey his voice. I will walk with Jesus today.

And if you do this, then every day is a brand new beginning. As the Scripture says, "If any one is in Christ, he (or she) is a new creation; old things have passed away, and behold, all things are made new."

Let's all gather at the altar as an act of committing ourselves to this resolution, one which we will renew every single day of our lives.

Get out of your seats, and come gather at the front.

If you need prayer or ministry, instant message someone on the ministry team. If you need to leave, you're free to do so, and if you can stay, you're invited to meet us in the room to your left for a time of fellowship in a few minutes.

Come, and let's renew or make for the first time that resolution of life!