Bible Lesson: New Year
Bible Text: Philippians 3:12-14 KJV
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
The dear Apostle Paul spoke these words near the end of his life saying “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:”
The man who wrote 14 of our New Testament Epistles, said of himself....
II Corinthians 11:23-28 KJV
23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
Perhaps one of today's most sinister spiritual diseases is that of complacency.
One's spiritual life having arrived at a place of complete satisfaction.
I Corinthians 10:12 KJV
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
Life in Jesus Christ is “not,” static, but dynamic.
The beloved Apostle Paul, knew this to be true.
A mans last words are no doubt his most sincere, and most certainly true of the Apostle.
His words remind us how to face this new year of uncertainty.
FACE THE NEW YEAR WITH CONFESSION:
Philippians 3:12 KJV
“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect...”
Matthew 6:12 NLT (Jesus)
"...and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us."
Lest there be any mistake, Our Lord herein includes everyone! You and I have sinned.
We have transgressed the laws of God. We have done this in at least one of three ways. Sin by innocence, sin by neglect, or sin by design.
We have transgressed.
Sin against another.
Matthew 5:24 KJV
Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
I Corinthians 11:31 KJV
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
And not only should we confess to men, but to God.
Psalm 51:4 KJV (King David)
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
FACE THE NEW YEAR WITH A GODLY GUIDANCE:
Philippians 3:12 KJV
“... but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
Psalm 25:5,9 KJV
5 Lead me in thy Truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
9 The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.
Psalm 27:11 KJV
Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path..."
Psalm 48:14 KJV
For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our Guide even unto death.
Psalm 73:24 KJV
Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
Psalm 139:9,10 KJV
9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
Psalm 143:10 KJV
Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
Isaiah 30:21 KJV
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the Way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Isaiah 42:16 KJV
And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
Luke 1:78,79 KJV (Zachariah)
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Day Spring (Jesus) from on high hath visited us,
79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
John 16:13 KJV (Christ speaking of the Holy Spirit.)
Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.
FACE THE NEW YEAR WITH A FORWARD LOOK:
Philippians 3:13 KJV
“... forgetting those things which are behind...”
The Apostle, never let the heartaches or disappointments of yesterday change his direction.
His sight was fixed on heaven, and the Saviour who awaited him there.
Genesis 19:15,17,24-26 KJV
15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life;
look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
Isaiah 1:4 KJV (The people of Judah.)
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
Jeremiah 7:24 KJV (The people of Judah.)
But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
To look back, is to go back, and to go back, is to forsake the way of the Lord. As the people of God, our way lies ahead, our way is the leading of our faithful Shepherd.
Matthew 16:24 KJV
Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
John 10:27 KJV
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me:
John 12:26 KJV
If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honor.
FACE THE NEW YEAR WITH DETERMINATION:
Philippians 3:13,14 KJV
13 “...this one thing I do, ...reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
I Corinthians 2:2 KJV
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
Hebrews 12:1-4 KJV
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
Starting the new year with a heart of Confession, Godly Guidance, a Forward Look, and spiritual Determination, will put us on the path way of God's blessing.
This year, may we make the Lord Jesus Christ, the Master of our life.
John 13:13 KJV
Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.