A New Years Message
Matthew, 6:26-34
by Cooper Abrams

Introduction:    Many of us begin a new year thinking about what it will bring, wondering what kind of year it will be for us.

    1. The newspapers and TV news programs are predicting events of the coming year. When I was in Beaver, Utah a Mormon prophet in Parowan, Utah predicted war in 1988, and went before the city council to urge they city make preparations. He was looking to the new year and wanted the city to prepare for it.

    Are you concerned about the coming year and planning to make preparations for it?

    2. Many will make "New Years Resolutions". The idea is a good one in that if I resolve to do better in this coming year than in the past year I will have a better year. Most of understand that resolving to do something is a lot easier than doing it.

    3. The Bible has always taught an important truth...that truth simply stated is that "How I live the present determines how I will live the future."

    4. Many are looking for the one goose that lays the golden egg, looking to win the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes or a lottery.

    ILLUS: In Dec. 30, 2004) a woman 94 years was reported as suing the Lottery Commission. Seems she won several million dollars, but found out that the Lottery only pays the money out in payments stretching out over twenty years! She say she wants her money now, because she will not be around long enough to collect it. What a cruel twist of fate that she wins millions of dollars and it too old to spend it.


    A. Few things in our lives happen by chance or accident.

      1. Many talk about a "fixed" destiny or fate...like we have no control over the future. These folks have their head in the sand! There are many things we do not have control over....like the weather, the economy, world politics, etc.

                But the one thing we are responsible to God for is how we live our lives.....and we can control that no matter what the circumstances we find ourselves in. No matter how good or bad things get we can love God and live for Him.

      2. Admittedly some things happen by chance. We are subject to the actions of others. Other's sins and actions can effect us and cause us great distress and trouble. We cannot control what others do, but we can control how we respond and how we react.

    However, our future to a large extent is the result of how we live today and the decisions made today.

      3. For example:

        a. Thief becomes a thief, and takes the lifestyle when he chooses to steal for the first time.

        b. Alcoholic- chooses to take that first drink.

        c. Smoker - lights the first cigarette.

        d. Drug Addict - take a drug for the first time.

        e. Crooked Public official - makes the first hidden deal, takes the first bribe.

        f. Broken home - could begin in many ways, by going into marriage having selfish reasons, or failing to be fully committed to ones partner, or simply choosing the wrong mate.

        g. Failed businessman - did not fail in one day, but failed by a string of wrong decisions.v h. Some folks wind up in poverty because they:

          [1] Started with the idea the world owed them a living. [2] Choosing the wrong mate. [3] Choose not to get along with an employer or fellow workers. [4] Many other reasons...all willing choices. Greed, laziness, etc. i. Allowing bitterness or having an unforgiving spirit can ruin a person's life. j. Miss handling our money, not saving, as a Christian failure to tithe and give thanksgiving offerings to the Lord.

        4. Small errors, produce larger problems, and many small errors compound into large ones, piling up and causing major problems.

        5. The fact is little happens by chance most of time we consciously choose our own future by the choices we make.

    B. There are things which we cannot control! V34 Problems will arise that we have no control over.

      1. Other people's choices can effect us. The victim of the thief, doesn't chose to be robbed. Example: The child has little to do with how his parents choose to raise him.

                Sometimes the place a person is born can determine his life. Being born in West Virginia mountain coal town...you become a miner. Being born in Utah most of the time means being a Mormon. If you parents have money mostly you will go to college and live higher material life than someone who has parents who are poor. These things are not always true....people can overcome circumstances, but often there are things we have little control over.

      2. There verse is saying this: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself, Each day has enough trouble of its own."

        a. Trouble is a part of life...it will come. We all live in a world where everything is effected by sin.

        b. The verse is saying NOT TO WORRY...TODAY!

        c. What we do today - how we handle today will govern to a large degree - how we cope with what is coming tomorrow.

      IN OTHER WORDS: We are in a actually preparing for tomorrow right now.

      How we live today, will determine how we live tomorrow.

    C. Sickness? What about things we don't have control over?

      ILLUS: What if cancer, or a ill health comes? I once pastored a church in Windsor, VA and there was a woman in the church named Mrs. Lizzie Cook. Year before I met her she had contracted cancer of the throat, the surgery she had removed her voice box and lost her voice. However, she knew the Lord, and trusted in Him, she prayed and she believed her voice would return, . however, no one else did. She told me the story of what God had done for her. Years of prayer passed in which she asked the Lord to restore her voice. Year after year went by and nothing happened. Then one day she receive a phone call from her doctor she had not seen in many years. His news was that there was a small possibility of help and new surgical procedure. She said, "Its come! Now I will speak " and she had the operation. For sometime after the operation she could not speak, yet she told everyone she would.. . . then it happened., one day she began to began to speak Even today, I can remember her raspy voice telling me how she loved the Lord and testifying of what He had done for her.

                It never devastated her, she years before she had trusted Christ, and was faithful to Him, and when the trouble came, she was fully prepared to handle it with God's help. She never quit trusting that the outcome was in God's hands.

                The Scriptures were her comfort, her faith in God her strength, she handled the problem and was a testimony of God's Grace, and of a live given to Him. Most called her crazy!

                I left the church in 1983 and moved again, but in July, 1985, I was in the area and visited her. This time she was confined to bed with cancer again, this time in her chest. Discouraged? NO WAY! God had been her companion for many years, she was prepared to die. Her life was a life of glory to Her Savior.

                Her faith and faithfulness to the Lord, stood her well, through years of sickness and eventually through death's doors. She was a poor uneducated tenant farmer's wife. Most people did not like her. Yet...how wonderfully rich she was. I often think of her and thank God for the privilege He gave me to have known her.

    D. If we invest our lives with the Lord, no matter what the future circumstances are, we will be secure.

      1. If I invest the effort to obey the God's word and to pattern my life as God directs...then who's hands is my future in?

                The Answer is clear isn't it: I am in God's capable hands...for sure!

      2. If I study the Bible, I will learn truth that I can base my daily decisions on... I'll have better incites into life and my faith will be strengthened. Yet, the opposite is true also.

      ILLUS: I once read the story of an experience a preacher had while visiting a poor family in the slums of his city. Outside on the filthy sidewalk a little child played with a really dirty doll. She was sitting in a dirty mud hole, made by the broken pavement. She was smiling, and seemed content playing with her dolly. He said the thought came to him how so many people were like the little girl, content to live in world's dirt...seemingly blind to their deplorable circumstances and not knowing any better.

                So many people, many who are professing Christians, live such dreary lives missing all the riches and blessing that God offers.

                 Many people live their lives without Christ, saying to themselves, "Well I'm doing all right, when in fact, they in not trusting Christ, they fail to learn how much better live is with Christ."

    Think with me! If I:

      1. Study the Bible won't I learn how to better live my life to the fullest and learn how to be content, satisfied with God's provision for me. Would I not avoid the spiritual slums of this world? Would I not be able to overcome the sins of life and temptations that we all experience?

      2. If I attend church, faithfully, I will have not the fellowship and encouragement of other Christians. I will grow spiritually, be better father, husband, pastor, friend and be able to help others.

      3. If I want a happy, peaceful, prosperous abundant life, then....I CAN HAVE IT. . . by living as Gods says is best.

      4. If I faithfully put Christ first in my life with my possessions and purpose in my heart to give generously to the Lord will not the Lord take care of my needs? Will I be better off living by faith in the Lord than by my own devises. Doesn't God promise those who sow sparing will I not reap the same, or if I sow generously and sacrificially will I reap bountifully.

                  We give our lives to the Lord Jesus and we gain all the riches of God's wonderful grace. We will reap eternal rewards that will never past away.

                  How sad, that so many waste their lives on temporal things of this world. Throwing away the precious time God has given us seeking fun and material things that only last a second in time and are gone leaving us with nothing.


        1. I will be too busy to follow the Lord's instructions. Too busy, too much to do to come to church, to busy read my Bible, to study the word of God, to give my tithes and offerings to the Lord, to have little or no time to help others.

                  In other words, I can choose if I want to live without the blessings of God and to be a blessing to others.

        2. However, if I choose to live as God wants, then these things will bear their natural fruit and I will be prepared for tomorrow.

                   God has given us a real way to prepare for to morrow, to have the needed strength, wisdom and character.

        HOW? By developing those traits now!! Preparing Now!


    A. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

    B. Seek the "Kingdom of God"

      1. That's a place where God is obeyed. So we seek to obey.

      2. Place of Peace and Security.

      3. Place where God's perfect will is done.

      4. Place of abundant life, and life everlasting.

    C. "His righteousness." Often we gauge God's blessing by material things. But God's goal for us is to be righteous, which means be right with Him and in all we do. Righteousness means bring glory to the Lord and being a reflection of His grace, mercy, and salvation.

      1. It means living a faith, moral, upright life in God's will.

      2. It means to pattern our live as God directs from the Bible.

      3. It means to fight sin in our lives...repent when we fail.

      4. It means to give Christ the preeminence in our lives and let the Holy Spirit fill us and direct all we do.


              Do you want the coming year to be better? Do you want a better future. Do you want the blessing of the Lord in your life that will enable you to cope with all the problems and difficulties you will encounter?

              Do you want a happier, more fulfilled, and satisficing life?

              You can have that if you want it, but it will not just happen or fall out of the sky. Like everything in life it takes desire, dedication and then action. It takes being down the right road that will accomplish these things.

    1. To the lost person: God wants to save you and give you eternal life, desires to forgive your sin....desires to free you for the end result of that sin....want you to live in the light of his blessings.

              Today God is giving you opportunity. It's a time of decision. So many threw away today, not thinking of tomorrow, or putting it off. Sometimes they do so until it is too late. ILLUS: George Law, is pastor and a good friend who went to be with the Lord last year He pastored for many years in Virginia tells of several times he was called to the hospital or home of a dying person. He stood by the death bed of a men and women he had witnessed to many times. Once again, Brother George told them with tears in his eyes of the Lord Jesus and of God's love for them. He said he begged them to trust Christ, and all the while they knew they were dying. He said that many times, regretfully, the person replied, "Preacher its too late, I wish I could, but I just can't seem to reach God." What a tragedy to go into eternity unprepared. What a tragedy to waste one's life....rejecting our loving God and Savior. He said he thought some of these people planned to one day trust the Lord, but in the end.....waited too long.

               Was God there, Oh Yes, but years of rejecting God, bore its fruit. When the time came and they wanted too trust him, their hearts were too hard, too calloused and they went into eternity without God. That is a chilling truth. 2. Christian: You are not a island, you can choose to be faithful, or not...that's up to you...you can choose to live as you please...but be aware!

              What you sow you will reap.....If tomorrow is not prepared for, then it will over come you.

               Your decisions made today, concerning your faithfulness to the Lord, will for better or worse effect the rest of your life. Your tomorrow is actually made today.

               Your decisions effect, not only your own self, but also that lives of your children, husband or wife, friend or relative. It will effect the work of Christ in this church and this church's future.

              Sometimes when other people need us, we are not prepared and are of not help to them.

              If we chose to follow the Lord,

      1. People will be saved! 2. Families brought closer together or a broken home averted, child kept from a life of failure, loved ones can find Christ. 3. This church could grow and be a oasis in this sea of darkness to the lost and needy.


              WHAT WILL YOU DO....TODAY? Right now?

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