How to Excel in the New Year by Marvin D. Patterson

How to Excel in the New Year
Marvin Patterson
Philippians 3:13-14

Attention: I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Here we are at the beginning of a brand new year, the year 2011. Are you excited about the possibilities of this upcoming year? God has great things planned for you, and your family, and our church here at Grace Baptist! But He will do His part if we will do our part! We must pray like it all depends upon God, and we must work like we believe that God wants us to work. Maybe you had a rough year during this past year! It could have been family problems, or sickness, or job difficulties, or emotional struggles. Maybe you were laid off from your job, or your children or grandchildren went away from the Lord. Maybe you lost a loved one during this past year, and there is an empty place in your heart this morning! Maybe your financial situation took a turn for the worst! I am sure that we could all say that there were some good days in this past years, and there were some trying, testing days as well.

The good news for you this morning is that you have a brand new start in life! This is the first Sunday of a brand new year, and there is always freshness in the air for new plans and goals around new years celebration. Some make New Years resolutions, and the number 1 resolution is to loose weight! That is a good resolution but the problem is that most people go off of that one about the second week of January! Wanda wanted some money to pick up some groceries the other day and asked me for some money. I said, ''Where did all the groceries go that you just bought the other day?'' She said, ''Turn sideways and look in the mirror.'' Ouch! Are your clothes a little tighter this morning? There is something about the Christmas holidays that always seems to make my clothes shrink! Maybe the darkness in the closet finally shrinks them!

Someone has said, ''People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.''

For example, we begin a New Year by saying, ''I'm going loose weight,'' yet March rolls around and the diet books are sitting on the shelf unread and we are ten pounds heavier.

We say, ''I'm going to start exercising'' and by May, the stair stepper and NordicTrack is in the closet gathering dust.'' We say we are going to reduce debt, but by June we are worried about how we are going to pay for the diet books and exercise machines we bought on our credit cards.

Many decide to quit drinking or smoking as a New Years Resolution.I read about a pastor, the other day, who was winding up his temperance sermon with great favor. He said, ''If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and throw it into the river.'' And the congregation cried, ''Amen!''

He shouted, ''And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd take it and throw it in the river.'' And the congregation cried, ''Amen!'' ...

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