Crossing Over to 2008

30 12 2007

by Pastor Norman S. Lao

[Outline borrowed from Pastor Abner Batan of Inter-Faith Global Church]

Joshua 3:1-5

Introduction

They have declared the year 2008 as the “Year of the Rat.” There are a lot of predictions from so-called psychics and spiritists concerning the coming year. Most of these predictions vary from bad to worse. However, we say that 2008 is the Year of the Lord and it is full of Promise, Hope and Blessings!

Joshua’s statement, “Tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you” fittingly applies to us today as we prepare to Cross Over into a New Year. Only the Jordan River stands between the Israelites and the Land of Promise, the land known to be Flowing with Milk and Honey, a Land of Abundance.

Unless we cross over we cannot receive God’s best. There are three important things we need to do as we cross over.

1. We Must Forget the past.

A. Of course, there are things we should not forget such as, firstly, the important lessons we have learned in 2007. We need those lessons in order to gain the victory God has in store for us the following year. Secondly, we must never forget our Christian moral heritage and, thirdly, the blessings that God has showered us with this past year.

B. “What we mean by forgetting the past is that we should not allow our past experiences to negatively influence and affect us. Both past successes and failures have the potential of wrecking us, shrinking us to a status of unproductiveness.”

C. On the one hand, past successes may negatively make us feel comfortable and feel a false sense of contentment that will prevent us from moving further forward. Do not be content with the successes you have gained – God has greater successes in store for you this coming New Year!

On the other hand, failures may discourage us. Friends, remember “failure is not final!” You don’t need to stay in your failures. The Bible says, the “Righteous man may fall seven times, but he gets up seven times, too.” You are not a failure until you refuse to get up.

2. We Must Consecrate the present.

A. Before Israel could experience the amazing things the Lord would perform in their midst, they were commanded first to consecrate themselves. To consecrate means to offer or give yourself to God. To consecrate means to declare that you are a vessel of God and no one else’s. To consecrate means to be set apart. To consecrate means to be under God. A consecrated person does not belong to himself, but to God.

B. Likewise, before we can experience the amazing things that God has promised to those who love Him, w must first consecrate ourselves, our time, talent, treasure, work – our whole life to God today. We need to consecrate areas in our life where Jesus is not totally Lord. It maybe your love life, your thought life, your financial life. Whatever it is, you need to consecrate them to God if you want God to do amazing things in your life and in the life of this church.

3. We Must Appropriate the future.

A. It is exciting to wait for God to work amazing things. But waiting idly is contrary to God’s plan. The Israelites together marched forward into the Jordan River in obedience to God’s command. In like manner, we have to launch out in faith in order to receive what God has promised.

B. It should be noted that wonderful things do not happen when risks are not taken by faith. There is a common principle in business: “Small risk, small profit. Big risk, big profit. Bigger risk, bigger profit.” We made a step of faith when we built our church building. We had nothing — except God’s promise to never leave us nor forsake us. Now we have a sanctuary we can call our own. If we did not make that step of faith last year, we would still be renting our place of worship and still be under the mercy (or whims) of the owner of the building. But because we made a step of faith, because we crossed our Jordan God gave us the victory!

Conclusion

Let us consecrate ourselves to the lord today and expect God to do amazing things in 2008 for His people.

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