Summary of the Sermon by Senior Pastor Djohan Handojo at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 31 December 2017.
A Season of New Beginning
January comes from the Latin word Janur – facing the future, with our back facing the past.
As we enter into a new season, we need to prepare ourselves for the season. As we enter into the winter season, we need to prepare ourselves for winter with appropriate clothing.
With the beginning of the New Year, we need to prepare our hearts. Change begins from the heart. If there is a desire to change, something will change. We need to make an impact to others.
The history of mankind began in the Garden of Eden. Everything was so good. Adam and Eve enjoyed the presence of God. There were lots of contentment and joy. However, sin caused them to be cast out of the Garden of Eden.
We have a life changing moment with Jesus when we choose Him to be our Lord and Savior.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." (Revelation 21:4-5, ESV)
And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. (Revelation 21:6, ESV)
The Greek word for “new” is “Kainos”. One thing we need to know is that God never fails and He makes all things new. As we enter into 2018, we can expect new things coming our way.
1. New Spiritual Life
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV)
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18, ESV)
Are we transformed or still in our old self? We are transformed to be more Christ-like each day as we choose to obey Him. We need to remove our old self and put on a new man in Christ. God wants us to be a blessing to others.
No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved." (Matthew 9:16-17, ESV)
Sometimes we go through difficult situations because we are being processed to strip away and filter the bad attitude. We need to be filtered of our bad habits and bad attitude just like the Israelites when they left Egypt. We need to stop sinning and allow God to work in our lives. In order to keep our lives away from sin, we need to read the Word of God daily and meditate upon it.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:8, ESV)
Share the Word of God with each other in your COOL. Our past may be still chasing us like the Pharaoh chasing the Israelites, but one thing is sure – that when we look to God, He will give us the breakthrough we need. Let us be transformed by the renewing of our minds through reading the Word of God daily.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2, ESV)
Our problems may divert our attention but we need to keep our eyes on God. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. (Proverbs 23:18, ESV)
We live in the world filled with problems. We need to keep our trust and hope in the Lord as we go through the challenges of life. Each challenge allows God to work something new in our lives and makes our faith stronger and deeper with God.