A NEW YEAR? OR JUST ANOTHER YEAR?
2016 Was a Historical year. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series, and Donald J. Trump won the presidency of the United States. I know 2017 is going to be a year of change and success for our country, the church, and for individuals who embrace the opportunities that lay before us. 100 years ago in 1917 this was the state of our nation and the church. Woodrow Wilson, a Presbyterian like our president elect , was leading America. He and his counsel declared war on Germany in 1917. It was a time much like today. People were demonstrating in the streets and tragedies and deaths were occurring daily. An explosion in Pennsylvania took the lives of 133 people. A tornado in Illinois killed 101 people. Three hundred acres of land was burned in the great fire of Atlanta. But churches were packed to capacity and it was a time of spiritual revolution and revival. The famous preacher Billy Sunday was drawing huge crowds. One of his sermons the week after war was declared was entitled “A Patriotic One”. That sermon is much needed today as we watch spoiled children burn our flag and famous athletes sit down or take a knee while our flag is raised and our national anthem is played. So you can see things have not changed in society in the last one hundred years. There has never been a good time to follow your dream, make a change, or pursue success. It’s not going to be easier next year, but it is going to be possible. As Joshua took over for Moses God gave him the plan for success.
Joshua 1:8 Meditate and observe to do what is written in this book. You will make your way prosperous and you will have good success.
We live in a generation that has been indoctrinated by colleges to pursue socialism. This is the ideal that you don’t have to work hard or do right in order to prosper and be successful. Professors have given birth to a generation of lazy people with no vision and motivation. This thinking has even influence the church to become self –serving instead of soul winning. We need reformation, renewal, and revival. In the word SUCCESS you have seven keys to a new level in 2017.
S–set goals in God have will and write them down! Nothing has life until it is written. If you want to lose 30lbs. write it down. If your church is 500 and you want to reach 700 write it down. If you want a raise on the job, or more business write it down. We know it is God’s will for us to prosper so write your goals accordingly.
U-use a written plan! After you establish your goals then write down a plan of action. How will you lose the weight? Reduce calories, exercise, etc. This will work in every area of life.
C-cultivate inner strength! You do this through prayer and meditation of scripture. This was the instruction given to Joshua. Look at verse nine’
Joshua 1:9 Be strong and very courageous! Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed!
C–confess who you are in Christ! I am a new creation in Christ. I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. I am ready for anything, and equal to anything through Christ that infuses me with inner strength.
E–effect a positive change! Nothing changes until we change them. If it’s going to be it’s up to me. I have to make decisions that result in change. Many can change their financial situation by giving more and managing better.
S–set into motion your imagination.
IICor. 4:18 says things we can’t see are eternal.
Rom. 4:17 Says God called things that be not as though they already were.
One of our most powerful abilities is to visualize. I believe what we visualize will materialize.
S–seek to develop stronger faith in God and yourself! This is what God was saying to Joshua. Exposure to God’s word causes our faith to grow. Great things are accomplished by great faith in God and ourselves. As we enter this new year we will also need a MAP as well as GPS.
My prayer is that I have shared something that will encourage you. I know the year before us is going to be a tremendous year. We must declare war on the statis-quo and refuse to accept business as usual. God is attempting to visit and pour out his spirit in His church. My desire this year is for THE FIRE TO FALL…..THE WIND TO BLOW….AND THE RIVER TO FLOW.
Dr. James Payne