A Prosperous New Year 2012

Pastor Terry Inman

01-01-12

 

I believe it is significant that News Years Day this year falls on Sunday, “The Lords Day”. The last book of the bible says, John was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” when he received the revelations of Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega, the begging and the end. If there was ever a time we need to begin the year “in the spirit, on the Lord’s Day” it is now”!

I’m not talking about getting into speculative predictions about the next 365 days. I want to talk to you have how to have a prosperous new year.      “I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health—that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul!” 3 John 2 (MSG)

The title of my message may seem a bit incongruent with reality in our wild world. Last year was a record year for natural disasters and catastrophic loss. The economy seems stalled in the worst recession since the great depression. Governments are in turmoil; unrest is widespread!

Most of us are feeling stress in one way or another. Some of us may be feeling out of balance, overwhelmed, or even burned out. It’s difficult to offer a steady hand to those in need when we feel so unstable ourselves.

All kinds of weird apocalyptic scenarios are slated for 2012. Last year’s “Judgment day” has apparently been redefined and rescheduled. Some new age clairvoyants say the ancient Mayan calendar forecasts some kind of “spiritual transition to a new era” on December 21st.

The predictions of Nostradamus suggest a global collapse. Some scenarios suggest cataclysmic solar flares or earth’s collision with a black hole or an asteroid. Others call it all pseudoscience.  Movies, television, and social networking sites are buzzing with apocalyptic chatter. People are curious.   

Life here on earth will most likely go on unless the Lord returns. We always live in anticipation of that blessed hope. According the bible, confusion, conflicts and catastrophes will continue right up to the “end of the age”. Jesus compared the “last days” to the intensity of labor pains.

When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away. Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.”       Luke 21.9-11(NIV)  

There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. Luke 21.25-26 (NIV)   

While many people live in fear during these turbulent times, we can depend on God’s eternal word for hope, stability and balance.

We are not victims I believe we have been selected “for such a time as this”. The bible says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”  Ecc. 3:11 (NIV)

Jesus will give us the faith, the finances, the wisdom and the peace to face the future and fearlessly accomplish what he has called us to do. “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18.8

After Jesus described the perplexing events preceding the end He warned his followers. “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.

For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21.34-36 (NIV)   

I seriously believe God wants his people to flourish not faint, to prosper not collapse. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer. 29.11 (NIV)

The biblical definition of prosperity is a bit different than that of our materialistic culture. The prosperity gospel is not just all about wealth.

John says it so well. I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health—that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul!” 3 John 2 (MSG)

I don’t have any resolutions but my personal goal for 2012 is balance. God wants us to thrive not just stay alive. He wants us to experience success physically, mentally, emotionally and of course spiritually!

The key to a prosperous year will be keeping life in balance!

Paul blessed the Thessalonian believers with this. “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. 1Th. 5.23 (NIV)    

In church we hear a lot about our spiritual life. In this church we also hear about living a healthy emotional life. We also believe and pray often for physical healing but one thing that seems lacking in the church is teaching on living healthy physical lives. They are all related.

The first and greatest commandment includes loving and serving God with our whole being. “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27 (NIV)

Certainly we connect with God through His spirit that lives in us. But he relates to us as fully integrated human beings. He created us with spiritual intellectual, emotional and biological life. 

The bible says his word penetrates our whole being. “The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb. 4.12

So how can we prosper, and be in good health as our soul prospers? We know that we have limits, but God is limitless. What we can’t do – He can do. When we’re out of energy, he works behind the scenes. He’s created our lives to be in balance even in stressful times.

Those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31(NASB)

Our Father designed us to get adequate rest. He wants us to observe a Sabbath, get solitude, eat right, get exercise, pace ourselves, and understand our human limitations.

Knowing our limitations doesn’t mean that we have little faith. Knowing that “through Him, we can do all things” is recognizing our weaknesses and depending on Him to help us in “everything.”

How are you feeling about what you do with work, family and ministry? Will the new-year be more walking on the edge of panic or peace?

How about taking a year to get into the habit of finding balance. Don’t give up half way through January. Give yourself room to make some mistakes? Let the God’s Spirit be your life coach. He will pace you.

Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”  Mt.11:28-29 (NIV)

Let me share ten very simple and very practical things you can do to prosper physically, emotionally and spiritually.  While 2012 is still young   ask God to help you calendar the balance you need in your life.

1.  Make time for spiritual disciplines. (prayer, bible reading )

2.  Make time for physical exercise. (30 min. 4–5 days a week)

3.  Make time for adequate sleep. (6–9 hours per night)

4.  Make time for healthy food. (Cherish the temple of Holy Spirit)  

5.  Make time for your marriage. (dates, conversations, and celebrations)

6.  Make time for loving your kids. (school, sports, music)  

7.  Make time for refreshing and stimulating friendships.

8.  Make time for a Sabbath. (a day off and a vacation not just a trip)

9.  Make time for a hobby. (good habit or creative interest)

10. Make time for mental health. (Ask for help if you need it.)  

2012 could be the year you will develop life skills that will give you a greater sense of joy and fulfillment. That’s prosperity! God created day and night, weeks and months, years and seasons to give us a fresh start.

The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day.”  Lamentations 3:22-23 (NASB)