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How to Have a Happy New Year!

by on January 1, 2014

metanoyaHNY

1 Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:1-3

God wants you to have a Happy New Year! Here are 10 steps toward having a happy and prosperous 2014…

1. Put God first in your life. 

…in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6 

In a weird way, this almost sounds elementary, and it is, but it is these simple elementary truths that lay a strong foundation for a happy and fulfilled life. God First. It’s as simple as that. No deep doctrinal process, just as simple as including Jesus in your daily life,  & decisions. How often do you include Jesus daily? That’s really what I’m talking about. Jesus isn’t like a multi vitamin that you take in the morning and forget about the rest of the day. This is  a moment by moment walk with Jesus. He’s not part of your life, He is your life. This is the best change you can make in 2014. Take the challenge to stop making Jesus an accessory, and make him priority.

2. Face all your sins and failures in life.

Settle the sin questions in your life. You don’t have to live with guilt.

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Guilt has got to be one of the most crippling things I’ve ever seen and experienced in my life. Nothing puts life “on hold” like guilt. Like garbage, guilt rots away joy, happiness and the hope of living free. It creeps up at the worst times and serves as an internal billboard of how we have sinned. The Bible gives us some wonderful insight on how to deal with this. It tells us not to conceal our sin. (Meaning, don’t hide it and keep it to yourself) Keeping it inside will eat you up alive. What the Bible says is to “confess and renounce” our sin. That means go to Jesus, confess where you are wrong, and then stop doing it. Obviously it’s easier said than done to “just stop”,  but the idea here is to allow the Holy Spirit in you to release His power in you in order to stop. Victory will never come by “gritting your teeth”, or the power of positive thinking. Only placing your faith in what Jesus already accomplished in His finished work on Calvary will “unlock” the victorious power of the Holy Spirit in you! I thank God we don’t have to live life with guilt and condemnation. (Romans 8:1)

3. Keep your heart pure and your life clean. 

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

“keeping your heart pure” is not talking about sinless perfection, which no one on this planet can and will ever do. As long as we are on this earth, and have a sinful nature (Romans 7:18) we will never be perfectly sinless. (For those who are thinking “positionally” – trust me, I understand my “positional truth” – but I am speaking about my earthly condition.) I believe purity is talking about the ability to grow in your conviction, and to be mature enough that when you do sin, to confess and repent. To know in your heart that you are daily growing in your walk with Jesus. A pure heart is a heart that understands grace, but doesn’t abuse it. A pure heart is a heart that guards itself: allowing to come in what needs to come in “not” allowing to come in what “doesn’t” need to come in. (This is one I am currently working on, I don’t have it down yet, but I’m getting better.) I want to encourage you to become a “heart guardian” – take care of your heart.

4. Get rid of all bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. 

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35

I think we all deal with these 3 things. Even if we don’t want to admit it. In my culture, we are taught to be “tough” and not to “show weakness” but the truth is, we’ve all been hurt, lied to, and used. People who we trusted, betrayed us and those who we thought were our friends were actually enemies. If you are like me, this has happened way more times than it should have. Many times, that hurt turns into unforgiveness, then it turns to resentment (hard feelings) and then, “bitterness” digs its “deep roots into our hearts, and when that happens, You’re in trouble! Bitterness becomes the “lens” that we filter everything in life through. Bitterness from the past always affects our present and unless it’s dealt with will most certainly eat away at our future. If you aren’t careful, bitterness will permeate every area of your life: Your thoughts, decisions, reactions, plans and relationships. Bitterness will make those you love suffer for something someone else did to you. And bitterness will make you embrace anger instead of love. Bitterness will turn your whole world upside down, and you will never be happy unless people around you are as unhappy as you are. All because someone hurt you, and you never forgave. Unforgiveness is a seed, and its fruit is called bitterness. Ive been on both sides of the fence, I have hurt and I have been hurt. But one thing I have learned in my few years on this earth and in my walk with Jesus is: you have to let bitterness go, and you have to forgive people for what they have done to you. I know what you are thinking….”what the….?”  – I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s not. It is revolutionary. I know how we think, “I’m not going to forgive them and let them get away with what they did to me…” You see, but forgiveness isn’t about them. Forgiveness is about you. Forgiveness “doesn’t” release them from what they did to you. Forgiveness releases you from the “bondage of hate” that bitterness has confined you to. So ultimately, forgiveness is about your health, and your freedom, not theirs. Don’t let someone control your life by making you hate them. Someone once said, “unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  Take a step of faith, give your hurt and bitterness to Jesus, ask him to take it away from its roots, and  make a decision to forgive those “who have trespassed against you.”

Join us tonight at Metanoya Church to finish hearing the rest of this message…

Have a Happy New Year!

Pastor Jubal

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