Sermon for Sunday January 3rd, 2010

 

 New Decade - New Beginning! by George Dillahunty

Song of Songs 2:10-2:17

Rev. George R. Dillahunty
685 Grant Avenue
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452-3047

January 01, 2010

Text: Song of Solomon 2:10-17 (King James Version)

"My beloved spake, and said unto me, ’Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away: (v. 11) For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; (v. 12) The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; (v. 13) The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape, give a good smell. Arise my love, my fair one, and come away. (v. 14) O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. (v. 15) Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. (v. 16) My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies. (v. 17) Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bethel.’"

Topic: A New Decade - A New Beginning!

This is the season for new beginnings - the start of a new decade and a new year! Almighty God is a God of second chances - so let’s take Him up on it and start over - if we need to! Spiritually speaking, hibernation time is over - the time of inactivity is past - the time of no fragrance - of no buds - of no blossoms - of no fruit is gone - and, it’s time to make a new beginning! We have been like trees shorn of their foliage - we have been asleep while major attacks upon Almighty God and religion have taken place! However, all of that is behind us now; and, we can reverse the process - we can restore Almighty God to His rightful place as head of our nation - the United States of America - one nation under God - we can restore Almighty God as head of our lives - if, we have faltered along the way - or, we can make Him the head of our lives - if we have not yet done so!

It is time to do away with the old and bring in the new! As we start a new decade and a new year, it is time for newness of life, it is the spiritual springtime for our souls - the time to become fruitful - to gain foliage on our trees - it is time to produce disciples - it is time to be free once again - to have joy in our lives once again - as we serve Jesus, the Christ, as we take root in Him; and, as He abides in us! The Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 5:14 (NLT), tells the church at Ephesus and us: "And where your light shines, it will expose their evil deeds, This is why it is said, ’Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’"

Jesus, the Christ, is presented in the Gospels as a Person of surpassing beauty and impressiveness! His life should cause us to start thinking - as never before - to look at the lives of His Disciples/Apostles - to look at the lives of His followers - for they were men and women - as we are men and women - and, in them, we can see ourselves and every mistake that we can make when dealing with our Lord and Savior - Jesus, the Christ! Like them, our problem is that we are always telling Jesus, the Christ, what he should do or what He should say! We are elated when things go our way and depressed when they do not! We would save ourselves useless grief and misery if we would just stop and acknowledge the fact that He is Almighty God - all by Himself - and, He neither needs nor wants our help! We would find real happiness if we would cease making our own plans and listened to the One who really has the answers - the One with the real Plan - the Plan of Salvation - the roadway to Eternal Life with Him!

We are a blessed generation - for we have the advantage of His life - the life of Jesus, the Christ - we have the advantage of seeing the errors made by His Disciples/Apostles and His followers - we can therefore say - out of a sense of deep conviction - "Speak, Lord, for your servant heareth thee!" Having heard His voice, it is time for us to dedicate our lives to doing His Will! Jesus, the Christ, was born in the form of a man - one hundred percent God and one hundred percent man - Almighty God Incarnate - Emmanuel ("God With Us!") - He died on the Cross of Calvary for the remission of our sins - your sins and my sins - and, He rose again from the dead!

He gave His final mandate to mankind - both male and female - on the Mount of Olives - to go out and teach all nations - to bring to people everywhere all that He had given to His Disciples/Apostles and followers!~ He enables us to do so by living inside of us; and, with us - in the Power of His Holy Spirit - we only have to accept His Plan of Salvation - it’s just that simple! Almighty God made His mark in time - time is divided by Him - B.C. (’Before Christ’) and A.D. ("After Death")! God is good all the time and all the time God is good!

His goodness overflowed in Creation - in the first place! When mankind - both male and female - sinned against Almighty God - He went out to us in forgiveness - and, in the floodtide of His forgiveness, the Word was made flesh - the Son of Almighty God was incarnated for the souls of men and women - His life flowed out upon the Cross at Calvary - He was resurrected from the dead - and, He ascended into Heaven where He now sits on the right hand of Almighty God the Father - as our High Priest - daily making intercession for us - for you and for me!

As I begin to close this morning, Almighty God sent another flood - the Holy Spirit - the Third Person of the Godhead - and loosed Him into the world - filling the hearts of men and women who would accept His Plan of Salvation; and, using them to bring in the harvest! The harvest is ripe; but, the laborers are few! If we will allow Almighty God to shape our lives for the work that He wants us to do - we will feel the pain of His shaping and know the joy of His love! Eternal Life for each and very one of us - who will make a new beginning - will make this new decade a time of rejoicing for all who will make their mark upon the world by following Him and serving Him! The psalmist, in Psalm 33:5 (NLT), tells us: "He loves whatever is just and good, and His unfailing love fills the earth."

As I sit down, now, the poet Garnett Ann Schultz, in her poem entitled, "God Reaches Down," summarizes things well:

***"God reaches down to hold your hand,
***To help our hearts to understand.
***Forever near when we believe,
***In all the help our minds receive.
***He’s always close in times of need
***If we but let Him take the lead.
***God reaches down in tender love
***And lends His peace from there above,
***He’s with us through the longest night;
***We’re in His gentle, caring sight.
***He speaks to us in loving tone
***And shares the moments we’re alone.
***Life never would be quite the same
***Without His help through hurt and pain.
***A part of every day we live,
***So much of hope and faith to give,
***His saving grace lends true renown...
***In love, ’Tis God who reaches down."

New Decade - New Beginning!

May Almighty God richly and abundantly bless each and every one of you!

Sources:

1. "God’s Word For You," by Dick Mills, c1973 New Kensington, Pennsylvania: Whitaker House, ISBN 0-88368-273-7, pp. 147-148.
2. "Guide Me On My Way," compiled and edited by Jennifer Grimaldi, c2003 New Rochelle, New York: Salesian Missions, p. 19.
3. "Speak, Lord!" by Rev. John H. McGoey, c1966 Milwaukee, Wisconsin: The Bruce Publishing Company, LCCN 66-24255, pp. 186-188.
4. "The New Scofield Study Bible" King James Version (KJV), edited by C.I. Scofield, c1967,1998 New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., p. 836.
5. "The Open Bible," New Living Translation (NLT), c1998 Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., pp. 787 and 1571.