Sunday, December 30, 2012

“If Only” vs. ”Next Time”

Isaiah 43:1-3a, 16-21
The text at which we are looking today is a good text with which to live as we begin this New Year.  This background of God’s intervening in history and doing a “new thing” leads us to look at two very different approaches to life—“If Only vs. “Next Time.”
In Ephesians 5:15 17 Paul Tells us to:
1.     Make the most of every opportunity.
Time is the resource we spend for the accomplishment of a successful life.  Wasted time is sin.
2.     Understand What the Lord’s Will Is not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Establishing priorities and gaining direction and control is a mandate for living successfully today.
3.     Learn How To Live Today  …live not as unwise but as wise
“If Only” vs. ”Next Time”
1. "If only" looks backward; "Next time" is a look forward
2. "If only" is a word of defeat; "Next time" is a word of hope.
  I.     The “If Only” Approach to Life…
“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past.”

·      Is a life dominated by regrets.

·      Creates discouragement which leads to defeat.

·      Causes us to be preoccupied with revenge.

·      Is always an expression of self-pity.

·      Ultimately, self-pity is a protest against God.

II.     The “Next Time” Approach to Life… 
“Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it?”

·      Forgets what you have done for others and concentrates on what others have done for you.

·      Digs a grave and buries negative thoughts so that you might cultivate a garden for positive ideas.

·      Looks beyond the surface of things to the reality of life.

·      Trusts God to meet our needs with His supply
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.

Faith overcomes fear, it doesn’t remove it.

·      Remembers the works of God and Praises Him. 
The people whom I formed for Myself Will declare My praise.

It’s not WHAT we look at that determines our experience but HOW we look at it.

Devotional Archive