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Intro: Today we think about the close of an old year and the beginning of a new year. For many, 2005 may have been a difficult year. It may have been a time of pain, grief, loss and unwanted changes. For others, the past year has been a year of triumph and blessing. Whatever 2005 was, it is over now. It is gone forever. The blessings and the burdens; the pleasures and the pains; the mountains and the valleys are all just memories now.
This day marks the beginning of a new year filled with new experiences. Many are looking to 2006 with two words on their hearts. Those two words are words that often cause fear and worry. Those words are “What if? We look at all the problems we face and the things that might go wrong and we play out all the “What if? scenarios in our minds and we are often troubled by what we imagine.
Today, I do not want to you stop asking “What if? What I do want you to do today is to look at your “What if’s from an entirely new perspective. Let’s take our “What if’s and put them into the realm of what God can do in us, for us and to us this year.
I want us to look at this passage from the early days of the church. I want you to know that what God did for them, He can do for us. Let me show you what God can do as I preach on the simple thought “What If?
A. The early church was privileged to experience two great beginnings. The first came on the Day of Pentecost when Peter preached in power and 3,000 souls were saved and added to the church, Acts 2:1-41. Just a short time later, a great time of renewal came to the fledgling church when 5,000 more were saved and added to their number, Acts 4:4.
B. Today we celebrate the beginning of a New Year. But, is it really? You woke up this morning with the same problems; the same burdens; the same needs; the same worries and the same fears you had when you went to bed last night. In some ways, this is just another day. But, in other ways, this is a day filled with new possibilities. What if this is the year when God moves in power in your life and allows you to see a new beginning? It can happen! For some, this may be the year when:
God Redeems You Some of you
have been coming into this room week after week, but you have never been
saved. I want you to know it is not too
late! If you are breathing, you can
still be saved. Today can be the day! If
you know you are lost and want to be saved, you can be! This might be the year; this might just be
the day. If you will come to Him, He
will not turn you away but He will save your soul, John 6:37;
2. God Restores You Some in this room have been walking at a guilty distance from the Lord for some time. You have claimed Jesus as your Savior, but you haven’t been living all out for Him! You don’t pray, go to church, read your Bible, or live the kind of life you know you should. This might be the year; this might even be the day when He calls you to come home to Him; to confess your sins; and to be restored to a right fellowship with Jesus Christ. If He is calling you home, you can come and be restored, 1 John 1:9; Psa. 32:5; Pro. 28:13.
God Renews You Others in
this room are saved and living right, but you just dont love the Lord like you
used to. There is a coldness where their
used to be hot, blazing love. (
4. God Refocuses You There are some here that have spend the last year looking back and longing for the things that are behind them. Others have spent their time looking around wishing they had things other than what they possess. This might be the year, this might even be the day when the Lord refocuses your vision and He helps you get you eyes on the One Person Who really matters. Today could be the day when your priorities are set right and He allows you to run your race with patience and power once again, Heb. 12:1-3.
These things can happen! And,
they can happen in your life today! Is
2006 the year when everything changes for you, your family and your walk with
the Lord? If He has spoken to you about
any of these things, then get to Him and watch Him change it! (
II. WHAT IF THIS IS THE YEAR OF REJOICING?
A. According to verse 31, the early church prayed and God moved in power to answer their prayers. The place where they were praying was shaken by the power of God and He moved in their midst in a wonderful, unforgettable manner.
B. What if this is the year when God answers your prayers? Some of you have been carrying burdens for people and situations. Some have been carrying these burdens for months and even years. But, what if this is the year when God takes those prayers you have been praying for so long and does what only He can do? What if He just answers them for you?
It is a real possibility! After all, answer to prayer is His promise to His people:
· Isa. 65:24, “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
· Jer. 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
· Mark 11:24, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
· 1 John 5:14-15, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
C. This could be the year when:
1. Your children get right with God.
2. Your spouse comes to Jesus for salvation.
3. You achieve victory over you spiritual problems.
4. You see your financial future change.
5. You have your health restored.
6. You see your marriage saved and restored.
7. You see the things you have been seeking God over come to pass.
This could be the year!
Therefore, don’t give up! Walk in
faith’ believe in God and trust Him for the things you need. (
III. WHAT IF THIS IS THE YEAR OF REVIVAL?
A. When the early church sought the Lord and His power, He met with them and “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, Acts 4:31. In other words, it was a time of revival for the people of God! He moved in their midst and they and everything they did changed for the glory of God.
What if 2006 is the year God moves at
1. Power in worship, v. 31 (Ill. Preaching will be bold and powerful. There will be a spirit of conviction in the church. The altars will not be neglected.)
2. Zeal in service, v. 31 (Ill. God’s people will have a desire to serve. They will not have to be begged to be busy. Their service will flow out of their love for Jesus.)
Unity in the church, v. 32 (Ill. Forgiveness and
reconciliation will mark the fellowship of the church, Eph. 4:32; Luke 17:1-5.
Mutual concern among the
membership, v. 32, 34-35 (
Love will be foundation and the result of all we do,
C. This could be the year! If it is, are you in a position to experience revival with God’s people? If you are not, the Lord can change that! After all, this could be the year when revival comes to our church!
IV. WHAT IF THIS IS THE YEAR OF REACHING?
We are told in verse 33 that
the early church was marked by a zeal to reach the lost world around them. They went out and preached the Gospel of
grace in power and boldness. They told
old story and souls were ushered into the
B. This could be the year when God would birth that kind of zeal into our own hearts. My friends, if there is one thing the modern church needs, it is a desire to see sinners saved! Most church members just do not have a real, consuming burden for the lost!
· How long has it been since you were burdened over a lost soul?
· How long since you labored in prayer for one who was dying in sin?
· How long since you spoke to a lost sinner about his or her soul?
· How long since you made an effort to bring a lost soul to Jesus?
If we seek the Lord in this area, He might just cause this to be the
year when we begin to carry out the Great Commission with passion and power, Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8. This might be the year when we see results
that will astound us and glorify Him. If
we are willing, and make ourselves available to Him, this could be the year
when we see many come to Jesus! (
Conc: All this service, I have been asking you to think about “What if’s. Now, I want you to think about two other words: Why not? Do you believe that the things I have mentioned today are possible? I do! After all, we serve a God Who specializes in doing the amazing and the unbelievable. We serve a God with Whom anything is possible! Think about this:
· Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
· James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Luke 12:31-32, “But rather seek ye the
the Lord shown you today that these things are possible? Has He spoken to you about your salvation?
Your walk with Him? Your need of revival? Your need to spread His Gospel more
effectively? I believe we are on the verge of a great year here ant
If He has spoken to your heart, please don’t shut Him down and turn Him away. Get in this altar and get before the Lord and do what He wants you to do today. What if this is the year when everything changes? Why not? It can be, if we are in the place to receive it. Let’s seek God for it and do our part to see it come to pass.