In the story of the prodigal son, we are told that at a certain point, he “came to himself” (Luke 15:17)
As the end of the year draws near, two things must preoccupy us:
1. To examine ourselves and assess how we lived during 2017, towards God, towards others and towards ministry
2. To look outside of ourselves and see the Glory of God
We have to first be grateful for what God has done for every day of 2017. God kept me, He gave me the breath of life. I can thank Him, even if I went through difficult time, He kept me.
As for me, He gave me a message to share with you for every Sunday and He gave me people who came to listen to that message. I’ve been preaching here for 10 years and every Sunday (except for two Sundays when I was on vacation), I was preaching in this church or elsewhere.
You’ve had food to eat and clothes to wear. Why wouldn’t you praise God?
Maybe you are sick but you are alive. In Psalm 103, David commanded his soul to praise the Lord because feelings and thoughts are found in the soul. He commanded his soul to not forget any of the goodness of God.
Thanksgivings must come first.
B. I realize that I’m a sinner
That leads me to repentance. The word for repentance in greek is “metanoa” which means a change of position.
1. We have stumbled in many ways, including in our words (James 3:2). Have my words been seasoned with salt? Or were there filled with contempt, division, hatred, pride?
2. Not only have we stumbled, we have also fallen many times. In Revelations 2:5, Jesus commended the church of Ephesus for their zeal but He reproached them that they had forsaken their first love.
Why is it important to repent?
1. In order to restore our communion with God
2. So that times of refreshment may come from God. (Acts 3:20)
We need times of refreshment in 2018 and this will only be possible if we repent.
Let us take time to repent before God for all our shortcomings un 2017 and rededicate ourselves to Him.