The avg age lifespan for a man in America is 76. So let’s say IF you live to be 76 this means:
If you are …30 years old today – you have about 2400 weekends left.
40 years old today – you have about 1900 weekends left.
50 years old today – you have about 1350 weekends left.
60 years old today – you have about 800 weekends left.
If you are a 74-year-old male – don’t buy any green bananas!
In the Hebrew language numbers have meanings:
20 = twenty dream and twenty visions in the Bible. 20 has to do with personal revelation and waiting or serving God until it is fulfilled.
18 = multiplying life for the believer. Abundant life!
8 = new beginning.
Pic of Hebrew number Chet
The Hebrew number for 8 is called Chet (rhymes mate) purposely resembles a gate or door way to a new beginning.
Pic of gate
God is opening up a gate before us in 2018 to experience life His way. But we have to leave our way in order to experience His way.
New Year we set goals and make resolutions.
2018 is not to be a do over of 2017.
God will not pour new wine revelation into old wine skins.
God is shouting, “I don’t want a new improved you. I don’t even want you trying harder to do better!
Jesus was talking about materialism and living to make money when He said these famous words as a warning to us:
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Mtt. 6:24
Replace the word “mammon” – money, materialism, selfish desires with the word “Yourself”.
“You cannot serve God and Self.” Mtt. 6:24
Today is like God putting a gate before us. Will you leave self, and all your selfish desires, ambitions, goals and dreams and serve God without knowing where He is taking you?
God is saying this to us:
What I want from you is what I have always wanted from you:
Total unconditional surrender and trust in Me without any guarantees other than that I am with you.
This means you become God’s bond slave.
Bond slave was one who was given freedom from being a slave but voluntarily choose to continue to be a slave to their master for life. They took a piercing mark of ownership in their ear signifying to anyone that their primary responsibility was to listen first to their master.
Pic of Tattoo
Becoming a bond slave is a serious thing. It means you have reached the final decision that you cannot take your life back. You have decided to finish your life in this condition as a slave to another. You cannot quit when things get hard. You can’t change careers. You are in this for life!
Paul reached this point in his life. He had many hardships and opportunities to quit because ministry is hard work, long hours, heavy burdens and low pay. No one would blame him if he did walk away.
Somewhere along the way Paul that God’s calling upon him was for life. Whether in good times or bad he was going to stay with his calling to be God’s slave, servant. In Romans 1:1 he identifies himself in a unique way. The word he uses for servant is bond slave.
Bondservant of Christ
God is saying to you this:
What I want from you is simple; total unconditional surrender.
Total unconditional surrender involves two things:
1. Initial surrender – Salvation is the starting place.
2. Lifetime of re-surrendering.
Lifetime of re-surrendering is rededication to your calling. When we are living in right relationship with God we are like a train running on tracks.
Pic of train on tracks
But when a Xn is not living in alignment with God he is like a train off the tracks. PIC train off tracks:
Looking back over your life story you would see there are some chapters titled
You don’t want the next chapter to bear this title.
I realize I am talking to some here today who know they are not living in surrender to God even though they would say Jesus is their Lord. I want to warn everyone of the high price of holding out from God by telling you a true story.
In March 10, 1974 almost 30 years after WW2 and man named Hiroo Onada became famous and his story was in every newspaper.
Pic of Hiroo Onada:
For 29 years he refused to believe the war had ended. He hid in the jungle and lived off the land and evading people. Leaflets were dropped by a plane, announcements over loud speakers, but he refused to believe. Finally, he received a personal command from his former CO and was persuaded to surrender. Listen to his own words,
“I felt like a fool. What had I been doing all these years? The best years of my life were wasted by fighting a war that had already been won.”
- He had been resisting a life he could have had.
Some people express resistance to God outwardly but others it is more hidden and subtle from our eyes but not His.
We all are born with a determination to run our own life, our way and therefore become unwilling to submit to the King of Kings. We have had years of resistance to what God wants us to do. Like Hiroo Onada we have hidden out in the jungle of life instead of surrendering to God. After all surrender might demand a radical altered lifestyle.
Ok so you consider yourself a Xn. But have you ever considered God wants you to surrender the right to run your own life to Him?
Reasons for lack of surrender:
1. Some may not have ever realized what it means to surrender to God. You mean my money belongs to God, my kids, my body, time?
2. Some are afraid what might happen if you surrender some part of your life to God.
3. Some know but are willfully rebelling against God’s call on their life. They know what God wants but they are not willing.
- Danger – Either you are a real Xn or not?
- Rebellion invites correction from God.
Whatever your reason for holding out on surrendering to God the point is You are the one missing out on God’s dream for your life.
Resistance to God costs for more than surrender to God!
Concl: Never heard anyone on their deathbed say things like, “I wish I had worked more hours. I wish I had watched more TV?
You need a new vision of the One who runs the Universe. If you saw Him as He is you would gladly surrender everything to Him.
No one can serve two masters. Mtt 6:24
Kingdom of Self rule or Kingdom of God?
The kos and koG are at war with each other. The kingdom of Self will not go away just because you choose the KOG. The kingdom of self has to be destroyed by You! It was built one thing at a time and it will be destroyed by dealing with one thing at a time too. There is no other way! It will not be easy. It will be painful but it has to be torn down by you. Today He may show you one thing He wants you to address and tear down.
Today is first Sunday of 2018 – I see two gates open in front of us. One is called the KOS and the other is the KOG. Not many people are going through this KOG gate – in fact only a few. You will make a choice before you leave this place today which gate you will go through to 2018.
There are a few crises in life we will have to face. The greatest crisis is the surrender to God by your will. As long as we continue to refuse to surrender to the will of God – we are never free. There is no peace until you are willing to accept God’s terms – unconditional surrender. This is God’s dream for you and me for 2018.