Message From Matt | December 28, 2017


Our family usually spends most New Year’s Eve nights watching the ball drop in New York City.  I don’t always like the entertainment surrounding that event but I have always liked watching the clock tick down on the old year which also brings in the new year!  To me,  this New Year’s celebration is a special thing to watch as it’s nostalgia and anticipation all wrapped into one event.  It’s nostalgic due to the great things that have happened in the past and anticipation due to the hopes for what is in store for the future.   I am sure that in my adulthood I have had some New Year’s Eve nights that I was looking forward to being done with the terrible year that we just had and was really looking forward to a fresh start!  Then there were other years that were much better but still the hopes for the new year were exciting to consider.  Either way, the beginning of the new year has always had a way of being motivating for me.  

I usually am motivated to do some of the following:

  • Read the Bible and pray more often 
  • Eat better and exercise more
  • Be a better steward of my time and money
  • Be a better husband and father

Are you ever motivated with the same thoughts?  

If so, I hope that you have been better than me in the past at following through and completing those things that motivated you at the start of the year.  I hope that you didn’t let a lack of discipline deter you from eating better!  I hope that you gave of your time and money better than the year before!  I pray that you spent more time with God like you set out to do!  I hope that you were a better husband and father!  A better neighbor and church member!  I hope that you were just…better than the year before!   But the question is, are you better?  

As I alluded to in the last paragraph, I haven’t always been great at following through with my resolutions (motivations) and I always get discouraged when I don’t!  I then wonder, why did I not follow through?  Why did I not press forward?  For me, the answer usually has several answers to it, but let me focus on one for this email.  The reason is that I get stuck in the past!  I default to the past and conform back to old patterns.  I lose motivation after I fall into these old patterns and think that it’s useless to keep trying!  I get defeated and I give up!  There it is…the truth, and it’s painful to admit!
But this year, I hope that I will have a different experience!  I believe that I am already in a different place spiritually and mentally than in past years and I believe that I will see victory in my life over the New Year’s funk that I fell into before.  The reason?  Because I am not going to look back and dwell on past regrets, setbacks and failures but I am going to just look forward to the hopes of a great 2018!  I believe that God is with me always (Hebrews 13:5) and that He won’t leave me!  I believe that I am more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ (Romans 8:37)!  I believe that I can do all things through Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:13)!  I believe that if God be for me, who can be against me (Romans 8:31)!  I believe that the devil wants to destroy me but Jesus wants to give me the abundant life (John 10:10)! I believe that God has a purpose for me (Jeremiah 29:11) and that He is going to use me as I yield to Him (Isaiah 6:1-8)!  I believe that I am a Child of God (John 1:12) by believing on Jesus!  Since I believe all of these things,  the question is, why would I look backward?  The answer is that there is no good answer!  We have everything to look forward to and very little that we should dwell on from the past!  To be sure,  we can learn from positive and negative life experiences or even sins, but don’t let the devil use anything negative to pull you back!  

I want to challenge you to look forward and look toward God!  Set some God-honoring goals for your life and press forward.  Don’t let the devil defeat you!  Don’t let negative influences sway you!  Stay focused and move forward!

I love you all – looking forward to a great 2018!