What does it mean when we wish someone ‘Happy New Year’? It means we want their life to be happy, or happier, in the New Year, right? Why would it not be? Could it be there are some things we need to do to be happy? There are many things you should do, but there is one thing you know you must do if your life will be happy or happier in the New Year. In fact, it needs to become YOUR ONE GREAT PROJECT for your life.
NEW YEAR SERMON
YOUR ONE GREAT PROJECT
By Pastor Delbert Young
Your One Great Project
Scriptures: Judges 21:25; Luke 2:7-18
To everyone I want to say “Happy New Year.” What does it mean when we wish someone “Happy New Year”? It means we want their life to be happy, or happier, in the New Year, right? Why would it not be? Could it be there are some things we need to do to be happy? As the video implied, there are likely many things you should do, but there is one thing you know you must do if your life will be happy/happier in the New Year. In fact, it needs to become YOUR GREAT PROJECT for your life. Your Great Project is likely different from my great project. It’s based on what’s going on in your life concerning your marriage, your finances, your health, your relationships, your habits, and your whatever. It’s the great project you know if you completed you would be in a much better place in life a year or even months from now than where you are this minute.
This isn’t new information. You’ve thought about it in the past. It’s the thing you, someone, or several have suggested you need to do. It’s likely something you’ve attempted to do, but you lost focus, became distracted, and didn’t accomplish. I don’t know what it is for you, but we all have a great project that would radically change our lives, so don’t be thinking “I’m glad he’s here,” or “I wish she was here.” Think about you. You know if you don’t accomplish anything else this year you need to do this.
Here are a few suggestions:
A HABIT you must break.
A GOAL you must accomplish.
A RELATIONSHIP you must restore.
A RELATIONSHIP you must end.
A DEBT you must retire.
No one needs to tell you the habit you need to break. You’ve already tried. If it was a magic button you could push and life would jump six months from now and the habit no longer be a habit, you’d push the button now.
Relationships are extremely emotional. If you could push a magic button and there be no emotional damage or complications you’d push it. Is there a relationship you need to restore? Is there a damaging relationship you need to terminate?
Many have debt you know you need to work on. Every time I teach about or you hear teaching about debt you feel guilty. Every time I talk about giving you feel guilty. You’re so in debt you can’t give, but you don’t do anything about it. It hinders your life. It hinders your worship. It hinders what you want to do for others. How different could your life be next year if you retired debt?
So, what’s hanging over your life? What is the Great Project you must do this year to have a happy new year? It’s probably already come to mind. In fact, you’d say, “Delbert, I don’t have one great project. I have four, or five. I don’t even know where to begin,” but imagine your life without your largest one hanging over you. Imagine how dealing with this great project would help you be more who you want to be.
There’s a great Old Testament story given us in the Book of Nehemiah. I heard a preacher talk about this and thought it was great, so I’m using it. Nehemiah was a cup bearer (wine taster) to King Artaxerxes the emperor of Persia after the captivity of Judea. Jerusalem was devastated by Babylon a hundred years earlier. The temple was destroyed and the wall burned. Nehemiah asked King Artaxerxes if he could go and build back Jerusalem. Artaxerxes allowed him to go. Nehemiah began to rebuild the breached wall. This wall became Nehemiah’s great project, but as they rebuilt the wall enemies attempted to stop him. Enemies will attempt to stop you from completing your great project.
Nehemiah 6:2-3 Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.” But they were scheming to HARM ME so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on A GREAT PROJECTand CANNOT GO DOWN. Why should the work STOP WHILE I LEAVE IT and go down to you?”
There is something in your life – there is a wall around your world – you need to repair. It’s breached and allows the enemy in. You need to climb up on it and not allow anything to bring you down until your great project is completed. Your enemies will attempt to get you to come down. If you do the work will stop. You’ve got to say, “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down.” I cannot allow myself to go down.
If Nehemiah had come down they would have harmed him and possibly taken his life. There are things in my life and in your life and if we refuse to complete our great project they have the potential to harm us, ruin our lives, and even kill us. They can ruin our finances and relationships. They can kill our occupation. They can harm our children or even our grandchildren. They can kill our marriage or ruin our health. If we don’t remain on the wall and repair the breach in our life it will harm us and probably has already. It will mess up a Happy New Year.
Nehemiah 6:4 Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.
Enemies in your life will not stop simply because you tell them once. They will attempt to stop you time after time. We come to church on Sunday. We clap and sing and this is good, but we ignore breaches in the walls of our lives time after time. We ignore health issues. We ignore addiction issues. We ignore family issues. We ignore things having the potential to harm or destroy us.
Go put your hand on your child or your grandchild’s head and stroke their hair. Say, “I’m carrying on a great project and I cannot go down.” It’s not only for you you’re carrying on a great project. Hold your spouse’s hand and say, “I’m carrying on a great project and I cannot go down.” Put your hand on your checkbook and say, “I’m carrying on a great project and I cannot go down.” Touch your own body and say, “I’m carrying on a great project and I cannot go down.” Women, hold your husband’s hand. Where would he be without you? Say, “I’m carrying on a great project and though I want to come down sometimes, I will not go down.” College students don’t allow things you know are enemies to harm you. Tell your friends I am not going to allow myself to go down.
As I’m talking, you know what I’m talking about. We each know the great projects we have opportunity to do. No one really needs to tell you or give you list, but here’s the challenge. It’s not your knowing. It’s will you climb the ladder and not come down until you complete Your Great Project? Will I? There’s the challenge.
The enemies continued attempting to stop Nehemiah. They created a rumor about him saying he was trying to build his own kingdom. Their hope was King Artaxerxes would take Nehemiah out of Jerusalem (Neh 6:5-6:9). Realize people may talk about you if you stay on your wall, but you can’t go down no matter what they say. Also the enemies got to a supposedly friend of Nehemiah’s named Shemaiah who attempted to get Nehemiah to come down and stop the project (Neh 6:10-14). Your friends may attempt to get you to come down and stop your project. Don’t do it. It’s your Happy New Year.
Nehemiah 6:15-16 So the WALL WAS COMPLETED on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in FIFTY-TWO DAYS. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that THIS WORK HAD BEEN DONE WITH THE HELP OF OUR GOD.
If you will build and not come down until your great project is completed, you will see a difference in your life in a few days. God will help you. God will not do the great project for you. It won’t miraculously happen, but God will help you and give you strength to complete your great project. Even your enemies will see and admit God is in your life helping you. We can become a witness.
I could stop now. You know what Your Great Project is and you know you can’t go down if you will ever complete it. We’d get out a little early, but you know I don’t work like this. I want to give some specifics and provoke you a little more. I may make you a little mad, but I love you and I want to help.
Some drink too much. Let me tell you how you can know if you drink too much. Someone has said to you, “I think you drink too much.” It’s not complicated. Someone you know loves you told you. You probably became upset or maybe don’t remember because you drink too much. Probably the person sitting beside you told you this and if they did you do. They didn’t want to say it and didn’t for a long time. You know it’s true. Let God help you. This should become Your Great Project.
Some abused prescription drugs and now you’re addicted. You’ve got doctors (plural) who prescribe drugs to you. To some extent it’s justified. You do have discomfort, but now the drugs are more of a problem in your life than the discomfort. Climb up your ladder and rebuild your wall. Let God help you. Don’t allow drugs to control your life. Complete Your Great Project.
Some are addicted to nicotine. You smoke too much. Your health has depreciated and is now your great project. Be there for your children. Be there for your grandchildren. Get up your ladder. Let God help you. Don’t come down until you complete Your Great Project.
Some have some sort of internet addiction. You can’t go very long without getting online and doing whatever it is you do. You can’t focus on other things because you’re thinking about what you do online. It could be social media, porn, whatever. Let God help you.
For some your great project is debt. You can’t afford your lifestyle. You need to sell what you have and move in with someone until you complete Your Great Project and get yourself under control. We had to do this. Move in with your momma! “Yes, but you don’t understand how my debt happened.” It doesn’t matter how it happened. It’s there and you will never be free until you get up your ladder, and allow God to help you, and remain on your wall until you can manage your finances. It’s Your Great Project.
For some it’s school. You need to go back to school. I had to. You can figure a way to do it. God will help you. Your life will be more what you’ve wanted. You live in the United States of America. You can go to school. Your education is your wall and Your Great Project.
For some it’s your marriage. Are you growing apart or growing together? For some it’s a relationship or relationships. When you get around certain people you become a different person. You need to get away from negative relationships. For others it’s a “love triangle” and you need to terminate a relationship. It’s your wall. Some need to restore a relationship. Let God help you. Dealing with relationships is Your Great Project.
All these things are difficult and none will happen miraculously, but God will help you. “This work had been done with the help of our God.” He’s not going to do it for you, but he will help you. Your part, my part, is to climb up the ladder and refuse to go down until the great project is completed.
Probably every one of us knows what the great project is we need to build. At this moment we’ve likely decided to do something about it. We’re up the ladder, but when we walk out these doors what will happen? Will we remain on the wall? We have no idea what lays in the balance. If we complete the project our lives will be far better this time next year. We’ll have a Happy New Year. If we come down our lives will likely be worse next year and we won’t have a Happy New Year. We have no idea what hangs in the balance for us mentally, physically, emotionally, relationally, financially, in our marriages, in our families, and in our occupations. Will you do it? It’s easy to say it, feel it, and even begin it, but will we refuse to go down? Will people look at us and say this time next year “This work has been done with the help of our God”? Will you have a Happy New Year? Will you complete YOUR GREAT PROJECT?
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