Jan. 03, 2021
The Benefit of the Cross
Ephesians 5:15-17 & Hebrews 12:1-3
“Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
1. Some Important Things To Remember As We Enter Into 2021:
a. …remember our time on earth is limited.
“Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life.”
“The length of our days is 70 years or 80, if we have the strength...they quickly pass, and we fly away.”
b. …strive to make the most of every opportunity.
“…making the most of the time, because the days are evil.”
“So she [Martha] complains to Jesus, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’
‘Martha, Martha,’ Jesus answered, ‘You are worried & upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her,”
Luke 10:40 42
Dr. Richard Swenson
• We’re overloaded with commitments.
• We’re overloaded with possessions.
• We’re overloaded in the area of work.
• We’re overloaded with information.
c. …understand the Lord’s will for our lives.
“...do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
We must learn how to live today.
The two greatest enemies of time and living today are…
• Regrets for things we did in the past.
• Anxiety about what will happen to us in the future.
Too many people are living in either the past or the future, and missing out on today.
d. …continually focus our attention on Jesus.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.”
“There is no difference, for all have sinned & fallen short of the glory of God.”
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
2. How will you use the 8,760 hours set before you during 2021?
A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee.
Exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth,
Let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.