Start Something New
TEXT: Isaiah 43:18-19
TOPIC: Start Something New
Pastor Bobby Earls, FBC, Center Point
Sunday Morning, October 9, 2005
If you have your Bible this morning please take it and open to Isaiah 43, and stand as we read God’s word together.
“Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing…
God is doing something new in our lives. Everywhere we look it seems that the Lord is starting something new. For example, after 15 years serving the Lord in North Carolina, and seven years before that in South Carolina, God has called us to start anew in Alabama.
Sort of like the fellow I heard about who went to see his doctor. His doctor told him he had some bad news for him and suggested he needed to sit down. The doctor told him, “I’m sorry to tell you but you’ve only got 6 months to live.” The man said, “that’s terrible, what do you suggest I do?” The doctor said, “If I were you, I’d move to North Carolina, marry a widow woman with about six kids, and buy a hog farm with about a 1000 head of hogs.” The man asked him, “will that cure me?” His doctor replied, “No, but that’ll be the longest six months you’ve ever lived!”
That was the longest 15 years of our lives. We’re glad to be in Alabama!
And we’re excited to be starting something new with you. In fact, that ought to be the theme of our next 12 months together, “Start Something New.”
“Start Something New,” was certainly the theme of the prophet Isaiah during the 8th Century B.C. Preaching a word of hope and restoration to the captive nation of Judah in Babylon, Isaiah stresses the importance of forgetting the past and focusing upon the future.
“Start Something New” is more than just a catchy slogan, it is a theme for life! For some of you, the need in your life, your marriage, your home, your job, is “forget the former things, focus on the future.” And for First Baptist Church, Center Point, and the Earls’ family, the message is the same, “Remember not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold I will do a new thing.”
It’s amazing how many times God talks about doing something new. The bible uses the word new 131 times. The Hebrew word for new in its simplest form means “fresh.” I like what the word of God says in Revelation 21:5,
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (KJV)
God enjoys a fresh start. God rejoices when His people work together “Starting Something New.”
First Baptist Church, Center Point has a glorious history and commendable past. We also have a pretty fair track record in the churches we’ve served. But if we spend too much of our time looking back instead of forward we will find ourselves like the one in Jesus’ parable who took hold of the plough looking back and failed to plough a straight row.
When I drive my car, I spend most of my time looking forward through the windshield. From time to time a quick glance in the rearview mirrors is necessary, but I certainly don’t attempt to drive the interstate looking constantly at the rearview mirror. I imagine that’s how you drive as well. Although I have been warned about the driving skills of one or two of you. No names mentioned.
One more Scripture passage and then I will give you three quick points regarding starting something new.
Do you remember Paul’s words to the Phillipian Christians? Phillipians 3:13-14.
Brethen, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
I. START SOMETHING NEW IN MISSIONS
What is the mission of the church? Shouldn’t it be the same mission of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus described His mission in life when He said, “the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10
From the very first introduction of Jesus at the age of twelve He says of himself, “Why do you seek me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” Luke 2:49
Our business as a church is to be about Jesus’s business. And there’s no business like soul business! Our mission is to be Jesus’ mission, reaching and winning that which is lost.
We need to ask ourselves if our missions efforts help us to fulfill His mission of reaching, winning, and discipling souls.
II. START SOMETHING NEW IN MINISTRY
Starting something new in the church will almost always create life and enthusiasm. Churches cannot be shy when it comes to starting something new.
1. New Sunday School classes targeting younger adults and their families
2. New Ministries in Intentional Evangelism efforts including surveying our community and church for prospects
3. New Disciple making strategies using small group structures
One of the new things I hope to do, beginning as soon, perhaps, as next Sunday is to conduct an in house survey. Two purposes: to get to know each of you better, and to develop a personal prospect list of your closest relationships who are unchurched.
III. START SOMETHING NEW IN ME (Spiritual Maturity)
1. A new quiet time 3. A new commitment to church attendance
2. A new scripture memory plan 4. A new commitment to share your faith
We have a glorious opportunity ahead of us. To reach forward, to begin again, to have a fresh start, to start something new, we must look forward and stay focused upon the church’s primary misson – people. We must provide quality ministry that meets the most pressing needs of the church and community. And perhaps most importantly, we must begin with each one of us by improving our own spiritual commitment.
Appeal to members to renew their own commitment to Christ’s Lordship.
Appeal to the lost to come trusting Christ as savior and Lord.
Appeal to those who may me interested in FBC-CP as their new church home.