God’s Plan New Years message  
Pete, at a New Year’s party, turns to his friend, Ken, and asks for a cigarette. “I thought you made a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking," Ken responds.
“I’m in the process of quitting,” replies Pete with a grin. “Right now, I am in the middle of phase one.”
“Phase one?” “Yeah," laughs Pete, “I’ve quit buying.”
Top 10 New year resolutions:
1- Spend more time with family and friends.
2- Fit in fitness. (take care of your health - exercise)
3- Tame the bulge. (Over 66 percent of adult Americans are considered overweight)
4- Quit smoking. (On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good)
5- Enjoy life more. (sounds good)
6- Quit drinking. (no problem for me)
7- Get out of debt. (You won’t do it in a year. It will take some planning and some saying “no” to yourself and others)
8 - Learn something new. (I say, “Why?” I’ve got enough to do without taking on something else)
9 - Help others. (How quaint! That’s thinking of someone else for a change instead of ourselves)
10 - Get organized. (Some might say, “I never have. Why start now?”)
I wrote a preacher in the middle of the week and asked him what he was going to preach the next Sunday. He wrote back and said that he didn’t know. He said he had to wait for the mood to strike him. That’s poor planning! I’ve heard it said that if you fail to plan then you plan to fail!
Did you notice that these top 10 resolutions had nothing to do with spiritual improvement? Or that God was not included? That’s the way it is with many people. They don’t include God or Christ in the picture of their lives.
Let me suggest to you that the Lord should be included in every aspect of our lives: marriage, family, children, work, play and pleasure.

As we start a new year of 2018, this message is not about health and wealth prosperity. It not about believing God owes me something because I am a believer (Christian), or that we can demand things from God as Christian. God does not work that way! 
This is a message that God has a plan for each and every one of us here at Christ’s Church in Marietta. Sometimes we might not like Gods plan, however, He does have a plan for each and every one and all mankind, and that is that all may be saved!
So the question this morning: What is Your Plan for the Coming Year?
I could ask: how many of you have made plains for 2018? Or what we call New Year’s resolutions.
Some say I am going on a diet; I am going to lose up to 10 to 100 Lbs. in this New Year. That is difficult at best, it means you got to be committed to a diet plan in order to complete it. It has to become a mindset that is unchangeable. Most of us like to eat!!
Some plans included to get off this addiction. The definition of being addicted is physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, and unable to stop taking it without incurring adverse effects: it can also mean enthusiastically devoted to a particular thing or activity. An Addiction can be to a substance of dugs, tobacco, alcohol, food or an activity watching a certain show, or a certain sports team or sporting event. 
It maybe you’ve made plans to spend more time with your family, or spend more time with each other? 
Do your Plans Include God and the Church family? Ok I will try and not go to meddling too much. 
Do your plans in 2018 and beyond include God and the Church?
When you plan your Calendar out do you mark events down what you know is happening in the church so you can be there to support it? Do we include activities that will bring or draw us closer to the Lord?
As Christians we should make plans that will help us and others grow in our walk with the Lord.
Do your plans include reading and learning the scriptures? Digging more into the Word?
God’s Plan Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD," plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Mews flash: God’s Plans includes you and me.
Isn’t great news to know that the God of this universe has a personal plan for you? Now I am aware there are passages for those that where in exile that Nebuchadnezzar had carried off to Babylon, however, this is a message of hope that God has for us here today.
He has a plan to make you great in this coming year, it is not one to make you fail, it is one to make you succeed in His sight. That does not mean God make you free from pain, fix your family problems, or grant you a mega income! It is encouraging to know that God has something planned for us!
For your family disappointments will come, sad times will still come but you can be a sure that God the Father through His word has designed that the Holy Spirit will be with you during those difficult times.
If you want to live your life to its fullest in 2018 and do it God’s Way, here is a short outline to achieve it.  
First: every person is meant to be a part of God’s eternal plan
1. God wants to bring Prosperity to your life, not poverty
2. God wants to bring Protection to your life, not fear
3. God wants to bring Hope to your life, not despair 
4. God wants to secure a Future for you, not desolation
God’s Plan 
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
A. He “plans to Prosper you”! How will God make you prosper in this new year?
Will he make you rich in monetary ways? Will He make you’re saving accounts increase by extra money, He could if you follow an expert advice that knows what they are doing.
The real answer is: He will give you an increase of blessings when you follow His will and commands. 
B. God plans no harm to you
If we are faithful to the Lord the Devil, Satan, the demons of hell cannot harm us. Why because in Luke 10:19 the scripture says “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” Some would use that scripture, however, this was written to the Apostles, not us. Does this passage mean we can handle rattle snakes, drink poison, or walk in front a moving train, car or jump out of a perfectly good airplane? No, God expects us to use the common sense He gave us.
However, this is the passage found in I John 4:4 “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world”.
It means God will protect us from the devils powers to destroy us, for the devil wants to harm us with. But we must be cloth with His righteousness.
God Plans to Give you Hope and a Future 
III. The Response of the Plans for the Coming Year.
There is a condition
1. God has chosen not to make you follow His plan for your life
a.) There is no mistake God has a plan for you
b.) He will not make you do the right thing – He will influence you.
c.) He will make His presence real to you
2. You have a choice to make
You can follow God and receive the blessings of His plan
Ezekiel 36:24-27
“‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
What a promise for this New year, however you can go off on your own and do your own plan for life, and wonder why 2016 isn’t better than 2015, 2014.
Here’s some good solid advice for making the New Year better. 1- The new year - Be careful 2- The new year - Be thoughtful 3- The new year - Be thankful This will be the massage for next week.  
God’s Plan Part II New Years Message Ephesians 5
In 1886, an employee of the Minnesota railway station bought a shipment of watches that a local jeweler refused to sign for. He established a side business selling the watches to other station agents. He quit his railway job a few months later and established a Watch Company in Minneapolis.
He moved the business to Chicago the following year. An ad he had placed in a Chicago newspaper brought watchmaker into the business, and by 1893 the successful partnership (Richard W. Sears--Alvah C. Roebuck) officially became Sears, Roebuck and Company. 
Sears and Roebuck quickly expanded the business into a general mail-order catalogue that catered to America’s enormous 19th-century rural population—roughly two-thirds of Americans lived in rural areas in the late 1890s.
Local general stores were typically high-priced and offered little selection. The Sears catalogue gave America’s farm families a lot of options at a lower cost and often included delivery.
Chicago clothing manufacturer Julian Rosenwald bought the company in 1895, though Sears remained president. (Roebuck resigned due to poor health.)
The company needed capital for its rapidly expanding business. In 1906, Rosenwald and Sears sold stock on the open market. Sears has been publicly owned and traded company ever since.
You have heard it said that if you fail to plan then you plan to fail!
I. THE NEW YEAR - BE CAREFUL
15. Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16. making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Be careful in living. Be careful in the way you live. Be careful. Be wise. Be careful with your time, which (BY THE WAY) is God’s time. 
Don’t contribute to evil. Be wise. Seek the Lord’s will in all things. Every day and in every way.
Steve Roe’s catalogue of self-induced injuries reads like something out of The Spanish Inquisition Handbook: fractured skull, torn rotator cuff, shattered fingers, broken wrists, fractured elbows, torn muscles, sulfuric acid burns, self-stabbings, multiple broken noses and, as of last month, a ruptured tendon in his ankle.
“I didn’t trip or anything,” says the 46-year-old patent attorney from Madison, Wis. “I was just walking down the hall, in a hurry, and I went around the corner and it suddenly felt like somebody hit me in the ankle with a baseball bat.”
Hurry, worry, multitasking, stress — you might call them the four horsemen of the accident prone. Stress is such a huge factor when it comes to accidents, in fact, it was recently linked to an increase in post-9/11 traffic fatalities by researchers at the University of Minnesota.
Ladies and Gentleman, we’re all vulnerable when it comes to accidents, but obviously, some are more prone than others. HURRY, WORRY, MULTITASKING, AND STRESS lead to accidents, and failure.
The same is true in the spiritual realm. If you are not properly focused in life, you will suffer for it. However, most of the time, we are far too worldly or materially focused than we are spiritually focused. LET’S BE HONEST ABOUT THIS. We are not as spiritual-minded as we should be. We are far more earthly or worldly-minded.
Colossians 3:1-4 tells us what we should be doing and/or focusing on. 1. Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
You may recall the automobile manufacture Toyota - November 25, 2009 - WASHINGTON — 
Toyota Motor Corp. said it will replace accelerator pedals on about 4 million recalled vehicles in the United States because the pedals stick in the floor mats and cause an accident, another blow to the reputation of one of the world’s largest automaker.
Perhaps we all need a recall in regard to our lives because we don’t always function properly. Sometimes people become overloaded--get out of hand and do crazy things. And no matter how good we are, sometimes we mess up. WE NEED TO BE MORE CAREFUL AND USE OUR TIME MORE WISELY FOR CHRIST! Make your news years resolution: be more careful—faithful and bring someone to The Lord! 
Someone once said: ON MY WAY to deliver a computer to a customer, I saw a handwritten sign at the entrance of an alley. It read: "Blocked! Do not pass! Difficult to turn back." I continued anyway, only to discover that the alley was indeed blocked by a fallen tree. As predicted, it took a while to turn the truck around. When I finally got back to the entrance, I noticed a second sign. It read: "Told you so!" I like that!!!
Brothers and sisters, God has told us so many times in life but it seems that we don’t listen too well! True or not, most will not admit it. 
Some people just keep right on doing the same old things when they know that they are not right. And some day, it will catch up to them and God will do worse than block the road or put up a sign that reads, "told you so!"
Be careful in the way you live. Use your time for the Lord. Seek the Lord in life. Serve the Lord no matter else you do.
II. THE NEW YEAR - BE THOUGHTFUL
18. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Be thoughtful of others. That’s always good advice. But here we are to be thoughtful of God’s Spirit who lives within us.
From an unknown source comes an article titled, "How To Be Miserable." It says, "Think about yourself. Talk about yourself. Use "I" as often as possible. Mirror yourself continually in the opinion of others. Listen greedily to what people say about you. Expect to be appreciated. Be suspicious. 
Be jealous and envious. Be sensitive to what others say. Never forgive a criticism. Trust nobody but yourself. Insist on consideration and respect. Demand agreement with your own views on everything. Sulk if people are not grateful to you for favors shown them. Never forget a service you have rendered. Shirk your duties if you can. Do as little as possible for others."
Are we ever guilty of this? At times, we are. We all like to be appreciated for the good things we do, (JUST ASK FACEBOOK USERS) however, we can get caught up in ourselves if we’re not careful. WE CAN BECOME TOO SELF-FOCUSED and forget about others.
When Roy DeLamotte was chaplain at Paine College in Georgia, he preached the shortest sermon in the college’s history. However, he had a rather long topic: "What does Christ Answer When We Ask, "Lord, What’s in Religion for Me?"
The complete content of his sermon was in one word: "Nothing." He later explained that the one-word sermon was meant for people brought up on the ’gimme-gimme’ gospel. When asked how long it took him to prepare the message, he said, "Twenty years."
Many people are only interested in what they can get, not what they should dofor the Lord or not what they can give to others!
I am reminded of several key scriptures which should help to guide our thinking and our lives:
I Cor. 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Gal. 5:13 “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”
Gal. 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Gal. 6:9-10 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Matthew 22:36-40 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " ’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS ARE THE GREATEST! If we love God first of all and then love our fellow human beings we won’t go wrong!
18. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Instead of being self-centered, we should be Spirit-centered. We should think more of Him than we do about ourselves. Be more spiritual minded than worldly or fleshly minded. If we’ll set on our minds on scripture, prayer, praising, and serving we will have a better new year.
III. THE NEW YEAR - BE THANKFUL
19. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20. always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Be thankful in Christ. Living a grateful life will keep you on the straight and narrow. People who are not aware of their blessings are not thankful. Instead, they are always looking for more, and complain.
Nearly 70 percent questioned in an Associated Press - poll said people are ruder than they were 20 or 30 years ago. Peggy Newfield, founder and president of Personal Best, said the generation that came of age in the times-a-changin’ 1960s and 1970s are now parents who don’t stress the importance of manners, such as opening a door for a female. A whopping 93 percent in the AP-Ipsos poll faulted parents for failing to teach their children well.
ARE YOU RUDE? I hope not. Are you quick to be polite in actions and speech? Sometimes I find myself forgetting to say “thank you” to someone for something they did and then later I whip myself for it. SHAME ON ME FOR BEING FORGETFUL AND UNPOLITE.
What about being rude to God? Would we ever do that? When we fail express proper thanks and gratitude it’s being rude. And to Him we owe our greatest thanks and praise!
A five-year-old said grace at family dinner one night. "Dear God, thank you for these pancakes..." When he concluded, his parents asked him why he thanked God for pancakes when they were having chicken. He smiled and said, "I thought I’d see if He was paying attention tonight."
I believe that God pays very good attention to us when we pray and when we don’t. When we praise Him and when we don’t.
Psalms 103:1-3 "Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. “Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases..."
Dr. Dale Robbins writes, “I used to think people complained because they had a lot of problems. But I have come to realize that they have problems because they complain. Complaining doesn’t change anything or make situations better. It amplifies frustration, spreads discontent and discord, and can invoke an invitation for the devil to cause havoc with our lives.” Complaining makes us miserable.
Psalm 77:3b says, “I complained and my spirit was overwhelmed.” New King James Version.
Philippians 2:13 “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.”
A positive, thankful person is a great witness in this dark world. We only shine when we are thankful. Our light shines for the Lord when we are thankful, when we live it and express it!
I’d much rather hear someone saying things like, “bless the Lord” or ‘Thank you, Lord” or “Praise the Lord” than complain.
I Thess. 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I’m convinced that a grateful person, a thankful person will live a better life and will be blessed with a better life. DO YOU WANT A BETTER LIFE IN THE NEW YEAR? Be polite to God. Be quick to praise Him and thank Him every little blessing you receive!
CONCLUSION---------------------
Someone said: Last year when I called my parents to wish them a happy New Year, my dad answered the phone. "Well, Dad, what’s your New Year’s resolution?" I asked him.
"To make your mother as happy as I can all year," he answered proudly. Then mom got on, and I said, "What’s your resolution, Mom?" "To see that your dad keeps his resolution.”
God would certainly like to see us keep His resolutions. He knows that’s the way to be blessed. Walking with the Lord, doing things His way, is the way to be blessed. Be careful. Be thoughtful. Be thankful.
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