Luke 14:12 – 24         First Steps Into 2017

If you want 2017 to be better than 2016 you must actually CHANGE some things. Doing the same stuff the same way will yield the same results!

Folks say how bad 2016 was and how they hope for a better 2017, but are unwilling to make any changes. Ponder your choices and make changes!

  1. Step 1: BE GENEROUS
    1. Don’t do things for others expecting repayment
    2. Don’t get and anticipate you have to give
      1. Only Sheldon calculates there is a “Quid Pro Quo” in gift giving
      2. Give expecting no return
  • Receive with humility and thankfulness
    1. God gives freely
    2. Receive
      1. You are not able to repay
    3. Step 2: SEEK GOD’S BEST
      1. Know when you are blessed
        1. We often are much better off than we think
        2. But we reject God’s best by proclaiming a pity party
          1. Oh Woe Is Me
          2. Cries for attention on Facebook
            1. God will give us more than enough attention, compassion and love
              1. IF we turn to Him
  • We often turn away from the great things God is trying to give us
  1. We forget how great our God is to us
  2. We forget how God has always been there for us
  3. We take advantage of His grace gifts
  • WE should Find the joy of a humble, submitted life given freely to God
  1. Step 3: STOP MAKING EXCUSES
    1. We make excuses for not following God and/or rejecting God’s gifts
      1. Too young, too old
      2. Too busy
  • Too popular
  1. Too political
  2. Too ………
  1. There are more than enough hurting people who will gladly receive the blessing you are turning away
    1. Even so, the offer remains open for you as long as you draw breathe
    2. You will miss the best part of life
  • You will miss the best part of eternity
  1. We must be WILLING to make the changes God requires
  2. If you want 2017 to be better than 2016 you must actually CHANGE some things. Doing the same stuff the same way will yield the same results!
  1. Step 4: GO COMPEL
    1. Go out to all the LOCAL Streets and Lanes
    2. Go out FURTHER to the highways and hedges
    3. Compel people to come
      1. Compel is active – not passive
      2. Compel is push and Pressure and urge
  • Compel is NOT giving up, in or out
  1. God House will be filled
    1. Not by excuse makers
    2. Not by fakers
    3. God’s House will be filled by those who know their need for Him and His gift:
      1. By the poor
      2. By the hurting
      3. By the humbled
      4. By those who you might not expect to be invited
      5. By those who understand their need
    4. God is calling you to a great banquet
      1. He has prepared everything for you
      2. He has made a way for you to attend
  • He has eternity prepared for you as a GREAT GIFT
  1. He has a better, more abundant life prepared for you NOW.
    1. Will you come and graciously receive His gift
  2. Or will you make excuses?

Matthew 11:25-30 “At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;  yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.  All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, ands learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” ESV

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