This is the time of the year when people break out the clichés and trite phrases. For example,

“Old Father Time soon passes away.”

“New Year’s resolutions are broken before you leave the party.”

“It’s time for self examination and our annual day of repentance.”

For some it’s time for alcohol and parties. The Sheepfold always has an annual New Year’s Eve non-alcohol party. We pray in the New Year and toast one another with non-alcohol sparkling cider. It will be a night of enjoying junk food, left over Christmas cookies and playing highly competitive board games. The party usually starts around 8 pm and lasts until after mid-night. Lois and I have enjoyed this family type ritual evening for the entire 30 years we’ve been in the ministry.

Today’s sermon is one of my favorite “life scriptures.” The text of this epistle was written by the Apostle Paul to what was probably his first European church. The third chapter of Philippians is known as the “Mental Health” chapter of Paul’s writings. He is challenging the church and us to pursue traits of character that will deepen one’s faith and devotion to Christ.

Three words characterize the life of the Apostle Paul: 'Purpose, Attitude and Motivation.'  In the coming year 2008, may each of us find these qualities that will lead us to true happiness and peace with God!  


Pastor Phil    <><<

Sheepfold Ministries, Pastor Phil Roland

December 30, 2007


Philippians 3:10-14

"Three words characterize the life of the Apostle Paul: 'Purpose, Attitude and Motivation.'  In the coming year 2008, may each of us find these qualities that will lead us to true happiness and peace with God."                Pastor Phil Roland


Three ways to Face The New Year:


            "I want to know Christ. . ."

            A. Seven Traits for Knowing Christ in 2008

                        1. Making Jesus REAL to people

                        2. Winning people to personal acceptance of Jesus as Savior

                        3. Preaching and teaching the Bible as the Word of God

                        4. Making every worship service a Celebration of His Joy

                        5. Seeing people grow thru fellowship and Christian friendship

                        6. Developing loving relationships in marriages and families

                        7. Helping people through life's crises

            B. Promise of strength and Unusual Feats - Dan. 11:32b

       “. . .but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”

                        1. Warnings against double-mindedness - James 1:6-8

                        “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who

doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man

should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-

minded man, unstable in all he does.”

    a. Greek: Dia-psuke – “Twin-Souled”

        One foot in the kingdom, one in the world

    b. Single-Minded Focus on Knowing Christ in a deeper way

                        2. Jesus taught singleness of eye - Matt. 6:22

                        "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body

will be full of light.”

    a. Jesus was resolute to finish His mission – Luke 9:51

    “Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received

     up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,”

    b. Focus like an Eagle



            ". . . But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind. . ."

            A. A "P M A" - Positive Mental Attitude

            B. Need a good "Forgettery" – “Don’t look back. . .”

                        1. Forget past sin – Twin seductions:

                            a. Romantic-ize the past – “In the good old days. . .”

                            b. Real-ize – “It was awful! If ONLY. . .”

                       2. Forget past failures – Four things that can never return:

                             a. The spoken word

                             b. The sped arrow

                             c. The past life

                             d. The neglected opportunity

 3. Forget past sorrows - See Matt. 14:12

                        “John's disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went

and told Jesus.”

      a. Bury the past

      b. Go tell JesusTalk to Him about your sorrows

      c. He grieves with us – vs. 13,14

      “When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted

       place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him

      on foot from the cities. And when Jesus went out He saw a great

      multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed

      their sick.”



            "I press on toward the goal to win the prize. . ."

            A. We are created for Good Works - Eph. 2:10

            “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which

God prepared in advance for us to do.”

            B. We have an outstanding future - Phil 3:20-21

            “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the

Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under

his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious


                        1. We shall be like Him – 1 John 3:2

                        “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed

what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like

Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

2. We shall forever be with Him – 1 Thess. 4:13-18

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who

have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we

believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him

those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord,

that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no

means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend

from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the

trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are

alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to

meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Therefore comfort one another with these words.”







Philippians 3:10-14

that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

11  if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

12  Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

13  Brethren, 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,

14  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.




This is the age of the half-read page

and the quick hash and the mad dash

and the bright night with the nerves tight

the plane hop and the brief stop,

the lamp tan in a short span,

the big shot and the good spot,

and the brain strain and the heart pain,

and the cat naps till the spring snaps

and the fun's done and then comes taps.




There is no better way to use the time of this New Year. Here is a timely item that appeared in the Hawkinsville Dispatch News:

Take time to work--it is the price of success.

Take time to think--it is the source of power

Take time to read--it is the fountain of wisdom

Take time to worship--it is the highway to reverence

Take time to be friendly--it is the road to happiness

Take time to laugh--it helps to lighten life's load

Take time for people—they’re the only investment you take out

          of this world


Take time for God's Word--it brings Christ near and

          washes the dust of earth from your eyes


Take time for God—He is life's only truly lasting investment

In Jesus' name, Amen.