SERMON DATE AND TITLE:20111002: "Have A Sweeet Year"

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        Judaism has a series of euphemisms that denote certain holidays of the year. When Rosh Hashanah comes to mind, Jewish culture always says,

“Have a Sweet Year!”

A pastor I knew years ago had a banner over the entrance to his church sanctuary, “Stay Sweet.” Apparently, more than a few of his people were critical and gripey, so he erected a visual reminder.

        Rosh Hashanah is a Jewish holiday that employs an actual methodology for "staying sweet." The blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah was understood as the beginning of their annual heavenly trial before the supreme court of heaven. The trial of the people was for their sins of the previous year. It was believed the trial was to last ten days ending on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

        Imagine yourself standing before the greatest Supreme Justice of the Universe who has complete knowledge of you and your sins. He is placing your life on His balance scales. On one side of the scale is life and on the other side is death. The Great Judge makes a thorough assessment of your life.

        Is your life this past year contributing to Life or does the net effect of your life this past year tilt the scale toward Death? Your life is in the balance through this annual ritual. How does your balance look? Death or Life?


Pastor Phil  <><<



October 2, 2011 – Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland


Deuteronomy 31:20 - 19-23

“According to the Gregorian Calendar this is the Jewish Year 5772. Having a sweet new year is one thing, but being sweet about what happens during the year is another. How do we “stay sweet?”                                      Pastor Phil


Leviticus 20:24

“'But I have said to you, "You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey." I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples.”




          A. Jewish Tradition: Sweet is associated with Wealth

                        1. Apples are Sweet and Natural Source of Sugar

                        2. No Candy stores / No chocolate eclaires

                        3. Jewish Tradition believed that Apples symbolized G-d

                        4. G-d was refered to as the "Shekhinah"

                        5. "Shekhinah" was believed to be the feminine aspect of G-d

                        6. Ancient Jews also believed Apples were thereapeutic

            B. Fruit honey was often used as a sweet treat

                        1. Dates from Date Palms driped with honey-like liquid

                        2. Figs were loaded with fruit suger and dripped w/juice

            C. Honey was a Sweet treat of the wealthy

1. Hives were expensive to build and maintain

2. Bees are / were fragile and delicate

3. Bees interact with blossoms to produce fruit



            A. Milk and Honey are symbolic references of the Promised Land

                        1. Early Jewish Settlers saw goats eating from fig trees

                        2. Udders so full of milk, it flowed out spontaneously

            B. The Promised Land appeared to be “Flowing with Milk and Honey”

            C. The Land of Promise is where the Lord and His Approval Reside

                        1. Bloom where you’re planted – Philippiams 4:11

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever

  state I am, to be content:”

                        2. Prosper in the Land God has given you – Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD,

  thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

            D. God made a Promise to Abraham - Genesis 17:7-8
"And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your                                  descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to                be God to you and your descendants after you. 8 Also I give to you and

HAVE A SWEET YEAR, cont., p.2


            your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the        land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."


        A. Prepare for the New Year by Forsaking the sin - Proverbs 28:13

            “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and                        forsakes them will have mercy.”

1. We, as G-d's people are prone to Sinning 1 Samuel 12:10

                        "Then they cried out to the LORD, and said, 'We have sinned,

                         because we have forsaken the LORD and served the Baals and

                         Ashtoreths; but now deliver us from the hand of our enemies, and

                         we will serve You.'"

2. We acknowledge our Sins before G-d - Isaiah 59:12

                        "For our offenses are many in your sight, and our sins testify

                         against us. Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our


B. Regretting the breach in our relationship with God and Man–Ps. 51

Psalm 51:1-4

             “Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness;                              According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my                                   transgressions. 2  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me

              from my sin. 3  For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is

              always before me. 4  Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this

              evil in Your sight; That You may be found just when You speak, And

              blameless when You judge.”
C. Confessing the truth before God - 1 John 1:9

            “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to

             cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

            D. Making Amends with Others we have Harmed - James 5:6

            “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that

              you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails


              Matthew 5:23-4

            “"Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your

              brother has something against you, 24  "leave your gift there before the

              altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come

              and offer your gift.”
E. Accepting the future~ moving forward w/G-d - Philippians 3:13-14

            "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."



"The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked;

  Who can know it?

            A. It is impossible for us to Judge ourselves - Romans 3:20-23

            "Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for

             by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God

HAVE A SWEET YEAR, cont., p.3


             apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the

             Prophets,  22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ,

             to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have

             sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"

                        1. We deserve Death - Romans 6:23a

                          "The wages of sin is death. . ."

2. We have Life through Faith is Jesus - Romans 6:23b

                           "But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

            B. The only way to have a Sweet Year is through Jesus Christ

            C. Receive Him into your Heart and be made Clean

                        1. G-d will hear when we pray Isaiah 65:24

                        "It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while

                         they are still speaking, I will hear.”

                        2. G-d will forgive our sinsPsalm 103:12; 1 John 1:9

                        “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our

                         transgressions from us.” -  “if we confess our sins, He is faithful

                        and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all


            C. G-d will answer our Prayers – Isaiah 65:24

            "It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they                   are still speaking, I will hear.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”                    

“. . .then, I will hear from heaven. . .”

            “. . .and will forgive their sins. . .”

            “. . .and will heal their land.”








Deuteronomy 31:20 - 19-23

“19  "Now therefore, write down this song for yourselves, and teach it to the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel.

20  "When I have brought them to the land flowing with milk and honey, of which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and filled themselves and grown fat, then they will turn to other gods and serve them; and they will provoke Me and break My covenant.

21  "Then it shall be, when many evils and troubles have come upon them, that this song will testify against them as a witness; for it will not be forgotten in the mouths of their descendants, for I know the inclination of their behavior today, even before I have brought them to the land of which I swore to give them."

22  Therefore Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it to the children of Israel.

23  Then He inaugurated Joshua the son of Nun, and said, "Be strong and of good courage; for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land of which I swore to them, and I will be with you.”