What To Leave Behind In 2009
by Cecil A. Fayard, Jr.
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 (ESV)
INTRO: As we get ready to enter into 2010, there are some things that we need to leave behind; we need to leave them in 2009. If we do not leave these things behind, we will be hindered in the kingdom work that God has for us; and you personally will be hindered in your daily walk with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I urge you to lay aside those things that burden you in running the race of faith. Hebrews 12:1 says: “. . . Let us lay aside every weight, and sin that doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Whatever sin or whatever habit is hindering you in 2009, leave it behind in 2010; lay it at the foot of the cross and do not go back and pick it up again.
Leave It There
Leave it there, leave it there,
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.
If you trust and never doubt,
He will surely bring you out.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.
Here are things we need to leave behind in 2010.
I. ANGER NEEDS TO BE LEFT BEHIND (COL 3:8)
A. The Bible says that anger, if uncontrolled, will lead to sinful behavior. It is plain that Cain was angry with Abel because Abel’s sacrifice was accepted by God and his was not (Gen 4:4-7). Cain’s anger led to murder (Gen 4:8).
B. We must learn to control our spirits and not respond in anger. Proverbs 16:32 says: “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his own spirit than he that taketh a city.” It is important that we are slow to anger. Some folks fly off the handle at any little provocation. To rule your own spirit, you must be ruled by the Holy Spirit. Psalm 37:8 gives this instruction concerning anger; “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.” Wrath is likened to poisonous venom, hot anger. Leave anger behind in 2010.
II. LUST NEEDS TO BE LEFT BEHIND
A. Lust can get you and me into a lot of trouble. In James 1:14-15, we have the LSD of the Bible: lust, sin, and death. Natural desires for sex, for food, or for drink are not sinful. But these can be sinful if not controlled and kept in their proper place. Hebrews 13:4 says: “Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled….” I Cor 6:18 tells us to: “Flee fornication. . .” Eph 3:18 says: “Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess. . . .” Remember: “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Lust will wear down our resistance to sin. Samson let lustful behavior lead him to sin and destruction (Jud 16:15-17). Through the centuries, many folks have used lust as an excuse to sin even more. Some have looked upon a woman and lusted for her (Mt 5:28) and said in their mind: “I might as well go ahead and commit adultery.” No my friend, confess your sin of lust, and sin no more. The Law of God tells us that sex with any woman who is not your wife is a sin. Exodus 20:14: “Thou shalt no commit adultery.” How is acting on your lustful desires harmful: It causes people to excuse their sin and not stop sinning. It is deliberate rebellion against a Holy God. It destroys marriages. It always hurts far more people than just the sinner himself. Leave behind ungodly lust in 2010.
III. COVETOUSNESS NEEDS TO BE LEFT BEHIND
A. The Bible warns us to beware of covetousness. Luke 12:15 says: “And he said unto them, take heed, and beware of covetousness; for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Don’t get hung up on things. God is not against you having things; He is against things having you.
B. In Proverbs 21:25-26, we find that the righteous are a giving people, a caring people, a people with a heart. The lazy refuse to work and covet greedily all day long.
C. The Word of God also says that: “The love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (I Tim 6:10). Covetousness many times follows prosperity. A TV commentator recently asked: “When did greed become a crime.” Exodus 20:17 says: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. . . .” Moses warned the children of Israel not to forget God once they enter the Land of Milk and Honey and became prosperous. Never forget your need of the Sovereign God of the universe. Don’t forget all He has done for you, and become ungrateful. William Shakespeare wrote in his poem, “Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind”:
Blow, blow thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
D. Leave covetousness behind in 2010.
IV. UNFORGIVENESS NEEDS TO BE LEFT BEHIND
A. We need to learn that forgiveness is possible if we only consider what great sin God has forgiven His people (Eph 4:32).
B. Forgiveness is part of being a good Christian. Joseph of the Old Testament is an example of genuine forgiveness (Gen 45:5; 50:20).
C. Forgiveness is not the way of the world; it is God’s way.
D. You must be willing to forgive for forgiveness is an act of the will.
E. Remember this, God forgives His children every time they ask in repentance. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
V. BITTERNESS NEEDS TO BE LEFT BEHIND
A. Bitterness begins with a small root and grows into a great bitter tree (Heb 12:14-17).
B. Bitterness comes when we do not deal spiritually with problems in our lives. When we allow disappointment to grow into resentment, bitterness is just around the corner. When we hold grudges and will not get rid of them, then bitterness will result.
C. There are several things that come along with bitterness: Jealousy, dissension, and immoral actions. To be healed of bitterness, we must be filled with the Holy Spirit, and we must be forgiving. Bitterness is removed by forgiveness.
CONCLUSION: There is a principle of replacement that is very important to the child of God. When you get rid of bad, you need to replace it with good. In II Pet 1:4-8, we have a wonderful list of spiritual principles that need to be added to all of our lives in a big way in 2010.