“Happy And Prosperous New Year”

“If You Start Right, You Will Finish Right”

1/1/18

How appreciative and grateful we all should be that God has so mercifully and graciously blessed us to see and be a part of a New Year here in 2018.  My question to all of is, How Will We Start This New Year?  I am a firm believer in whatever you do with having the right focus, “If You Start Right, You Will Finish Right”.  There are many examples that I could use and share.  However, one that I will use and share is, whether it be a friendship or relationship, if you start out being dishonest and eventually get caught in a lie or lies you will have to work extra hard for the other person to ever trust and take you serious again.  Regardless of how bad something with you may be (this is usually when people tend not to be truthful), it’s just best to be honest and open from the start.

When I think about starting the New Year off right, I can’t help but to also think about life itself.  Regardless of how bad things may have been in the previous year or in the past, we have been blessed to see a New Year and a New Day.  We should certainly learn from our mistakes and mishaps but one thing is for certain, you can or will never move forward if you keep looking back.  The Thematic Over All Scripture Passages that the Lord has led me to use for my church this year is taken from Philippians 3:13-14.  It is here that the Apostle Paul says, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  Regardless of the type of resume that the Apostle Paul may have had during this time, he made up his mind that he was forgetting those things that were behind, those things that were in the past.  He was determined to move forward in getting to know the Lord in a much better way.           

We should start off this New Year not only being appreciative and grateful but our focus should be on Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  This is even what the Hebrew writer shared with us be it Paul or someone else in Hebrews 12:1-2.  After we as Christians are told through these passages of the Holy Write, to run the race that is set before us with patience, we are then told to look and keep our eyes on Jesus, who is indeed the author and finisher of our faith.  Unless our lives are cut short, we must run this race at the right paste.  This word patience in this text is really talking about running with perseverance and endurance. 

Truthfully speaking, this is how we must start.  So I say again, “If You Start Right, You Will Finish Right”.  Yes, there will be times in life that we will need to pick up the paste and even move with haste but we still have to run and live this life at the right paste.  You see life itself is a marathon not a sprint.  It’s a process.  When people treat life like a sprint, they in many cases find themselves dropping out the race, giving up, and quitting.  The wise preacher in Ecclesiastes 9:11 shares with us in so many words that “The race is not given to the swift nor the strong but he who endures until the end”.  Even Jesus said in part of Matthew 10:22; 24:13 and Mark 13:13 that if we endure, persevere, stand firm to the end, we would be saved.  In closing, as we start this New Year off let’s look at it as God giving us another chance.  Let’s start it off with joyous celebration, more determination, and more dedication with our Divine Destination (Destiny) in view.  Yes beloved, let’s Start Right So We Can Finish Right.  Stay tuned for more in the weeks to come.          

 

Saved To Serve

Dr. Quintin P. Woods, Sr.   

Pastor/Visionary Undershepherd

 

 

“If You Start Right, You Will Finish Right”

Part Two

1/8/18

As I continue to deal with this subject matter of “If You Start Right, You Will Finish Right”, my focus this week is on “Giving Up Is Not An Option”.  At the beginning of the year many people make resolutions only to come up short no sooner than the New Year starts.  I strongly believe that as we acknowledge God we should make and set goals and plans but personally I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions.  To each his or her own, but the important part is that in whatever we do we must have discipline, dedication, and determination. Let alone Starting Right but if we are to Finish Right, “Giving Up Can Not Be An Option”

I have seen many people give up and through in the towel when times get hard and tough.  Even for that matter, when situations become more challenging.  First of all, the Word Of God informs us that life won’t always be easy (Job 14:1, John 16:33, James 1:2-4).  Even though life won’t always be easy, we must realize that in order to really achieve, accomplish, and be successful, we cannot totally operate in just our own strength.  We must realize that we can do all things through Christ which strengthens us (Phil. 4:13).

The Apostle Paul had a thorn in his flesh and he consistently prayed and asked God to move it.  However, God denied his request but He had God’s grace that was without question, sufficient and more than enough (2 Cor. 12:7-10).  Regardless of how hard it gets, I encourage you to stay focus, faithful, and continue to look to God the Father for strength and guidance.  Be like the woman with the issue of blood, who wouldn’t give up because she was determined to make it to Jesus to touch his clothes (Mark 5:25-34).  As a result, she received her miracle and breakthrough.  In the words of the title of a sermon I did in the past, she had “Faith For A Better Future”.

In closing, I’m reminded of one of my close friends and frat brothers when it comes to driving long distances.  There have been times when he had a long distance to drive and thirty minutes into the trip he would get tired and sleepy and call me  to tell me he was getting tired and sleepy (LOL).  Sometimes in life and in a New Year, you can get tired and weary no sooner than you start but it is okay to slow down or pull over into a rest stop of life and rest awhile but don’t give up.  Allow God to order your steps (Ps. 37:23) and I know you will make it on through.  Even if God has to redirect you or you have to slow the paste, purpose and make up in your mind that “Giving Up Is Not An Option”.  Stay tuned for more on next week.                 

 

Saved To Serve

Dr. Quintin P. Woods, Sr. 

Pastor/Visionary Undershepherd