Central Christian Church Message Podcast

All I Want for Christmas is a Fresh Start | Christmas at Central | Pastor Caleb Baker

December 27, 2020 Central Christian Church of Arizona
Central Christian Church Message Podcast
All I Want for Christmas is a Fresh Start | Christmas at Central | Pastor Caleb Baker
Central Christian Church Message Podcast
All I Want for Christmas is a Fresh Start | Christmas at Central | Pastor Caleb Baker
Dec 27, 2020
Central Christian Church of Arizona

How do you make sure your 2021 means something?

After a year like 2020, we are all looking for a fresh start. However, too often we look for that fresh start in places that won't fulfill us. If we are to truly start afresh we will have to reevaluate where our fulfillment comes from.

Join Pastor Caleb Baker as he shows us that the best new stuff comes from a God that's always been.

Support the show (https://www.centralaz.com/Give)

Show Notes Transcript

How do you make sure your 2021 means something?

After a year like 2020, we are all looking for a fresh start. However, too often we look for that fresh start in places that won't fulfill us. If we are to truly start afresh we will have to reevaluate where our fulfillment comes from.

Join Pastor Caleb Baker as he shows us that the best new stuff comes from a God that's always been.

Support the show (https://www.centralaz.com/Give)

[00:00:00] All I want for Christmas is a fresh start. That's all. I mean, is that too much to ask? Especially after a year, like the year that we've had, I just want a fresh start. I don't know your stuff. I don't know how this year has affected you or your family, but I'd be willing to bet that there's no one listening right now going, no, actually I'll just, I'll just take more of this.

[00:00:24] Just give me more of 2020. This has been my favorite year ever, right? I thought maybe Christmas was going to fix 2020, and now Christmas has passed too. And we're still here. Our decorations are still up. You'd probably still have your home decorated. Maybe you're sitting at church in your PJ's right now.

[00:00:42] I wish that I was in my PJ's, but they won't let me, but here, here we are. And we're just a few days from 2021. Can you believe it? And all I want is a fresh start. You can have everything else. You can have all the new toys. You can have the nice cars. You can [00:01:00] have the JC penny gift card things. Again, grandma, you can have all that stuff.

[00:01:04] I just want to start over. I just want to get out of the rut that I feel like I've been in. I want a fresh start and this feels like the right time for that. Doesn't it? I mean, it's almost a new year. This is what we do. New year, new me. I'm going to change. I'm going to turn the page. This is going to be my year to actually change things.

[00:01:25] I was looking up some of the most common new year's resolutions that people make every year. And you could probably guess a lot of these. Here's a top 10 on an article that I was reading top 10, most common new year resolutions. This is the year that I'm going to exercise more. This is the year. I'm going to get a gym membership.

[00:01:45] You're like, Oh, wait a minute. Are gyms even open? I don't know what's happening. Maybe I'll just order a bunch of those resistance bands. I'm going to definitely use those every day worth the investment. Number two, this is the year that I'm going to lose weight. Again, like I'm going to work out. I'm going to do the no carb thing.

[00:02:00] [00:01:59] I guess I'm just like crushing burgers wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun, I'm going to do the juice cleanse. I'm gonna do the shake replacement meals or the intermittent fasting, all of this stuff's going to work. And if you're anything like me, you're just going to get to like January 20. And you're like, I think I'm just going to buy some Spanx.

[00:02:16] This is all getting a little bit ridiculous. Number three, this is I'm going to get organized. I'm going to get my life organized. Number four, this is the year I'm going to learn a new skill set. And this is what we do, right. I'm going to buy a homemade pasta maker. I'm just going to learn how to make my own pasta.

[00:02:34] I'll use this every night for dinner. It's going to be amazing. This is the year I'm going to live life to the fullest. I love that one. That's, that's really one of the top 10, what a great measurable goal. I'm going to live life to the fullest. Be like, okay, you can just say that you did, and you at least got one of them.

[00:02:51] This is the year I'm going to spend less money here. I'm going to save more money. I'm going to try the cash in the envelopes thing again. Or this is the year I'm going to quit smoking. [00:03:00] This is the year I'm going to spend more time with my family. This is the year that I'm going to travel more. Okay.

[00:03:06] Maybe not this year, but, but soon for sure, this is the year that I'm going to read more. That's the last one. This is the year I'm going to read more. And so I'm just going to go to Barnes and noble and I'll start small, maybe get like 10 or 15 books and see how that goes. Is that just me? I can't help, but buy books when I am in Barnes and noble, I don't even know how to read that.

[00:03:26] Well, I'm not going to read these. I'm not good at reading them, but when I'm in Barnes and noble just seems like a great idea to buy a bunch of them. So there's our list and we look at all these things and we go, cool. Cool, cool. 2021 is looking up. We're going to turn the page. It's a new year. I get a fresh start.

[00:03:43] And you got to hear me. I'm not trying to mock any of those things. If those are some of your resolutions run after those. That's awesome. Those are great things to strive for it. I just think it can be so intimidating for us when we, when we concentrate it all down into this list, right. To try to list out things, [00:04:00] to find our own fulfillment.

[00:04:02] When we try to manufacture our own happiness, it can get intimidating. It can get intimidating. And today I want to try to get us to a place where we can reevaluate where and who our fulfillment comes from. I want to try to reevaluate. We, I think we need to address where our meaning comes from, and that's what I want to talk about today.

[00:04:26] I want to talk about how to make sure your 2021 means something. We can all do this. How to make sure you're 2021 means something. If you have your Bibles, go ahead and turn to second Chronicles, chapter 34, second Chronicles 34. It's in our old Testament about halfway through the old Testament, if that's helpful.

[00:04:50] And this is going to seem a little bit odd, but as we look forward, as we talk for the next few minutes about how to have a fresh start, like in the future, moving. Into next year, [00:05:00] we're going to learn from a story that's about 2,600 years old. And I know that feels odd a little bit. It's over 2000 years ago there in Israel in this story.

[00:05:11] We're not in Israel unless you're watching from Israel. And then welcome. Glad to have you here. But this was so long ago. I mean, this story takes place before cars, before airplanes, before Facebook. Can you imagine how lucky they are to not have to worry about that? This is before electronics, before light bulbs, before the printing press.

[00:05:32] This was a long time ago. It's such a different world now. In fact, this was even before they knew that our world was a sphere. They thought that the earth was flat when this story took place. Some people on YouTube still do, but that's not the point. I mean, this was such a different time. How on earth could we learn about how to live the next year fully by looking back so far?

[00:05:58] It's an interesting question. I [00:06:00] think it's because they were pursuing the same God that we are pursuing today. That God, this constant, all above time and space, God was around then and he's around now. He always will be. And we have to try to wrap our minds around this eternal nature of God that is forever in every direction.

[00:06:24] Again, he's outside of time and space. And while we are right here and we are right now, we are a part of something that's so much bigger than just right here and right now. We have this eternity, this foreverness baked into us. We are limited by time and space, but we're invited into a much bigger story by the God that was and is, and is to come.

[00:06:47] There is a forever in you, whether you know it or not, you were created. For forever. You weren't created just to live out your 78.4 years on this earth and then be done. You were [00:07:00] made to last, there is eternity baked into you. So we're going to look back to try to understand how to move forward, how to, how to have a fresh start, to put it simply.

[00:07:11] I want to try to persuade you today that the best new stuff comes from a God that's always been. The best new stuff comes from a God that's always been. Let's jump in how to make sure you're 2021 means something we're going to start in second Chronicles, 34 starting in verse one. It says this. Josiah was eight years old when he became King and he reigned in Jerusalem for 31 years, he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.

[00:07:43] And he walked in the ways of his father, David. Not turning aside to the right or to the left. Okay. So let's do some background really quick. So right away, we're introduced to this guy, Josiah and we find out that he became King when he was eight years old. That's [00:08:00] insane. That's incredibly young. The verses, right before this chapter that we're reading today, tell us of Josiah's dad.

[00:08:07] His name was Amon. He was the King before Josiah. He was a very wicked King and his, his officials has the people that were like his right hand guys actually had him assassinated because he was that wicked. And they weren't happy with the way that he was being the King. And so they kill Amon Josiah's dad.

[00:08:23] And then they appointed Josiah to be the King as an eight year old. That's like the age of a second grader, a little further reading back tells us that Josiah, his grandpa, the King before his father was a guy named Manasseh. And he was an incredibly wicked and unfaithful King. He was about as bad as it got.

[00:08:42] He did everything that God told him not to. And the people of God suffered because of that. Amon his son followed suit. And so when Josiah takes over God's people were in a bad place. They were pretty far from God. This is somewhere in the six hundreds, BC. And just really quick, just so [00:09:00] we know where we are.

[00:09:00] I want to take you on a little bit of a journey to talk about what the old Testament history looks like. When the people of God wanted a King a little before a thousand BC, they anointed this guy Saul to be the first King of Israel. You might already know this. So King Saul was the first King things didn't go that well.

[00:09:17] And God anointed this little shepherd boy, David, to be the King, whenever Saul would die. And so it went from King Saul to King David. David had some really high highs and he had some incredibly low lows to put it lightly. David was the King, and then when he died, his son Solomon became King. So we have Saul then David and then Solomon. After Solomon, his son Rehoboam became King and everything kind of split in two. Rehoboam was doing a poor job.

[00:09:48] And so the kingdom split, the Northern 10 tribes of Israel, looked at, looked at Rehoboam down in Judah, down in Jerusalem and said, you're not taking care of us. You're not doing a good job leading us [00:10:00] being our King. And so they split into their own nation. So the Southern two tribes became what we know of as the nation of Judah.

[00:10:07] And the top 10 tribes became what we have in the old Testament is referred to the nation of Israel. You got to think about this, both the people of God, both God's chosen people, but because of Rehoboam and just wickedness and how that works, the kingdom split. And so if you go down the list, Pastor Cal talked about this a couple of weeks ago, like every King, almost every single King was a bad King and did a bad job.

[00:10:30] You can go down the list of all the Kings bad King, bad King, bad King bad. One good one bad King back in that like it was it's overwhelming. It's overwhelming. And King Josiah has an eight year old, became the 16th King of Judah, the Southern tribes, about 300 or so years after King Solomon. And he has inherited a mess.

[00:10:53] And so I want to jump back in and read those same two verses. Now that we have the context, let's go back to verse one. It says this [00:11:00] Josiah was eight years old when he became King and he reigned in Jerusalem for 31 years. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in the ways of his father,

[00:11:09] DAvid, not turning aside to the right or to the left. This is the first step and how to make sure your 2021 means something. Step number one, don't swerve. Don't swerve. I love Josiah's focus. He walked straight after God. He kept his eyes on God. It says after his father, David, he lived up to David's legacy.

[00:11:34] Who was hundreds of years before him. Again, this is the eternal story that we're a part of. Josiah didn't turn aside to the right or to the left. He stayed focused on God. And for you and me, this is our first step in how, how to make this year means something, how to live lives of purpose, how to, how to actually follow God with our lives.

[00:11:55] Keep your eyes focused on him. I grew up in [00:12:00] Illinois and learning how to drive in Illinois meant that your driver's ed teacher talked a lot, probably too much about what to do if a deer is in the road. We had a lot of, there's a ton of deer there, deer deers. I don't know the plural form. It, it doesn't matter.

[00:12:14] This isn't an English lesson. And they taught us if you're driving in a deer is in the, is in the road, keep driving straight at it. I don't think they asked the deer what they, what their opinion would be about that. But I remember hearing that and being like, well, that's kind of brutal, like yikes. The thinking though is that the deer will probably move.

[00:12:31] If it sees it coming at you, I guess they never heard the phrase deer in headlights. They don't actually move, but even if it doesn't even if the deer doesn't move, it's much more dangerous for you as the driver. If you start swerving all over the place, you're probably going to cause more damage swerving to avoid the deer than if you hadn't.

[00:12:49] So don't swerve. Keep going straight at the target. Isn't this true about our lives. We're going this way and something might come up that freaks us out. And rather than just [00:13:00] addressing it, rather than just going head on, we swerve and we end up causing way more trouble. I know this is true about my life.

[00:13:07] The first step for us today, don't swerve stay focused. I know that there will be stuff that pops up there already has been. I know it seems scary or unknown. The more we swerve away from where God is leading us, the more trouble we're going to cause. And I think a lot of us honestly have the right destination typed into our Google maps.

[00:13:28] Like most of us were trying to end up in the right place. We really are. But, but what we've done is if you, if you do Google maps, you know that there's an add a stop feature. So I'm going to a certain destination, but I can add a stop. Maybe I want Starbucks, whatever it might be. And I think a lot of us are going the right direction, but we've added a stop and we've added a stop and we got distracted by this and we've added a stop.

[00:13:50] And then, Oh, but I forgot. I needed to stop here. We add a stop. You know what sounds good. This sounds good to eat for lunch. We add a stop and we've added so many stops in our lives. That, that we've forgot [00:14:00] altogether where we were going in the first place we've gone right. We've gone left. We've gone left twice.

[00:14:05] We came back. Right. We went left again. Then all of a sudden, now we don't even know where we're going. Step number one, don't swerve. Let's follow Josiah's lead and not turn aside to the right or to the left. Where does God want me to go? And I'm going to focus on that. Let's keep reading, pick it up in verse three.

[00:14:23] And the eighth year of his reign. So do the math. Josiah is 16 years old at this point while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father, David. And his 12th year. So this makes him 20 and his 12th year began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places. Asherah poles, carved idols and cast images.

[00:14:43] Verse four, under his direction, the altars of the Baals were torn down. He cut to pieces, the incense altars that were above them and smashed the Asherah poles, the idols and the images. These, he broke to pieces and scattered over the graves of those who had sacrificed to [00:15:00] them. He burned the bones of the priests on their altars.

[00:15:02] And so he purged Judah and Jerusalem and the towns of Manasseh, even in his own grandpas namesake in the towns of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, as far as Naphtali and in the ruins around them, he tore down the altars in the Asherah poles and crushed the idols to powder. And cut to pieces all the incense altars throughout Israel, then he went back to Jerusalem.

[00:15:26] So we already talked about don't swerve, focus on God. Step number two, because focus leads to the next step. Smash the idols. It's time to smash the idols. Look how extensive Josiah's idol smashing efforts were. He got rid of everything. He got rid of it all. I think if we keep some of the things that distract us from God, we will find a way to stay fully distracted from God.

[00:15:54] You might look at your life and go, yeah, there's some things that I can see. Those are dangerous. I need to get rid of those, but I'm gonna hold onto these because I really [00:16:00] liked these. And if we follow Josiah's lead, he smashed everything. Anything that we can get caught up worshiping instead of God, it's time to get rid of look back at verse three with me, he says he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places.

[00:16:16] Asherah poles, carved idols and cast images under his direction. The altars of the Baals were torn down. So, this is interesting. I was doing some reading as I was writing this. And two of those things really stuck out to me. One is, is Asherah poles. I looked this up and there was this goddess Asherah she was the goddess of fertility.

[00:16:34] She was a big deal. She was widely worshiped at this time in this area. She's the goddess that claims to give you what you want. She's fertile. She represented growth and excess and new stuff. And then it talks about the altar of Baal and Baal was the God of a lot of things. He was a powerful lowercase g god. Namely he was the God over the weather and the storms and the seasons that are [00:17:00] always changing to put it simply Baal was the god of how things were going.

[00:17:04] He was the god of all that was happening around you. Out of your control. He was thought to be in charge. I look at those two things. I go, wow, isn't this so much like us, how much of our worship is wasted, and what we can get and in how things are going. We'll bow down to anything in our culture that will give us growth and excess.

[00:17:25] And that will give us control over our environment. What I'm saying is we have different names for them now, but we're still worshiping Asherah poles and altars of Baal. And it's time to smash the idols. Our God is the one true God. And he alone gives us growth in a meaningful way. He alone can control the weather and the seasons he alone can quiet the storms in your life.

[00:17:49] No job can do that and no status can do that. No income can do that. No relationship, no healthy lifestyle, no 401k, no house, no accomplishment or degree can do [00:18:00] that. Only. God can. Only God can do that. It's time to smash these idols. We're wasting our worship. On the things that aren't going to sustain us, that aren't going to love us back.

[00:18:11] Josiah. Doesn't just put them away in the closet. He smashes them, he destroys them. And I'm not saying, go quit your job and burn your house down. Actually, I'm specifically saying not to do that. I don't want to get sued. But, but it's time to stop worshiping those things. It's time to stop worshiping those things.

[00:18:31] They're not, they're not good gods. They're not good gods. So don't swerve smash the idols. Let's keep going, pick it up in verse eight. In the 18th year of Josiah is reign. So again, he's 26 and the 18th year of Josiah is reign to purify the land and the temple. He sent Shaphan son of Azaliah and Masa-Masseiah maybe, I mean, that's my best guess.

[00:18:55] But I'm not Hebrew. The ruler of the city with Jah son of Joahaz the [00:19:00] recorder to repair the temple of the Lord his God. They went to Hilkiah the high priest and gave him the money. That's big. Remember that gave him the money that had been brought into the temple of God, which the Levites, who were the door keepers had collected from the of Manasseh, Ephraim and the entire remnant of Israel.

[00:19:16] And from all the people from all the people of Judah and Benjamin and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, then they entrusted it to the man appointed to supervise the work on the Lord's temple. These men paid the workers who repaired and restored the temple. They also gave money to the carpenters and builders to purchase dressed stone and timber for joists and beams for the buildings that the Kings of Judah had allowed to fall into ruin.

[00:19:43] Step number three for Josiah and for your life is restore the temple. Restore the temple. Again, don't build a temple in your backyard. That's how you ended up on Dateline, but restore the temple in your heart, like in your life to put it another way, [00:20:00] make a place for God in your life. Josiah knew if we're going to start fresh, if we're going to have a fresh worship and we're going to really follow God, we've got to restore the temple.

[00:20:09] We got to make it a priority. We have to make a place for God to dwell. We have to make a place. We got to restore this and you and I need to do the same. Over the last two years since my daughter has been born, we've acquired a lot of toys for her, my beautiful wife, who is the best thing that's ever happened to me also really loves Target.

[00:20:32] And so it's a problem. And she'll come back with new toys for Sophie all of the time. Like every time she goes to Target, she's like, I just, I know we already have a million, but I just wanted to, I just had to get her this toy I had to. And I'm like, did you? And so, but my mother-in-law wants to, wants to spoil her first grandchild.

[00:20:50] My mother wants to spoil her first granddaughter. And so it's a mess at my house. It's like Chucky Cheese in there, but this is my cry for help. I'm just kidding. But each time a new toy comes in, [00:21:00] we have to get rid of something or move something. There's only so much space. It starts to fill up. And we're like, why does my two year old have four cars?

[00:21:08] This is ridiculous. We got to make space for all this stuff. I think the same is true for us with our life and our, our faith. If, if your space is full with job stuff and family stuff and hobby stuff and Netflix stuff, there's no place for God. And I think a lot of us were walking around with our hands full wondering why God won't hand us anything.

[00:21:31] We're walking around with the music, blasting into our ears, wondering why we can't hear him. And it's because we need to make space for him. We need to make a place for him. We need to restore the temple. How do we do that? I think we can just look at what Josiah did. Two things. He sent his most trusted people to oversee it, and he diligently gave his resources to it time and time and time again.

[00:21:55] So let's take this lesson. You want to restore the temple in your life. You want to [00:22:00] make a place for God, include the people in your life that you trust the most to assist you, to help you to help you carry stuff, to push you in the right direction, get them involved. Set up accountability have conversations.

[00:22:12] Let the people that you trust, speak that into you and give your time and your resources to it over and over and over again. It's not a quick fix. It's going to take consistency. It's going to take diligent attention to make a place for God to make time for God restore the worship in your life. Change your daily rhythms to make a place for God.

[00:22:35] This is just one idea. What if you prayed before you got to open your phone every day, every morning you woke up and before you get to open your phone, look at your phone, you had to pray. What, what could that change? What could that do for your life? Here's the truth. God, hasn't gone anywhere. I know it feels like he has.

[00:22:55] But that place of worship still exists for you no matter what, he didn't leave no [00:23:00] matter what, but I did that bad thing. I know, but he didn't leave. God is still here. I think we probably just stopped the upkeep. We probably just let things slip a little bit. This year is the year for you to restore the temple and make a place for God.

[00:23:15] Let's keep reading, picking up in verse 14, this is going to be longest stretch, but I believe in us, we can do this. They were bringing out the money that had been taken into the temple of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the book of the law of the Lord that had been given through Moses Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary,

[00:23:31] I have found the book of the law and the temple of the Lord. He gave it to Shaphan and then Shaphan took the book to the King, to Josiah and reported to him. Your officials are doing everything that has been committed to them. They have paid out the money that was in the temple of the Lord and have entrusted it to the supervisors and the workers.

[00:23:48] Then Shaphan the secretary informed the King, Hilkiah the priest has given me a book and Shaphan read from it in the presence of the King. When the King, the words of the law, he tore his robes. [00:24:00] He gave these orders to Hilkiah and Ahikam son of Shaphan and Abdon son Micah. Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah, the King's attendant go and inquire of the Lord for me, Josiah says, go and inquire of the Lord and for the remnant in Israel and Judah about what is written in this book that has been found, he says, great, is the Lord's anger

[00:24:22] that is poured out on us because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord. They have, they have not acted in accordance with all that is written in this book. I love Josiah's heart in this, the next step and how to make sure you're 2021 means something simply, but in a very difficult way is to surrender to God, surrender to God.

[00:24:45] And again, we can just look at the text and follow Josiah's lead when God reveals his word to us, which is what God does. Look at what Josiah does. He goes, we need to repent and we need to ask God, what's next. I love this. This is so simple, but so [00:25:00] profound. He goes, we need to repent and we need to ask God, what's next.

[00:25:03] Look back at verse 19. It says when the King heard the words of the law, he tore his robes. This is an old expression of repentance and sorrow and grief. How easy would it have been for Josiah to make excuses? This isn't my fault. My dad was terrible at this. My grandpa was terrible at this. I just inherited this, this isn't my fault.

[00:25:24] Or just to make light of it, right. He gets this book. He's like, how much do we have to dust this old book off? Are you serious? Who cares? This stuff's outdated. It doesn't matter anymore. That's not what he does. And if we spend our lives making excuses and just blowing off what God has for us, we're going to live a worshipless and purposeless life.

[00:25:45] And that's not what you've been made for. Josiah expresses deep remorse and deep pain when he is hit over the head with the truth. And I want to tell you this today. If you're writing stuff down, write this down. If you're going to have a fresh start [00:26:00] today, you're going to have to admit that you need one.

[00:26:04] If you're going to have a fresh start today, you're going to have to admit that you need one. We're going to have to stop making excuses. We're going to have to stop acting like we're doing a pretty good job of this on our own let's follow Josiah's lead. Let's repent and ask God, what's next. You don't have to live guilty or live in shame or live in fear.

[00:26:22] God is near to us. And if you'll just make a place for him, if you'll meet your need for him, if you'll repent, turn around and ask God, what's next, you can live a life. That actually means something. No matter what, no matter who you are, I'm talking to you, your life can mean something. If you're willing to step out in faith in this way, repentance isn't this trial where you're just like convicted and then sentenced to death.

[00:26:45] No repentence leads to life. Repentance leads to life. It's you becoming free from the way to your problems. It's giving it to God, surrendering it all to him and going, I can't carry this. God. I need you to carry. This is too big for [00:27:00] me. If you're still in charge of carrying those burdens on your own in 2021, I promise you as much as I can say this in love.

[00:27:10] It's going to be problematic. It's not going to work. So let's surrender to God. Let's seek him out. Let's repent and ask him what's next for us. So Josiah has his people go and ask the prophetess to inquire of the Lord. Like what's, God's saying. She essentially gets back from God that God has seen Josiah humble himself.

[00:27:31] And he's been responsive to God and he's going to be blessed because of that, even though there's some other consequences of generations of sin, Josiah is going to be blessed. His life's going to mean something because he stayed focused on God. And that brings us to the end of our text for today. Let's start in verse 29 and I got to flip a page and we'll finish this out.

[00:27:50] Okay. Then the King called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. He went up to the temple of the Lord with the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, the priests, and the [00:28:00] Levites, all the people from the least to the greatest he read in there hearing all the words of the book of the covenant, which had been

[00:28:06] found in the temple of the Lord, the King stood by his pillar and renewed the covenant and the presence of the Lord to follow the Lord and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all of his heart and all of his soul. And to obey the words of the covenant written in this book, how to make sure you're 2021 means something don't swerve, smash the idols, restore the temple, surrender to God,

[00:28:30] and lastly, renew the covenant. For you for yourself, for your family renew the covenant, just like Josiah, he re-established the covenant that was made hundreds of years before him, but he, and his time where he was stood up in front of all the people and goes, God, I will follow you. I will keep your word.

[00:28:49] I will chase after you with all of my heart and with all of my soul, the best thing you could do for 2021 is to recommit yourself to God, to renew the covenant.

[00:29:02] [00:29:00] The best new stuff comes from a God that's always been, and we can draw on who's gone before us. We can stand on their shoulders. We can trust, like they trusted. We can live. Like they lived. There's this King Josiah that lived 2,600 years ago. And he recommitted his life to God in a way that meant so much to so many.

[00:29:24] And we can do the same today right here. And right now with a couple more days left to 2020, we can have a fresh start. We can commit our lives to God and be welcomed in as a son or a daughter, if we'll surrender because of the grace of Jesus Christ and what he did for us on the cross. And I know that some of you were like, nah, but I don't think I'm included in that I'm too messed up.

[00:29:45] No, you're included in that. Talking to you. If we're willing to completely give God control of our lives, our lives can mean something. We can find purpose and joy in life. I know [00:30:00] this was a crazy year, but you can have a fresh start. So don't swerve smashed the idols, restore the temple, surrender to God and renew the covenant.

[00:30:11] I mean, don't you want your life to mean something? Let me pray for you. God, we're thankful for this story. It's encouraging and it's challenging and it's humbling. And Lord, I read through it again right now. And I'm just overwhelmed by your character in this story that the reason we can find your word is because you're close and you reveal your word.

[00:30:37] The reason we can renew the covenant is because you died for the sins of the world on the cross so that we could have life. That's our only chance, the only reason we can have a fresh start is because of Jesus. And so I pray for everybody listening that they would feel that today they'd be struck with the weight of that and their lives.

[00:30:56] And we love you so much. God, we know that only in you can, our [00:31:00] lives mean something. And so help us to follow you closely. We love you. It's in Jesus name that we pray. Amen.