Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning and evening, January 2, 2000, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia:
START THE NEW MILLENNIUM WITH A PURPOSE IN YOUR HEART
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Daniel 1: 1-8
Text: Daniel 1:8
Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Introduction: Some people just drift through life without any goals or purpose. It has been said that there are three types of people: 1. Those who make things happen; 2. Those who watch things happen; and 3. Those who don’t know what is happening. That is true at church as well. Some people are INVOLVED; other people are INSPECTORS; and still others are IGNORANT — they don’t have a clue as to what is going on.
Daniel was one of the great men of the Bible, and one of his good traits is found in our text for today. He purposed in his heart to do right. He determined it. He chose it. It didn’t just sneak up on him that he was pure. He was pure on purpose!
I want to encourage you to decide on purpose to trust and obey the Lord this year, starting this morning.
Let me give you some suggestions on things you should determine to do in 2000, starting today:
I. YOU SHOULD PURPOSE IN YOUR HEART TO BE SAVED
2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation)
A. Because of the pollution of your heart
- 1. Jer. 17:9
B. Because of the penalty for not trusting Christ
- Jn. 3:18 – You are condemned already if you have not trusted Christ.
- Hell is real!
C. Because of the pardon that God offers
- 1 Cor. 15:1-4 – It is offered through the sacrificial work of Christ on the cross.
- It is a full, free, and final pardon for sins for your eternal destiny!
II. YOU SHOULD PURPOSE IN YOUR HEART TO SEEK GOD IN PRAYER
Isaiah 64:7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
Y2K for our church is the Year 2 Kneel
A. Set a time(s)
- The Psalmist said he would pray at morning, evening, and at noon (Ps. 55:17).
- Daniel had three set times of prayer each day (Dan. 6:10).
B. Seek out a place
- It should be a regular place.
- It should be a place of solitude.
C. Start a list
- You are forgetful.
- You tell people you will pray for them, and you don’t.
- Make a list of your unsaved friends, your family members, your pastor and church members, etc.
III. YOU SHOULD PURPOSE IN YOUR HEART TO STUDY THE BIBLE
Psalms 119:148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.
A. Make goals in reading it
- We have Bible reading guides and Bible reading records on the table to help you in reading through the Bible this year.
B. Meditate on it
- Do like the cow does; chew the cud! Bring up the scripture again later and think about it!
C. Mark it
- Write cross references!
- Write AMEN! PRAISE GOD!
- One lady wrote T&P; by certain verses. It was revealed that T&P; meant “Tried And Proven.”
D. Memorize it
E. Mold your life by it
- Luke 4:4.
- God didn’t give you the Bible just so you could admire it; He wants you to OBEY it!
IV. YOU SHOULD PURPOSE IN YOUR HEART TO BE SEPARATED
2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
A. Be separated in your attitude
B. Be separated in your appearance
C. Be separated in your associations
- Prov. 13:20
D. Be separated in your actions
V. YOU SHOULD PURPOSE IN YOUR HEART TO BE A SOUL-WINNER
Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
A. Decide to go!
- Don’t wait for a burden! GO!
- Don’t wait until you have memorized all of the verses on soul-winning! GO!
- Don’t wait until you are an expert at dealing with cults! GO!
B. Decide to give out the gospel to others!
- Realize that people don’t get saved by accident.
- You won’t win souls by accident.
- You must confront sinners with their condition. “If you were to die today, do you know for sure you would go to heaven?”
- You must present the gospel.
- If you don’t sit down with anyone in a week’s time and give them the gospel, it is certain that you won’t win a soul that week (Rom. 1:16).
C. Decide to groan over sinners!
- Don’t wait for a burden! Get a burden!
- Don’t wait for a burden! WEEP!
D. Decide to gather fruit!
- Don’t wait for it to drop in your lap or be shipped in by a UPS truck! GO GET IT!
- I know there is sowing and watering to do, but GOD says that the fields are while already to harvest! The fruit is out there! GO GET IT!
VI. YOU SHOULD PURPOSE IN YOUR HEART TO SERVE THE LORD
Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
A. CHOOSE to serve the Lord!
B. Call to Him for guidance!
- Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?
C. Consecrate your service to the Lord today!
D. Consistently stay with it!
E. Complete your path; finish your course!
Which brings me to my final point …
VII. YOU SHOULD PURPOSE IN YOUR HEART TO BE STEDFAST
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
A. Decide not to be discouraged
- Don’t listen to the nay-sayers.
- Don’t listen to the failures.
- Believe God!
- Think right!
- Claim Phil. 4:13!
B. Decide not to be distracted
- By pleasure
- By prominence
- By power
- By profit or possessions
C. Decide not to be disqualified
- Christians sometimes get put on the shelf. Paul mentioned that he made a definite decision not to let that happen to him! (1 Cor. 9:24-27)