New Year New You is all about doing the one thing that’s needful this year to see your desires go from dreams to realities! Listen to Dr. Siohvaughn Funches as she shares the attributes of God that you can hold onto throughout this year. She speaks encouragement on how you can completely put your trust in God and how a new you have come, and old you have gone. Get ready to see lasting results manifest in your life as you do things God’s way!
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New Year, New You!
We’re going to be starting a new series titled New Year, New You. Before we do that, let’s do what we all always do and let’s take a moment and acknowledge God. I thank you, Heavenly Father, for the opportunity to get at the feet of Jesus and hear His word. I thank you that you’ve given to each and every one of us your spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Yeshua. I thank you for causing the eyes of our understanding to be enlightened like never before. That we may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe according to the working of His mighty power.
I thank you, Yeshua, that you’re expounding on the scriptures to us about the things concerning yourself and you’re opening up our understanding that we might comprehend the scriptures and know you more. I thank you that you’re pouring out your love into us. I thank you, God, that in your light, we are seeing light. I thank you that you’re causing your word to be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. I thank you, God, for all the power, all the glory, all the honor, all the rest, refreshing, all the restoration, all the hope. I thank you for the miracle signs and wonders that will effortlessly manifest as we get at the feet of Jesus and we hear him God, in Jesus’ name.
The title of this new series is called New Year, New You. That’s appropriate. Welcome to 2021. If you made it, glory to God, that’s for sure. We had a lot to overcome, a lot of challenges we face globally and personally. Personal challenges didn’t stop just because something impacted the world outwardly that the challenges inside the homes, inside the classrooms and things like that didn’t stop. I thank God for keeping us and bringing us through what was nothing less than a tumultuous time for the entire world. God is very good and given us His perspective and even beginning to show us all the more. How He turned it for good what the enemy meant for evil. I’m grateful and I’m thankful for that, for my life and even for yours because I know it’s true. In this particular series, God is going to be reminding us and refreshing us of His power.
We know His power for us lies at the feet of Jesus. He’s reminding us of what He told us at the very beginning and how appropriate is how we began this series. How God wants us to embark and begin this new year, which is fresh upon us by reminding us of the power of getting at the feet of Jesus and hearing His word. We know that as new covenant believers, that’s the position that we receive from God. We don’t receive any more by working and trying to keep the law. I thank God for this refresher. It’s so important that we keep this refresher because there’s a devil and there’s also the spirit of religion. It’s important that God continue to do this and we have our flesh which wants to always do and make things happen as opposed to doing it in God’s way. With that opposition, it’s vital that we hear messages pertaining to this which is what the whole new covenant is predicated upon especially as far as us receiving, because God wants us to receive.
If God didn’t want us to receive, He certainly wouldn’t tell us the road to take to get there. That’s for sure. He definitely wouldn’t keep reminding us and encouraging us as many times as we need. It is because He wants us to receive. I understand God’s language of love because it’s quite like the one I have. I believe that’s part of God being my Father. That’s something that I can see as far as naturally speaking, you would say, “You look like your dad. You guys have the same eyes.” I’d say, “I look like my father in heaven because we have the same love language and that is to give.”
When it comes to the love language of giving, you are refreshed when you give as Jesus did for the woman that was at the well, although He was ministering to her. The Bible makes mention that He was tired when He got to that well. Remember Jesus is completely God, but He was clothed in humanity. For our sake, He dressed Himself in that frailty but thank you, Jesus, for that. When He did, He came tired. He was hungry but He left that place even without eating any natural food, which we know supplies energy to us. He was refreshed. He was strengthened after He poured out because He is love. He is God in the flesh and He gave.
God told me once before “love gives.” Love looks like something. I’m not talking about you going out and having to give your wife a Louis Vuitton purse or having to give her a car. If you’re able to do that and that’s the way God is leading you, that’s wonderful. For a man who is not in a position to do that or a woman who’s not in a position to get expensive gifts for her husband or children, don’t feel bad about that at all. What God gave us, money couldn’t buy. Thank God, He wasn’t wrapped up in material things and brands. We’d all be in hell because that wouldn’t have saved us.
Those things are nice but there are things certainly way more important, not even close and you can never compare. Those are things that God has given us like His Son, His blood, His forgiveness, His grace, and His peace. Even the peace that surpasses all understanding. God is good and His love languages to give. When it comes to that love language and when that love is not allowed to give. The seed is only good if you have ground to sow it on. Farmers are saying amen. Even in other ways, we sow and there’s reaping. There’s harvest time and seed time. A seed is really good for nothing if there’s nowhere to sow. Even we got that kind of understanding back in 2020, people even that had a lot of money, it was kind of like good for nothing, because you had nowhere to go and nowhere to sow. What are you going to buy? Everything is closed. That was somewhat of an eye-opener on that point, but love loves to give.
When it’s not able to give, love suffers from that. You can see that Jesus and His ability to give even in His human form was strengthened. He was refreshed and that’s how love is. That love languages like that. When it’s allowed to pour out and to give, it somehow strengthens the giver. I can’t explain it, but it’s true. I know it from my heart and personal life, both ways when allowed to give and when the gifts are rejected. I understand Jesus having that strength there.
We’ve got to remember that God wants us to receive. The devil tries to paint a picture, so does the spirit of religion like, “God is hard to give something to.” That’s a ridiculous thought when we slow down and think about the actual truth about God, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. He wasn’t coerced. No one threatened him. We were not even here to even pray fast, touch and agree, decree a thing. It is established, all those are wonderful things but that’s not what got us heaven’s best. It is purely the goodness of God. I believe that even when we pray, even when we worship, I think that’s for our sake. I don’t think that because think about it, God knows what we’re going to say before we say it. He understands, even the Bible says how to pray. We don’t know. You say, “Pray in tongues.” We didn’t even understand that but God does.
When we do pray in tongues, who’s it helping? As God said, it’s a perfect prayer. Your prayers get answered and then it refreshes you. It edifies you. God, His heart and mind is almost completely absorbed in us. He loves us and love gives. Love is not grudging. God even protects the act of giving by saying, “If you’re going to give grudgingly, just don’t give.” It’s not that serious, just keep it to protect the integrity of something as beautiful as giving it is being like God. When we give from that heart and that place of love, desiring to bless somebody that you are acting like God, whether you know it or not.
He wants us to receive it. God is not clutching His fist and making your arm wrestle it out of His hand. God is not like in the religious rhetoric. Now people have even tried to turn faith into some type of religious performance and it’s just not. He’s not. God has simplified it and the flesh of man is almost determined to complicate the thing because in complicating it, you’ve got something to boast about. I accomplished something difficult but God has made it simple. Everybody can receive the profoundly smart Greek scholar, as well as the one who didn’t get past the fourth grade. Everybody is receiving it. It puts us on a level playing field, which humbles us all and it makes us say, “I’m no better than you.” That’s a wonderful place for all of us to be and remain. May God help us and keep us there.
Not only is this good to just know, obviously at all times, but I also felt from God it was appropriate given the season we’re in with the start of this new year, 2021. Keep in mind if you’re reading this message and it’s 2025, it’s timeless, so keep on reading. The word of God is God and God is eternal so don’t worry about that. Being that it’s a new year, this is so appropriate for us to get this reminder from God. He’s positioning us early on to remind us what it is that we’re called to “do” in order to receive from God. I think it’s a perfect time to be reminded of this powerful truth, especially in our nation and given the typical trend during this part of the season. It’s all over these new year’s resolutions.
You’ve heard that phrase if you’ve been alive for any length of time. Even five-year-olds might’ve felt like they heard it again and again by now. These new year resolutions usually are about setting some goals that you want to achieve for that new year, both inner and outer goals. It’s not just all about weight loss and getting a six-pack or obtaining endurance in your exercise regimen. There are also inner goals people have. People sometimes want to do things like they want to never curse again. They’re like, “I’m not using profanity. I’m not going to say that.” Then, they’re like D and the D-word flies out ten minutes later. I’ll tell you why when this show is over. I’m saying I’ve been there before when you’re really trying to do something. The more you try, the more you fry. It’s just bad. I love God’s way. It’s better, but I too need to be reminded, “Siohvaughn, chill out. God’s got it.” Stop acting if God doesn’t have you, the world isn’t going to keep rotating. He’s God and He’s God all by Himself. It’s good for all of us to be reminded.
These new year’s resolutions, God told me that are set up and people intend well. I don’t think that this is something where people are trying to do wrong. I think the premise is good. It’s a good thought, but we want to connect it with God. We want to commit our plans to God so that they can succeed because, without Him, we can do nothing. A lot of these new year’s resolutions God show me we’re all about doing. Man is resolving it in himself to say what he’s going to do this year and even refraining from doing what he’s not going to do this year. I’m going to do and what I’m not going to do which is all tantamount to trusting in the arm of flesh, which is an absolute guaranteed way to fail.
This is why most of the time, a vast majority of people do this and they’re not even four weeks into it, they’re like, “I’m eating that cake. I’m eating the whole cake. Before I only ate a slice but now, I’m halfway through it.” You don’t know how that happens. This could because to put those demands on the flesh. There is nothing wrong with what you want to do. You want to not eat as much cake, that’s probably great. Ask doctors who are treating patients with Type 2 diabetes. It’s a good idea, but we have to commit these things to God. We have to know that without Him, we can’t do anything. If we abide in Him and His word abides in us, then we can ask what we desire and it shall be done for us.
God is not glorified by a man thinking that they can do anything without God. That’s pride. That’s what that is and I’m not picking on anyone. Trust me, I’m a flesh like you and it has to be crucified, killed and put to death just like yours. I understand it. Trust me when I tell you. I’ll probably need you to remind me of this message. Preach the sermon right back over here, help me out. I tell my mom all the time, “I don’t levitate.” I walk when I used to be in the mall. We’ve got to get the mall all back open. God though, has a better way. He has a better way. We know that the Bible says, “God’s ways are not our ways.” They’re higher representing better. His ways are easier.
Jesus was saying, “Take my yoke upon you. My yoke is easy. My burden is light,” and people are like, “It’s so hard to lose weight. It’s hard to quit smoking.” I beg to differ in this regard, take my yoke upon you which is easy. My burden, which is light and God is going to be leading us in just how to do that because it would be wrong if it was to tell you not that way and they never tell you this way. They’re like, “Don’t tell me not that way or that’s the wrong way without telling me which way to go, please. I’m all for discovering the problem, but I’m also solution-oriented.” Eventually, we’ve got to get past that and we’ve got to start moving on to that solution.
We know that God’s ways are better and they are easier. As far as God is concerned for the new covenant believer, as we said at the beginning of the show, all you have to do to receive from God in this new covenant is to believe. That’s to receive the answer to your prayers, the desires of your heart, all of it. Jesus said, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.” Not even through you, but for you. We’ve got to remember that about God and His ways. Otherwise, we’re walking around this mulberry bush. It’s like beating against the brick wall of a house, but the front door and it’s a double door and they are both wide open. It’s like, “No matter how much I want to punch through that brick. Just forget it. I’d like to preserve my knuckles sanity and walk through the double door.”
God help us to walk through this wide-open door. Jesus is the door and receive everything that you already have done for us. How appropriate the key scripture for this series God gives us. It comes from Isaiah 43:19. You likely, if you have been born again for some length of time, you have probably heard this scripture before, but I want to highlight something that God highlighted to me and I’ve heard it many times. I’ve read it many times. I’ve meditated on it many times, but God is so good. He is His word. His word is deep. He draws out new things and I love it. This is from what I believe is the New King James version. It says, “Behold, I will do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth. Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Just stick with me for people who are like, “Right, we hear this. We’ve heard this.” Don’t do that. God has fresh revelations. It’s fresh to me.
What God was pointing out to me was behold and we know that we’re transformed by beholding Jesus who is God. God in the flesh. God said, “Behold, I will do a new thing.” When God pointed this out to me, I would say, “No matter how many times I read it already, I’m like, ‘How is that just dawning on me?”’ God is never too late. I know God is on time, but I’m like, “How long have I been reading that scripture? How did that not stand out to me?” I think I harped on and I feasted on, which is good. I got nourishment from the new thing part and even the now part. Having a right now faith. When God is telling you now, go ahead and agree with Him. Everything is not about waiting. Sometimes it’s not about waiting or wandering or wondering. Sometimes it’s about receiving and now. Touch and agree with Him. I’m going to do it. Thank You, God, for right now blessing. This is the day the Lord made and say, “This is the day the Lord has made and everything He does is good. I expect good now and later.”
I thank God for pointing this out. He said, “I will do a new thing.” When God was telling me about having the mindset, to have resolutions and resolving in yourself, what it is you want to accomplish this year, there’s nothing wrong with goals or having plans. The Bible even tells you to commit your plans to God. That’s still you depending on and trusting in God, which is the opposite of the arm of flesh and trusting in man, which God tells us in Jeremiah is a curse so we don’t want to do that. We ourselves are mankind so that doesn’t mean putting all your faith and trust in some man you will surely be deceived and God means some other man, but you are also mankind. You as well, don’t put all your faith and trust even in yourself or you will surely be deceived. Put your faith and trust in God and you can’t go wrong. You just can’t. He turns your detours into destiny.
I love that God was pointing out that He does it. He does the new thing. We’ve got to keep that in mind. Our part is to believe, God’s part is to do. Our part is to trust. God’s part is to manifest the miracles, the signs and the wonders. We see that throughout the Bible from the very beginning to the end. The man didn’t make itself. He didn’t breathe into his nostrils. He was helpless. Then when he came, if he even would have somehow concocted that. You get on the scene and there’s nothing to eat because you haven’t created your own animals or vegetation.
By the way soon, you’re going to give way to thirst that’s not quenched you’re going to become one with dehydration. How is that panning out? You can’t make your rivers and oceans and you can’t make it rain. I’m saying, God has been doing it all from the beginning. The Bible says that He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. He’s the doer and we’re the receiver. He’s the giver, we’re the receiver. He’s the blesser. We are blessed. He’s the lover. We are the beloved. If we could take and keep our place, I think we would be kept in perfect peace.
God wants to do this for you. He wants to do it for you. How does that happen? Before we get into how that happens, which is taking us back from the beginning of this entire show series, I wanted to note something to you that God pointed out to me, which I thought was amazing. When you read this and God says, “I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” I love God for showing me this that he noted to me these are challenging things. That’s not possible for a man to do, a river flowing in a desert. A desert is a very dry place.
I love how God, and knowing the challenges that we would face and even the doubts that would some time arise. He didn’t stop at this Bible verse by saying, “Shall you not know it,” but our gracious and loving Father who knows us perfectly knows the road we take perfectly and also loves us perfectly, kept on going and said, “I will even make a road in the wilderness.” He was not done there. He also said, “And rivers in the desert.” People, those are impossible things. God was showing me, He represents even impossible odds.
Don’t be alarmed if you’re facing something that’s impossible. That’s fine. God has something for that as well. Don’t let the enemy magnify that to you. In Matthew 19:26, and this brings me to my next Bible verse, the Bible says, “Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.’” I love this blanket term, all. Let’s praise Him for that. Let’s stop right there and praise break. Thank you that you said all things because I was going to start telling God, “What about this?” If it was something bigger than God.
Thankfully you just say all things so I can tear my list up that I was about to go through with Him and tell Him like, “What about this?” I’m like, “None of that matters.” With God, all things are possible. Interestingly too, Jesus also says before that, you don’t hear people talk too much about that, “With man, this is impossible.” Not only does He tell us, “With God, all things are possible.” He’s like, “No, with man, it’s impossible.” This is affecting any real change. God does it from the inside out.
He does it by grace through faith. The biggest gift, the biggest transformation of man that took place was when we went from spiritually dead to born again. Resurrection, life and power. From sinners to the righteousness of God, Himself. We owe that to God. Stuff like that we hear, we are like, “It’s all God.” We know that that’s us being honest about like, “Man and woman. I’ll be honest about mine.” That took all in Jesus. I love how God points that out though that with man, this stuff is impossible and we couldn’t do that. That was the greatest gift that God gave us was His Son. He came in the form of a gift.
God says, “He who did not spare His son but delivered Him up for us all. How shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?” It’s freely. You’re not striving, struggling and working and trying to do a show and dance in front of God and dot I’s and cross T’s. It’s free. Have you ever driven by in one of those churches and they’re giving canned goods away or something? It’s like, “I don’t know. If you want to make a donation, we don’t even have anything here at this table. Write your check on Sunday and give the tithes and offering,” because this table is a table where we’re giving to you like you’re trying to pay for something. We’re telling, “No, that’s free.”
We see in the Bible, I think it’s in the Book of Acts, when someone tries to pay for the gifts of God. They like to drop dead. I’m not trying to scare anybody, but I’m just saying, you can’t buy this. You can’t earn this. You can’t deserve this. It’s by grace through faith, our whole Christian walk. If the biggest blessing, Jesus, salvation came by grace through faith, which it did, the Bible tells us that. He says, “He who did not spare His own son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things? With Him is the gift of all things you’ll ever need and you’ll ever desire.” It’s free and it’s a gift, it’s by grace through faith.
God is telling us, stop the struggling. Stop the striving, stop the trying. Stop it and start believing. How do I do that? That’s the key to the door, you’re saying, God, and I certainly want the door open. God is saying, “Not as much as I want you to open that door because remember if you abide in me,” Jesus said, “and my words abide in you. You will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you. By this, my Father is glorified.” Sometimes people think they’re bringing God glory and the way that they’re living and what they don’t do anymore and that is glorifying Jesus. I believe that.
Glorying God Himself
When Jesus spoke about glorifying God Himself, He said, “When God blesses you, when you get your hearts and desire, when God makes that happen for you, that glorifies God.” Look at that. Who knew since the devil was trying to paint this picture of God like He was some stingy dad that had it all but wouldn’t give you any. Lies. That’s what the older brother in the story of God, the father with the two sons, and one of them was called the prodigal son. You’ve got this older brother that’s angry. I believe it’s Luke 15, after the younger brother goes off, he spends all of his inheritance on prodigal living.
When he comes back, he’s humble. He’s brought to absolutely nothing. He’s away from the father. Remember the father in the story represents God. He walked off from God in his way, tried to do his own thing. God lives like God. Without God, he tried to expand and span with the hand of God and not be attached to the heart of God. It was nothing but death out there. Death, pain, and sorrow is what he found. He thank. God came to himself and went back to his father, the Bible says. It’s like, “Come on, people. Get your bus tickets. It’s time to go home.” That struggle is way too real out there.
I thank God for His open arms because that’s the way He is with all of us. By the way, all of us at some point represent that prodigal son. I know you do better and you are like, “Not me.” Fine, then you were the older brother in the story. The way it goes, you need the blood of Jesus, just as much as anybody else. Thank You. That’s the truth. Somebody is saying facts. I love how God is accepting the son that came back after the way we’re living and acting like his dad was dead. Even before he was, it was bad.
The older brother, his attitude was pretty interesting, and even towards his dad, mostly is what I want to talk about. He was judgmental towards his brother. I guess he felt like he was the good boy son. How did that pan out? He got checked before it was over with. He was more of a religious self-righteous. He was self-righteous like, “You do this. I don’t do that and I do this, but not as much as you do.” He was one of those in any of them. He had no understanding that all of our righteousness, the Bible says, are filthy menstrual rags. All, every one of them. If it wasn’t for Jesus shedding His blood, dying, and clothing us in His righteousness, all of us, Mother Teresa included. The charity givers, the donators and the ones who build orphanages. All of us is what I’m telling you because no man would have sinned so all of us would have certainly perished.
Thank God for the blood of Jesus. Mother Teresa somewhere is thanking God for the blood of Jesus right now. She’s not thanking God for her good work or her charitable deeds. She’s thanking God for the blood of Jesus. We’ve all got to thank God for the blood of Jesus, no matter what our outward deeds look like. Some people look like they’re living like hell. They even slept with somebody’s wife and then had the man killed. That’s a low point in life. I get that. God said David is a man after my own heart.
When it comes to the judge of all, the only judge. The only righteous judge. We fall back. We can’t judge people. I’m going to fall back more. I’m working on that, not judging myself, especially. I absolutely love how God even corrects the older son who didn’t go off like that. He stayed there. He was in the father’s house and all this stuff. He’s like, “You going to throw a party for this son of yours?” He doesn’t even call him his brother. He’s like, “I’ve been here this whole time and you’ve never given me or my friends a party or even cut up any goats or animals for us.” He’s doing all of that and God was letting him know, “Son, you lack revelation.” It’s like, “I love you. You’re so confused. Come here. Give me a hug. All that I have is yours.”
We’ve got to get into a place where we take God at His word and start receiving from Him and believe that He lavishly gives and He does not do it by efforts because that son, that though he was dotting every I and crossing every T, even out his mouth was saying, he feels like he received nothing. He didn’t. He couldn’t because he was all into trying to earn it. You get the other son who came back and did the product of living and he comes back and thinking in his mind, “I’m just going to be like a higher servant because I’ve got a lot of nerve to go back to my dad and be like, ‘Let’s start over.”’
Let me do go in and tell him, “I know you hire him and you probably hire him.” At least you let me work here or something like that. God won’t even let him get that madness out. No, because on both ends whether you were the outward sinner like that or you were the sinner that had the inward issues like that bitterness to his brother, his unforgiveness, self-righteous and judgmental. All of that is not God. Either way, the other one is sleeping with people, you shouldn’t have. That wasn’t God. The other one is self-righteous, that’s not God.
Either way, they were struggling to receive from God. God ends up explaining to them, representing us, His self, His own heart, and His heart is to give and it’s to give freely. Please let Him give to you how He loves to give to you and that’s free. Why are you arresting? Let Him take care of you. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter your age. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been saved. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve co-labored Christ. You are still His baby boy or His baby girl. I say that respectfully, but you are. I am. I’m okay with that. David even said, “May the Lord think of him as poor and needy.” David was blessed. When God looks at him, he’d be like, “This child has a need. Let me help him again. Let me bless him again. Let me provide for him,” and I don’t blame him. I’m with David on that.
Let’s allow God to continue to position us and remind us of what He’s already done and how to receive this finished work of Jesus Christ on behalf of every born again son and daughter of God. We’re out of time now. No worries. I’m okay with God taking His time. I’m okay with God drawing out everything He has. I even let the Holy Spirit take over. He’ll venture off these notes and come back on, add to it right in the middle of me talking. I’m just going with it. I told you I’m on stage, but I’m in the audience. I’m a lot of times hearing God for the first time as I speak to you. In His light, we see light. It’s popping up even during the middle of it. I love the fact that He’s taking over. Until then, let’s keep on hearing the word of Christ. Let’s keep on believing Him because that’s how we are receiving from Him. When we receive from God, He is glorified. We are eternally blessed and even others are blessed. I love you very much. I’ll talk to you soon and we’ll pick up this series soon.