New Year – New Creation | What’s going to pop for you this year?
Since New Year’s Resolutions are an annual tradition, and often disappointment, this week’s sermon topic of New Creation resonated well with our #familyfarm. There are many statistics about New Year’s Resolutions being a lost cause; one search this morning stated that ONLY 9.2% of New Year’s Resolutions succeed.
So why do most of us make resolutions (or at least humor the exercise and play along )?
Deep down, I think we all have a desire to improve ourselves or, at the very least, see things we want to change. My guess (and internet searches) suggest that most resolutions can be broadly grouped into one of three groups: the physical, purposeful, or financial. Who doesn’t want to look/feel good, have more money, and do meaningful work?
So where do we go wrong?
Most of these internet searches (and past experience) indicate that it is lack of a good, robust and adapting plan. Goals and ideas are great, but you have to execute! There are plenty of quotes to “inspire” us to make a good plan. One of my favorites is from then President Eisenhower
“Plans are worthless but planning is essential.”
I love that. A plan doesn’t adapt if it exists ONLY in the past. PlanNING means present active tense, ongoing. Turning to scripture along these lines, our Pastor preached 2 Corinthians 5:17
17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
The scripture above has the same implication as Eisenhower’s quote. Our pastor pointed out that the verbs in Greek are parechomai and ginomai. The former means has gone, which is aorist tense (i.e ACTIVE). The latter means is here which is perfect tense (i.e ACTIVE ONGOING). Essentially, you are not made a new creation in an instant and then finished with your work. It is an ongoing effort. In the Christian life, it means that God changes us, but our free will must be exercised to continue the journey. Salvation is the first step but sanctification is the ongoing journey. That is, we are new creations but that is an ongoing, improving process in Christ.
But there’s more to the scripture here. The word “So” can also be translated “Therefore.” Both words setup causation. Cause and effect. It is followed with “if,” which is conditional That means we have a choice to make…and that it’s an ongoing choice, not a “one and done.”
Clearly, this scripture is describing a spiritual new creation. I know plenty of overweight Christians that wish their new creation was 10-40 pounds lighter (I look at one in the mirror each morning)! But I don’t think this verse lacks wisdom for our non-Christian secular friends (hello if you’re reading this blog post too!). In fact, you can see in our sermon notes that when our Pastor became a new creation, it affected more than his spirit. He started exercising (physical health), stopped his pornographic subscriptions (mental health), and stopped drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana (potential addictions). Each of these changes were cause and effect relationships that were conditional upon him making a choice. And it was an ongoing choice that eventually resulted in leaving his family farm to become a preacher.
Each year around New Year’s Day, I take time to revisit our strategic plans and the accompanying tactics for the coming year. You could call them New Year’s Resolutions. For an organized personality type, it is a good investment of energy and focus that renews my outlook for the coming year(s). I also think about what I want to do personally and spiritually. This year, my primary goals are:
PILOT KNOB POPCORN
- Build our Brand Thru Better and More Content; Making Community with Customers (suggestions welcome!)
- Increase Web Sales
- Get setup for organic farming on one field, build a “weed shocker”
- Setup for zero operating debt in 2020.
- Wake up a 4:30 each morning (like the pre-married, pre-children era)
- Work out one hour each day (also like the pre-children era)
- Read 3 Old Testament Chapters or 2 New Testament Chapters as a couple at least 4 nights per week
- Read a one page devotional everyday as a couple
So what resolutions did you make this year? Do you want to be a New Creation? As Christians, we would recommend you start with a look to Jesus. If you’re not ready for that yet, we hope you see the secular value of an ongoing plan that can adapt to your circumstances and challenges just as the verb tense of this scripture indicates.
And if your resolution is to lose some weight, remember our #notoothpicks #awesomepopcorn is high taste, low-calorie, whole-grain, gluten-free, super-snack, deliciousness!
Good luck with any resolutions you made. We hope you #makethingspop this coming year