Summary: If you do not do anything different from last year, don't blame God that nothing has changed.
New Year; New Hope
Happy New Year!
When we say Happy New Year what are we saying to someone?
We are saying that we hope this New Year will be better than the year before.
We verbally give them a blessing that their problems are behind them and blessings are in the future.
Every year people stay up later than usual to see the old year go out and the New Year come in.
Pa. has a lot of ways to see the New Year come in.
You can stay up late and watch the ball drop on Times Square in New York. You can watch a strawberry, Pickle, or sausage drop.
Here what some others do:
Watermelon drop in Indiana
Pine cone drop in Arizona
Beach Ball drop in Florida
Peach drop in Georgia
A 1000 lb. piece of cheese drop in Plymouth Wisconsin.
Truth is, each one of us has a hope and some kind of expectation that the new one will be better.
Optimist stays up till midnight to see the New Year in.
A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
I think everyone of us needs to take time to evaluate the old year going out and the New Year coming in.
Ask yourself these questions-
What do you want to see happen in 2017
What things need to change in 2017?
Apostle Paul is telling us that if we are in Christ that the old is gone, the new has come.
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself.
He is telling us that we are Christ’s ambassadors.
What is your attitude toward the New Year?
Are you looking at 2017 as an unbeliever with no hope or as a Christ Ambassador with all the resources of heaven available to you to have an amazing New Year.
Every year offers us a chance at a new beginning and offers us new hope, But how many of us really believe that, or put ourselves in a position to receive it from the Lord?
Most people look forward to a new year for a new start, but carry the same old habits and hang ups with them.
Wife came into the bathroom to see her husband on the scale with his stomach sucked in. she told him that sucking in his stomach would not make it better. He said that it would, because if he didn’t, he couldn’t read the numbers.
We make resolutions like ….I quit this…., I’ll start this…., I would say this.
Resolutions that most of the time are not kept even the first month.
Little boy asked his father what his new year’s resolution was. “He was going to do everything possible in this New year to make his mother very happy.” The little boy then asked his mother the same question. She said, “To do everything possible to make sure your father keeps his resolution.”
If you do not believe anything will change in 2017- it won’t. (Repeat)
If you do nothing different, you will not see different results.
If you need to be reminded that you need God in your life to make a difference, you are in trouble.
If you are trying to fix yourself, find someone to blame, you are in trouble.
2017 will have renewed purpose when we understand that without the Lord , 2017 will just be another year, another resolution, another goal, but it won’t be a new life!
Looking for joy in this life- looking in the wrong place.
Looking for joy without the lord- at best it is circumstantial.
Looking for peace- peace comes from God, and is not based upon having no trouble.
Looking for hope-
it is because we know the end of the story. It is based upon God’s wisdom and strength, that God will guide us through this journey to his promises.
Attitude is a whole sermon, but 2017 coming in without an attitude change, without Christ being first in your life offers little hope. Our hope is in Jesus Christ.
Here is where we dig into the text.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he [she] is a new creation.
The key words are in Christ. He does not say people that know of Christ. He says those that are in Christ.
In Christ- is an intimate and personal relationship with the risen Christ.
Because of Christ death and resurrection, He offers to us in Christ a new life- new creation.
The problem with most of us is we know of Christ, but we are not willing to live in Christ.
One is according to the flesh, and one is according to the Spirit of God.