Jamaica Gleaner / As the Christmas season ends and we get ready to usher in a new year, many are thinking about the ideal person they want to become. People are setting new goals, making new plans, have renewed energy, and are focused on carving a brand new image. Some persons are bidding goodbye to old habits and are embracing a new way of life, a new ideal. New Year’s resolutions are indeed still very common. New jobs, new houses, new cars, new businesses, new investments, new relationships, new love, a renewal of hope and aspirations are just a few things in the minds of all Jamaicans. Yet, amid this newness, many reflect on the old year with much disappointment, plagued with losses, brokenness, missed targets, failure to capitalise on great opportunities, realising missed opportunities. Despite this, all of us must remember that a new year brings great hope of renewal in every area of life, and our eternal God of Heaven is the God of new beginnings and has that gift for all Jamaicans to claim.

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36v26)

Regardless of who you are and the wrong you have done, be it great or small, God is able to make all things new. Doing things the right way really can only be achieved by doing them God’s way, with His help and His input. Parents, spouses, bosses, employees, politicians, students, who are agonising because they want to be better; instigators of violence, workers of iniquity, idolaters who wish to change; regardless of your profession, occupation, rank or status, the best way to embark on a new year, with new goals and renewed determination, is to ask the Lord for the gifts of a new heart and spirit. If we receive these great gifts from God at the dawn of a new year, we will see His hand of greatness in our lives and in all that pertains to us. He is able to transform us inside out.

 

Newness begins with God  

Moses, who is regarded as one of the greatest leaders of all time, was a prince in line to be the leader of Egypt, which was then the greatest nation on Earth. He committed murder and became a fugitive. He was humbled in exile as a shepherd with no hope of regaining prominence. He was suddenly recalled to the forefront by God, who charged Him with the tremendous responsibility of leading Israel from slavery to sovereignty.

David was insignificant among his siblings and unknown to the people of his nation. In his obscurity, he was anointed by God through the prophet Samuel. He then shot to prominence after defeating Israel’s arch enemy, the Philistines, by taking off Goliath’s head. The Apostle Paul was a murderer and a persecutor of Christians, but after just one encounter with Jesus he became the greatest champion of the Christian cause.

The change, the newness, the transformation that we seek, has been found by many with one encounter with the eternal God of Heaven and Earth. The great opportunity today to receive such an encounter with God through His eternal son Jesus Christ is available to everyone. Jesus died on Calvary’s cross to make available to us the glorious opportunity of salvation. Through salvation we receive renewal of soul and spirit and an opportunity of a renewed mind that will definitely positively transform all our actions.

With the heart, man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made on to salvation. If we believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal son of God and that he died for our sins, then through Him we can be forgiven of all our sins. Simply ask Him in prayer to forgive us of all our sins and become Lord of our lives. If we pray such a prayer today, the newness has begun!

– Dwayne Wedderburn is an apostle at World Harvest Mission Church.

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