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Very warm greetings to you and many wishes to you that this new year shall be a very prosperous and happy year for you. We thank God who has kept us and brought us safely to this new year. I believe that this is time to make certain resolutions for a better life this year and what can be better than to have a new you in this new year? This thought made me to consider the two aspects of change that can be made at this time. I considered that our resolutions could either be an amendment in the way we have lived in previous years or be an entire renewal of our personality. I invite you to ponder these points with me and make such decisions that will make you a new man or woman this new year.

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I have been quite puzzled by this question of differentiating between an amendment and a renewal. It is interesting when we have words that almost mean the same thing but differ just by a clause. I have thought these two words, renewal and amendment, that both express an act of restoration could be used interchangeably, forgive me if my reasoning shows off a deficiency in my mastery of the English language. Well, as every student who desires to master the English language, I had to consult my Dictionary to clear things up. Now, I think I know better, for in matters of dispute about the meanings and usage of the English language, the Dictionary is the principal Arbiter. By Dictionary definition(please don't bother about the name of the Dictionary I quote from, I think a Dictionary is a dictionary!), an amendment is an addition or alteration, making minor changes to, or an act of correcting or improving something, whereas, renewal is the act of making fresh or like new again or the act of restoring something to its original condition.

I have been working on a project carrying out a renewal of a couple of old, abandoned and dilapidated office blocks in the past few weeks. We had to expend a lot of energy overhauling the entire mess of decayed infrastructure. The electrical system had to be replaced, the surface wiring had to be changed to conduit wiring. The block work had to be strengthened, the floors remade and a lot of other civil work. As I looked at those buildings at the completion of our work, it was fascinating how beautiful they looked in contrast to their looks a few weeks prior to our renewal work. Certainly, it paid off carrying out a renewal on those buildings rather than just amendments.

Friends, as I reasoned on these things, it occurred to me that  God is much more interested in Renewals than Amendments. His chief goal in saving us is to make us new. You see, we have been messed up, torn and in a state of decay by reason of our sins. We are not in the state that God created us to be in His own image and likeness (Genesis 1 vs 26-27). In fact, we have all sinned and fallen short of God's glorious standard (Romans 3 vs 23). We all are in great need of restoration, we need to be made right again with God our maker, the creator of Heaven and earth and the ruler of all things. How are we going to be restored? Is it by amendment or by a renewal?

We must still agree that an amendment can also result in change. A man once approached Corrie Ten Boom, a great woman Evangelist, and told her how his life has changed. He said he used to steal ten wristwatches a day but had now reduced to stealing just two or three. Well, obviously this man's change was an amendment. You and I have always attempted amendments of our lives many times. We have tried to do away with those evil things in our lives, but ended up in mere suppression and reduction in the frequency at which we do those things. We have tried to get rid of of Alcohol consumption and drunkenness, we have tried to get rid of sexual immoral behaviour , we have tried to do away with bitterness and hatred and be more loving and kind to people and indeed we tried very hard but we fell right back again after a few weeks and months. What God wants to achieve in our lives is not going to be by amendments, by our natural, human efforts, it's going to be by His work of renewal in us. Friends, may the plan of God be fulfilled in our lives.

I am excited in the fact that God wants to make me new. He loves us so much that he won't just make a few patches on our old, torn lives but make us beautifully new. His word declares in 2nd Corinthians 5 vs 17 "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: all things are passed away; behold all things are become new". Friends, God wants to make a new creature of you. He wants to give birth to you by His spirit. You can be born again into a new life. You can be free from the power of that addiction. You can be free from the power of sin and you can live in Holiness unto the Lord all the days of your life, not by struggle but because you have a new life in you. I have heard of a man who became born again at the age of 80. This man was so amazed by the new life God gave him that he saw what a waste those 80 years had been and he prayed to God to give him just a few more years to live for God. Anyone who has been made new by God can truly say "The things(evil things) I used to do, I do them no more". Friends, this new life is available for everyone who will believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who knew no sin and never committed sin had to die for our sins so that we can live in His righteousness. He has risen from the death and is alive forever more. You can be new....Yes, you can be new today. God is at work right now to make you new as you come to Him and pray to Him asking to be made new by reason of Jesus Christ. May everyone of us experience that renewal of God today and testify to His glory in Jesus name. Amen.
May we all sing a new song of praise to God thus:
"I'm a new creation
I'm a brand new man
Old things have passed away
I'm born again
I'm more than conqueror, that's who I am
I'm a new creature
I'm a brand new man."

This, indeed, is the difference between Amendment and Renewal!
Do you want to be a new person this new year, I invite you now to surrender your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and He will give you a brand new life. Please pray now and confess your sins to Jesus and ask Him to forgive you. He will forgive you. If you sincerely make up your mind not to sin again, He will forgive your past sins, save your soul and make your life gloriously new this year and unto eternity. God bless you as you do this.

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