Garry went on to remind us that as we enter a new year, we often start with new resolutions (some of which don’t last very long!) Last year was very difficult for many people (perhaps an ‘annus horribilis’ for many, as the Queen once described 1992), but he reminded us that God makes a new way for us all. We now have a new and living way to approach God because of the sacrifice of Jesus (see Heb 10:20); the old way of animal sacrifices has gone. Now we have been released from the law and can serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. (Rom 7:6) The Old Testament way of doing things reminds us of the old telephones, which had limited access (because they were wired in to a socket and could not be moved around much); it used to be much harder for people when they could only access God once a year or in set places. Now, we have an open access to God and can come to Him at any time and in any place.

John 16:33 reminds us that life has many troubles or pressures, but Jesus has overcome the world and therefore we need not fear. Jeremy Camp reminds us that ‘what the Lord gives, the world can’t take away’ (‘Can’t Take Away’), and therefore we all have the opportunity to be made new in the attitudes of our mind and put on the new self available to us in Christ. (Eph 5:22-24) God’s renovation of us restores us to our original state and we are able to live as we were originally created to. This gives us a certified, guaranteed future, because God is making us new and renovates us to a God-standard (better than any gold standard!) This new year may bring many challenges as well as opportunities, but we can be sure that the new way of the Spirit means we have access to divine power and help and therefore we can go forward with hope and confidence.