Monday, December 27, 2010

Knowing God - Matthew 9:17

Neither is new wine put into old wineskins;
otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled,
and the skins are destroyed;
but new wine is put into fresh wineskins,
and so both are preserved.
Matthew 9:17
When wine is first made, it is grape juice. Then with the passing of time, the grape juice spoils -- ferments is a nicer word for this. And with fermentation comes expansion. And if you put new wine (unexpanded grape juice) into an (old) wineskin that has already been stretched, it has no more capacity to stetch. Thus, the skins will burst. Therefore, new wine is put in new wine skins so that both can expand.
We are about to begin a new year. And the analogy here to life is obvious: If you have anything you really want to work on or change, you must change a lot of old habits that surround the area of life you want to work on.
If you're like me, there are plenty of problem areas that you want fixed, but how many of us aren't quite willing to change the habits that make it a problem. We need a new wineskin -- a new way and a new pattern in life.
Here's a new pattern that might just give you a new strength to meet many of these challenges: Make 2011 - The Year of the Bible. Plugging into God's Word is like plugging into a power outlet. The better we know him, the more power flows through our lives -- including the power to change! Therefore, pray about joining our Bible in a Year group and let God's Word shape each day in a richer way.
In Christ's Love,
a guy who acted too much like new wine
over Christmas -- I fermented and expanded
and my old wineskins (jeans) don't fit as well
(I guess I need some new habits this year!)
The only way to truly get a new wineskin in this life is to die.  But that is not accepted, or so I've been told.  Our culture doesn't truly support 'new habits' that need to be made. It seems that our culture in fact likes to watch people fail. New patterns don't really work when your life involves spouses, kids, pets, other people. As soon as you try to change, someone thwarts your hard work and you are back exactly where you were - or worse.

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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