Are you filled with God’s new wine?

December 28, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
(Matthew 9:16-17 (NIV))

This time of year can be a time of renewal. It can be a time of repentance. It can be so much more than the commercialization of the celebration of the birth of Jesus and the beginning of a new year.

Jesus came to bring new life to those who would call upon His name as Lord and Savior.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

That fullness is celebrated yearly to be thankful for His birth, which brought grace. I am not privy to all of the reasons that December 25th was chosen, but I do like the symbolism that it presents to those who call upon His name. We celebrate the birth of forgiveness, mercy and grace and then we move right in to the celebration of a new year. In essence, we are renewed by grace and then begin a new year on the promises that grace has brought. We shed the old, worn out skins of our lives from that last twelve months and prepare ourselves with newness to face the world and to share His Gospel. Our lives are the wineskins. Sometimes, even the best of us need to have new wine poured into our lives. Sometimes, we need to be remade to accept that new wine.

Are you ready to face the new year?

Are you ready to be filled with the new wine from God?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who are we to judge if God does a new thing?

January 8, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
(Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV))

What does this verse have to do with the following?

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
(Matthew 9:16-17)

I’m going to throw still one more curve ball into the mix and ask how do these two passages tie into the saying that I am sure we are all familiar with and that is, “That’s not how we do things around here!”

I heard something today that I think will tie all of these together and also satisfy a little bit of human nature in the process.

Have you ever stopped to think about why God has to do a new thing? Have you ever stopped to think about the old wineskins and new wine in a different light? Have you ever wondered why people are so set in their ways that they will say things like “That’s not how we do things?”

We are creatures of habit!

God knows this and He has let us know that He does things differently with different groups of people. He does things differently with different ages of people. If God tried to reach someone who likes contemporary music with old hymns, it would drive them away. If God tried to reach someone who is an intellectual type with a feelings based approach, it would not work. If God tried to reach someone whose heart has been hardened by using an overwhelming emotional appeal of love, that person would not be able to handle it. They have to be prepared. They have to be made new in order to handle the love that God wants to pour out.

I am going to go out on a limb and ask that we try to withhold our judgmental human nature and look at the deeper issues, look at the deeper reasons that things are different. The only thing that we should be concerned with is whether the new things are true to God and to God’s Word. We don’t need to worry about whether they are the way that we have always done things!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Let God fill you with His Spirit in the coming year!

December 31, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
(Matthew 9:16-17 (NIV))

With the new year rapidly approaching, what are we going to fill ourselves with?

Society looks at the new year as a chance to make a clean start. We make resolutions about things that we plan on doing differently. We tell ourselves and others that we will lose weight, that we will exercise, that we will go to church more, that we will . . .

I could go on and on and list the things that we say we are going to do. Have you ever stopped to think that what we say we are going to do is comparable to the new wine and that we are the old wineskins? We cannot handle the new things without changing ourselves first. It is a matter of the heart. It is a matter of priorities.

If you go into an activity to lose weight and get in shape and you try to start full throttle, it usually doesn’t last long. We must start slowly and build up to what we long to do. The same is true of our spirituality and our relationship with Jesus. We must learn to crawl before we can walk. We must learn to walk before we can run. To use the concept that we are familiar with, we must be fed milk until we are mature enough for solid food.

Walking with Jesus, just like anything in this life, is not an activity that we can achieve perfection instantly. We will stumble. We will fall, and we will all have times when we will think that Jesus must really be shaking His head because of all of our failures.

Don’t give up!

A life spent walking with Jesus is just that. It is a life long event. It is a journey and not a destination. You can’t simply arrive at a point where you are perfect in your walk. You will be made new every single day of your life. You will be filled with new wine as your old wineskin is made anew.

I pray that we go in to this new year with the attitude that we will stand firm and stay the course that is laid out before us.

I like the way that Paul described it as a race and that he was in it to win it!

Happy New Year!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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