A new year means new opportunities, new resolutions, and new challenges. For some of us, a new year is just the continuation of the old year. This post is part of a series of short devotionals I [wrote] for Impactus | Promise Keepers Canada. Each reflection will focus on a particular Bible verse that has the word “new” in it. I hope it will encourage you and give you some helpful perspective as we launch in to a new year.
Luke 5:38: New wine is put into fresh wineskins.
In Jesus’ day, a wine bottle was made out of new goatskin. The strength of the new rawhide was more than enough to handle any stretching that might result from the process of fermentation. A new wineskin was always necessary because the old wineskin would be dried, cracked, and unable to hold the new wine.
In Luke 5, Jesus is comparing himself to the new wine and our religious systems to the wineskin. Dr. R.C. Sproul says Jesus “was warning them that that their King had come and they would not be able to deal with this King unless they got rid of the structures that made it impossible for them to receive Him.”
If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you know we can also have our own religious structures and rituals. These patterns have quite often been helpful and memorable in our spiritual formation. We do not like change to those rituals that have meant so much to us. It is important to remember that even good things are not where our salvation comes from. Our salvation comes from Jesus.[This year], I believe Jesus wants to continue to do a new work in your church, your family, and in your own life. We cannot hold on to the old wineskins that have brought us this far. Jesus cannot be limited to our preconceived ideas or previous experiences. Find your joy in Jesus – not in religious systems or rituals. Are you willing to allow Jesus to stretch your comfort zone so you can enjoy Him?
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