Monday, October 15, 2012

New Wine

And He was also telling them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.  And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’”-Luke 5:36-39

I would have to say that I have read this many times, but never really applied to or attempted to apply it to my life.  While most of the references made sense, I will honestly say that I didn't really take the time to examine the possible applications...that is....Until today.

Jesus was talking about the new covenant God was making with us.  It goes back to what Matthew had shared Jesus saying in Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill."  What He came to do was not repair the old, but to fulfill it and to create a new covenant.

For me, when I examined it this time I began to look at my own personal beliefs over time.  I thought about the times when I was taught mostly about the things that I shouldn't do and how living a life for God meant not doing x, y, and z plus 1000 other things.  It was a life of trying not to do wrong and when failing God would send you to hell.  I reckon that to being like the Old Covenant.  They had a lot of laws that they had to follow and the religious leaders kept adding new to it.  There wasn't a lot of positives other than you were allowed to stay a part of the community and you had some hope of not going dieing an eternal death.

It was mostly about control by the religious leaders and ultimately gave some people more value than others.  If you appeared to be doing "better" than others that is all that mattered.  The heart really meant very little as long as your actions were correct.

I see the new covenant as Christ reconciling us to God and freeing us from the law that kept people from truly worshiping God with their hearts.  The new allows us to be free and calls us to a life of relationship out of love which expresses itself through actions.  When we realize we are not trapped to a law and don't have to go through our lives trying not to do wrong, we are free to have a relationship which God that changes us.  It changes us so much that our love that we have for God helps us to not desire to do those things that separate us from God. We want to do right.  Our love wants to flow free.

Unfortunately there are so many that get stuck in this old way of thinking and believe that "The Old is good enough."  They, like me, are trapped in a religion that is all about rules and looking good, that they miss the relationship God wants to have with them. If you think about it, how can someone so focused on doing the right things and looking the right way ever find time to focus on God and spend time getting to know Him?

Don't settle for "good enough."  Embrace the relationship and the love that is God and let Him show you what He has for you. 

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20 NIV

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