New Wine

Luke 5: 36-38

 36-And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. 37And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. 38But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. 

My weekend was quite fantastic, On Saturday I took a train ride to Prague as usual, and it was sunny outside which made the trip all the more enjoyable. Spring has a way of making nature seem more alive… and it is always quite exciting to observe all the changes from a window. All the budding green seemed to add some form of newness to a road regularly traveled.___ I sat opposite a dimple cheeked little girl and her granny, and she was just happy, telling her of all that happened during the week at school, and it was nice to watch them as well. There’s just something about kids and old people… Lol.

However, for the most part I was absorbed in my phone bible app and a little devotional I was carrying. Jesus used to speak to people in parables that made use of common symbols and objects around them, everything was usually put in plain language and those who had their hearts open to receive of his teaching were blessed. This parable however I had never really understood before, and it only started to make sense to me for the first time that Saturday in that train. It is quite funny how the Christian journey never really reaches an end…; God has a way of revealing new truths each and every time where least expected.

Although we hear a lot of sermons, and experience great convictions and spiritual revival from time to time, there are certain things in our lives we normally hold on to, even though they might be contrary to God’s principles for our lives. We may attend church regularly and make good associations with the brethren, but it is a fact I have come to learn that we tend to hold certain aspects of ourselves back as well.

Here we see Jesus directing a parable towards the Pharisees. They opposed his ministry at every possible point and seemed to be in constant search of new ways by which they might bring accusations against him. They were so absorbed in a legalistic religion, concerned with works and burdensome laws other than true worship to God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23).

In her book The Desire of ages, Ellen White says: “The skin bottles which were used as vessels to contain the new wine, after a time became dry and brittle, and were then worthless to serve the same purpose again. In this familiar illustration Jesus presented the condition of the Jewish leaders… Their hearts had become contracted, like the dried-up wine skins to which He had compared them… They thought their own righteousness all-sufficient, and did not desire that a new element should be brought into their religion…If through the grace of Christ His people will become new bottles, He will fill them with new wine.

Thousands are making the same mistake as did the Pharisees whom Christ reproved at Matthew’s feast. Rather than give up some cherished idea, or discard some idol of opinion, many refuse the truth which comes down from the Father of light…

Man must be emptied of self before he can be, in the fullest sense, a believer in Jesus. When self is renounced, then the Lord can make man a new creature. New bottles can contain the new wine. The love of Christ will animate the believer with new life. In him who looks unto the Au­thor and Finisher of our faith the character of Christ will be manifest.”

I realized that I do not really need to keep holding on to the sin in my life. I can completely let go … and God can give me a new heart and a new spirit; Ezekiel 36; 26. I can actually give up the old wine sacks in my life and allow myself to be God’s depository of new and fresh wine. I have however realized that it is the devil’s constant ploy to tell us that we can never really find much joy apart from the little tender habits we keep, despite their opposition to the law of God. But this is a lie indeed. God is the only source of true joy. Apart from him all form of happiness is sucked out of us__ the peace in our lives is replaced by guilt. At least, this is what I have seen in my own life.


Happiness Guarded by God’s Law

Happiness Guarded by God’s Law

For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh. Romans 8:3, NKJV.

The happiness of human beings must always be guarded by the law of God. In obedience only can they find true happiness. The law is the hedge which God has placed about His vineyard. By it those who obey are protected from evil. In transgression Adam became a law to himself. By disobedience he was brought under bondage. Thus a discordant element, born of selfishness, entered human beings. Their will and God’s will no longer harmonized. Adam had united with the disloyal forces, and self-will took the field.

By Christ the true standard is presented. He made it possible for humankind to be once more united with God. He came to take the sentence of death for the transgressor. Not one precept of the law could be altered to meet men and women in their fallen condition; therefore Christ gave His life in their behalf, to suffer in their stead the penalty of disobedience. This was the only way in which humanity could be saved, the only way in which it could be demonstrated that it is possible for them to keep the law. Christ came to this earth and stood where Adam stood, overcoming where Adam failed to overcome. He is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption….

Before the foundation of the world, Christ pledged His word that He would give His life as a ransom if men and women turned from their allegiance to God. He revealed His love by humbling Himself, stooping from heaven to work among fallen, disorderly, lawless human beings. Of themselves they could not possibly cope with the enemy. Christ offers Himself and all He has, His glory, His character, to the service of those who return to their loyalty and keep the law of God. This is their only hope. Christ says definitely, I came not to destroy the law. It is a transcript of God’s character, and I came to carry out its every specification. I came to vindicate it by living it in human nature, giving an example of perfect obedience.–The Signs of the Times, June 13, 1900.

This devotional is taken from Be Like Jesus by Ellen G. White.

Source: http://www.revivalandreformation.org

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