New Wineskins

New Wineskins – Luke 5:37-38
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved.
Jesus did not come to patch up people but to make them new! Jesus contrasted the rules of the religious leaders with the new life that He offered. The Pharisees wanted Jesus to conform to their ways and traditions. However Jesus stated that this would not work because if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation! You can’t take something new and stick it on something old. Jesus was offering salvation, not religion! Jesus is not just an “add on”; He gives us a robe of righteousness and a new life! Many want to “patch up” their lives with good works or church attendance or being a better person. But when that patch rips it will just leave a bigger hole. Why don’t you trade in your rags for the robe of righteousness that Jesus offers? Nicodemus came to Jesus wanting to know how to patch up his life. Jesus told him that he must be born again! Religionists don’t know what to do with the new life that Jesus offers!
So let’s ask ourselves:
• Are we rigid and inflexible, believing things can only be done one way, which is my way?
• Is God’s Holy Spirit restricted by our structures and traditions?
• Will what was great yesterday keep us from what’s even better today?
• Will what I want keep the Holy Spirit from doing what He wants?
Our message must never change, but our methodology can and should change! What God did yesterday was good. What God is doing today is even better. And what God will do tomorrow is beyond our comprehension!
The past is for remembering, not reliving! Look back to find your values; look forward to find your methods. The Pharisees were saying that the old is good enough. But Jesus offered a new covenant. We need to be willing to use new wineskins when the wine of God’s Spirit is poured out upon us! D.L. Moody said, “I believe that there are many Christians who want to be more efficient in the Lord’s service. It is from the Holy Spirit that we may expect this power.”
My prayer: Lord, I confess my sin of stubbornness. Forgive me for settling for patches when you want to do a brand new work within me. More than anything else I want to glorify you in my life. Fill me with a fresh anointing of your Holy Spirit. I lay my life on the altar of service or sacrifice—whatever You want for me.
(Seed thoughts for this devotional from a message preached by Brian Bill in 2005.)

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