It’s Not Just About a Shirt
December 5, 2022
A Prayer for Myself
My family and I are reading through Luke this December. If you read a chapter a day starting on December 1, by the time you get to December 24 you will have read through the entire life of Jesus on earth… from the time leading up to His birth through the ascension.
Today was chapter 5.
Verses 37 – 39 “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’”
Here are some words from my commentary (which comes from The Fire Bible).
“The word is sometimes translated “good” and may be more literally translated “suitable,” with the meaning that it is “good enough.” The point is that when people become comfortable with what they have, they do not desire something better.”
“Jesus was describing the resistance of some people to change their religious tradition and accept the way God and his Son, Christ Jesus, desires for us to live.”
“(1) We must not interpret this verse to mean that the “old wine”(i.e., man-made religious beliefs and traditions) is better than the “new wine” (i.e., the message of forgiveness and new life through faith in Christ).
“(2) The Pharisees completely overlooked the true purpose of God’s law and how it is fulfilled through Christ and His message. They were refusing to accept the fresh revelation of God and insisted upon holding on to tradition’s altered (i.e., fermented, like the old wine) messages.”
My prayer for myself is, “Lord, please make me be a new wineskin. Please, give me the wisdom to realize when I am becoming more attached to my traditions than attached to You. Give me the courage and the strength to change. Help me not to fall into the trap of doing things the way they have always been done just because that feels comfortable to me. Give me the courage to do things YOUR way, to jump onboard YOUR train…. Instead of doing things my own way and then asking You to bless them. Help me to recognize when YOU are doing a new thing. I desire to be where YOU are, I desire to be where YOU are moving. I want to be where YOU are making a new way. I want to show people the way to YOU.”
In John 10:10 Jesus says that He “came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” He did not intend that the Jews were to stay bound to the law… He fulfilled it so that they wouldn’t have to stay there… that they could have LIFE.
WE/I get so attached to our traditions (some of which are good traditions) that we rely on our traditions rather than Jesus. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Jesus created our faith… our traditions did not create our faith.
“…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a GIFT from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19)
We are not meant to become “old wineskins”. We are meant to always be new. We are a new creation in Christ. His mercies are NEW every morning.
The Lord does not intend for me to get so used to “the way we’ve always done it” to not recognize when He is doing a new thing. Everything He does IS new! He created all things.
“Lord, teach me, give me wisdom to recognize and trust and to follow You. Give me courage to follow You… even if I am the only one. I am grateful for the generations before me and the blessings they have been to me. Give me the courage, and the wisdom, and the sight to follow You so that the generations that follow me can be grateful for the blessings…. And so that they can have the courage to follow YOU and not the traditions.
Don’t be stuck. Be a new creation….everyday.