Embracing Change

JESUS SPEAKING

                “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 in to new wineskins and both are preserved.  And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better’” (Luke 5: 37-39.) 

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                In the ancient world, when an animal was slaughtered the stomach and the bladder were extracted and utilized to store and transport valuable liquids.  Wine was a very common first century beverage.  Unlike water, wine undergoes a process known as fermentation; during which gases are produced; these gases would therefore cause the wineskins to swell and expand.  The older wineskins were hard and inflexible (like leather.)  As the new wine expanded, it would cause them to tear open.  In turn, unfermented wine was always placed in to new wineskins.  In this illustration, the old wineskins represent old ideas, habits, and beliefs that are incompatible with the new life God has offered to us through His Son Jesus Christ.  Although most people will inevitably seek to cling to their previous lives, those who follow the Lord must let go of the old and grab hold of the new; they must no longer fear change, but rather, they must fully embrace it.

                Shortly after becoming a Christian, God began to make some very serious changes in my life.  For many years I enjoyed listening to secular rap music and heavy metal.  However, one day God showed me how it was negatively affecting my spirit.  So, I made a steadfast commitment to listen only to worship music; which was constructive, pure, and uplifting.  Because my appetite for the old music was strong, at first the new music wasn’t appealing to me; but slowly I began to enjoy it.  Soon I was joyfully singing along with the lyrics. I started noticing that my attitude was more positive and my thoughts were more peaceful; I even began smiling with increased frequency. Today, the old songs are no longer appealing to me; I even find them repulsive.  God has made similar changes in every area of my life.  He has healed me; the old things have passed away; behold, He “has made all things new.”

                God desires to pour out His Spirit in to the hearts and minds of all those who are willing to receive it; thus producing great transformation.  We must let go of our fears and become willing to change; we must not be rigid and inflexible. Only by embracing and allowing God to transform us, will we truly experience newness of life.  Let go of your old ideas, habits, and beliefs, and receive the fullness of God’s Spirit.  Allow Him to guide and direct you and He will give you everlasting peace.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we ask that You would transform our hearts and minds. May we become more flexible and learn to embrace change.  Jesus, we desire to be more like You; therefore remove any bad habits, detrimental ideas, or unproductive beliefs that stand in the way of our growth; destroy the old things and bring forth the new things.  May we experience the fullness of Your Holy Spirit.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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