Key Passage: Matthew 9: 14-17
Key Word – Matthew 9:17 – “But new wine is put into fresh wineskins”
Achieve 100 percent of your resolutions this year!
Change they say is the only constant in life. At the beginning of a new year we all make promises to do some new things and change something we do. These are all laudable, but have you wondered why very few achieve these changes we so resolutely propose at the beginning of every year. There is something in everyone that resists change and would do everything to keep the status quo. Could it be just the fact that we are unsure of the outcome of changing? Could it be human obstinacy and stubbornness? Whatever it is change is good and change we must, but let us learn from the Master, how to truly change.
The passage we are considering today tells us Jesus model for change. He said you must put new wine into new wine skins. This says if you want change you must be ready to let go of something to get something else. Or better stated, you must give up the old before you can truly apprehend the new. This simple, but profound truth is at the core of most failed yearly resolutions. Most of us hold on to our old ways and expect to somehow access the new ways we so desire. Jesus said categorically that it would end up in ruin.
Let’s plumb this a bit deeper. Jesus said no one puts new wine in old wine skins. He said the new wine will ruin the old wine skin and the wine will be wasted. For you to have a behavioural change, you must first stop and renounce the old bad behaviour. If you want to get closer to God, you must stop spending so much time in front of the telly. If you want to earn more, you must stop wasting your time on unprofitable ventures. If you want to lose weight, you must stop eating junk food. If you do not stop something, you really cannot bring in the new. You really have to be ruthless and let go of what you do not want, so you can lay hold and cultivate what you really want.
I know this sounds so basic and simple. But it’s the simple things that we fail to do that truly create most of our failures. This year you will succeed in Jesus name. Just decide and stop what you don’t want and them embrace what you want. It is that simple.
Now another simple point to note is that Jesus recommends that to change the wine skins you may need to fast. Fasting is not pleasurable for the body and the flesh, but it sure has great power in subduing the flesh and allowing the spirit to gain ascendancy. Fasting is denying your self some pleasures. What you want to change is mostly associated with some pleasure. So if you can deny yourself that pleasure, you are on you way to a successful transformation.
In 2014, make a difference and allow the new wine of joy and success to fill your life as you let go and stop completely those things that have hindered your joy and success in the past year. Trust me the Master knows best! Have a blessed and successful 2014.
Let’s Pray: Father God, as we begin this New Year, I really want to successfully achieve the goals I set for myself. Lord, please help me to identify the things I am doing that will hinder me and grant me the grace to stop them. Then help me to embrace the things I want so I can successfully achieve them. Lord, give me the grace to fast for change and deny myself as much as I need to enable me apprehend the new. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.