NEW WINE IN OLD BOTTLES

 

NEW YEAR MESSAGE

                                     READING : MATTHEW 9:10-17
 
 

     INTRODUCTION.

 
    (a) When we  were   stationed    in    Buckhaven    in    Fife, here in
    Scotland, we  bought  a telephone exchange.
    A strange thing to do you might think !
    (b) But when I  say  that   after   some  renovations and improvements,
    this was to  become our  new  Buckhaven  Citadel, then perhaps you will
    understand better.
    (c) If you had   ever  been  in  the    old   Buckhaven hall, you would
    understand why they  desperately needed a  new building - it really was
    falling to bits.
    (d)  The  then  Divisional  Commander  Major  Bramwell  Booth  said  to
    me,"Victor, when   you move  into  the  new  building, if possible, get
    everything new. Bring nothing  with you, from the old building!!"
    (e) When we eventually moved in, I saw  the wisdom of his words, in the
    sense of  a new fresh beginning, untainted with the past.
    (f) Perhaps, already you can  see   how   this  thought  links  up with
    our Bible  Reading, the new wine in the old bottles.
 

 POINT 1.

 
    (a) Are we perhaps already guilty of  planning   to put the NEW WINE OF
    19** into  the wineskins of 19** ??
    (b) God has granted us the wine of a new  year. WITH WHAT OR IN WHAT DO
    WE HOPE  TO CONTAIN IT ??
    (c) If we try  and  use  the  OLD  CONTAINERS,  the OLD PREJUDICES, the
    DISLIKES,    the   IRRITATIONS,   the    MEMORIES,   the   HURTS,   the
    HABITS......................
    IF WE TRY AND CONTAIN THE NEW YEAR  IN THESE WINESKINS, THEN LIKE JESUS
    SAID OF  THE NEW WINE, 19** WILL BE  WASTED AND LOST, as far as YOU are
    concerned.
    (d) THE FUTURE CANNOT BE CONTAINED WITHIN THE CONFINES OF THE PAST!
    (e) God has much for us  each  one  in  19**.  Let  us not be guilty of
    confining and limiting what He wants  to  do  in  and through us in the
    days ahead.
    (f) In my Officership, I have met  so  many who squeeze every year into
    their old wineskins of the past  !!THE  OLD CONFLICTS, THE OLD PROBLEMS
    They have no  vision:  no  newness,   and   with   all  their old leaky
    wineskins, no  usefulness to God!!
    HOW WRETCHEDLY POVERTY STRICKEN THEY ARE !!
    (g) Let us make  sure  that   we   are   amongst   the   vast number of
    Christians the world over, who have  got their new  wineskins  from the
    Lord, and Glory to God, He waits  to  fill  them with all that  He  has
    laid in store for those that love   Him,  and  ARE WILLING TO LET GO OF
    ALL  THE OLD WINESKINS OF THE PAST  THAT WOULD  HINDER THEM, AND INDEED
    THE LORD ALSO, IN HIS DIVINE PURPOSE.
    (h) God would want to  FILL  US   WITH   HIS SPIRIT, that our Christian
    lives would be lived to the full.  BUT  HE  CAN ONLY DO THAT IF WE HAVE
 
    CAST OFF THE WINESKINS  OF THE  PAST  and  taken to ourselves the BRAND
    NEW WINESKINS OF THE FUTURE.
    (i) The same  is  true  of  course,  when   we   come  to  the  Lord in
    repentance of our  sin, for  in  true  repentance,  we  must  CAST  OFF
    THE  PAST, with  all  it's  sin,  shame,  and  degradation,  and put on
    newness of life!
 
 

 POINT 2.

 
    (a) Tonight we will wind up  the  old  year  of  19**,    and may I say
    in this meeting, that we can give to it  the  picture  that Jesus gives
    in Luke 9:62 of the ploughman who  looks back thereby making a  mess of
    the work he is currently engaged in because he is too interested in the
    past.
    SUCH, SAID JESUS,ARE NOT FIT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD !!
    (b) YOU can make a MESS of  19**  if  you   allow it to be ruled by the
    MEMORIES OF  19** !!!
    19** WILL VERY SHORTLY BE DEAD!! BURY IT!! START AFRESH WITH GOD!!
    (c) Look forward to 19** with expectancy of  all  that God has in store
    for YOU
    We look forward to a year that  holds  great  potential if we walk with
    our hand in the hand of God, and our faces to the future.
    (d) To look back to the past, shows doubt in our hearts for the future.
    We must go forward in confidence with our hand to His plough !!
 

    CONCLUSION

    (A) Could I suggest three essentials for this new year!
     PERSEVERANCE There will be times when the going gets tough.
     POWER If we are  right  spiritually,  there  is power for every
    need.
     PROGRESS In every life lived  for  God, there must be spiritual
    progress.
    (b) Let us be thankful to God for the gift of a new year.
    (c) Lets not try putting the new wine into the old bottles of 19**.
    (d) Lets not be guilty of looking back and living in the past.
    (e) I want to finish with a small poem which I composed some years ago.
 
     O'er the year that's ahead, some shadows are cast:
    They're those things that stand out, from a year gone past.
    Though shadows they may be, some still will bring pain:
    Life's lessons are hard learned, But they have brought gain;
    For often I have found, my trust incomplete,
    And have knelt once again, at the Dear Lord's Feet.
    I look to the future,though it be unclear;
    I've strength in His promise, that He will be near:
    It's with faith I reach out, take hold of His Hand:
    I have this assurance, in His Power I'll stand.
    Dear Saviour I would pray, when tempted to doubt,
    That your Spirit so fill, all else is cast out;
    And when through the next year, my courage would wane,
    May I drink of the stream, being renewed again.