New Opportunities – New Year

Today’s devotional is reposted from the Watchman blog and was written by Wayde Goodall. This year let’s allow God to make us into a new wineskin rather than hanging on for dear life to the old ways!

 

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine
will burst the skins and it will be spilled and the skins will be destroyed.
But 
new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 
— Luke 5:36-39, ESV

When Jesus spoke this parable, there were no water bottles, no Starbucks tumblers. Liquids were put into animal skins that were used like a canteen. When putting new wine into the old wineskins, the new wine would ferment and produce additional gasses—and the old wineskin would burst because it had become hardened and brittle.

New wine must be put into fresh wineskins. — Luke 5:38

wineskinsThe story reminds me of a reality that all of us face: New situations require new structures. With a new job, we need to learn new skills. New relationships require new ways of relating to people. To have a better attitude, we need to think differently and put our negative experiences, unhealthy emotions, mistakes, and failures behind us.

Are there wineskins that we’ve depended on for a long time . . . old ways of thinking, acting, talking, or listening? Responses that worked well before might not work today. Perhaps some “new wineskins” could be considered. All of us will certainly have new challenges, pressures,and opportunities in 2016.

 

New challenges require creative solutions

An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
— Proverbs 18:15, ESV

Some excuses that are frequently used for having a closed mind include:

  • We’ve tried that before.
  • We’ve never done it that way before.
  • We’ve always done it this way.
  • It’s too much trouble to change.
  • It costs too much.
  • We don’t have enough time.
  • It’s against company policy. (It’s not our policy.)
  • That’s not our problem.
  • You’re right, but . . .
  • We’re not ready for that.
  • It isn’t in the budget.
  • You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
  • Let’s form a committee.
  • Let’s sleep on it.
  • It’s impossible.
  • Etc…

Most people spend more time and energy trying to get around problems than they do solving them. You might say, “I’m not creative.” Yes, you are! You were made by the Creator and have creative abilities that you haven’t yet tapped.

You were taught to be made new in your thinking. You were taught to
start living a new life. It is created to be truly good and holy, just as God is.
Ephesians 4:23-24, NIRV

New Pressures require that I stand up for my convictions

Conviction is a willingness to stand up for what you believe. All of us have pressures to bend the truth, compromise in our faith, and make ethical decisions that are questionable. Many yield to temptation, letting pressure from others persuade them into doing something that they know is wrong. Make the decision that read more

(c) 2016 Wayde Goodall  Used with Permission  All Rights Reserved  https://www.northwestu.edu/watchmen/new-opportunities-new-year/

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