Becoming New Wine
Probably my favorite story in the bible is the one of the woman at the well. Rather than judge and condemn the woman for her sin, Jesus met her in the midst of her brokenness, and offered her new life. He spent time with her at the well, while breaking all of the cultural norms for the “religious” people at the time. He reminded her that her past did not have to define her future and gave her a renewed hope. Rather than keeping this new hope all for herself, the woman ran back to her town, and told everyone about what Jesus had told her. But more importantly, she told these people what He could do for them, too! The Messiah, the King of Kings, was real, and was here to grant them eternal life and new hope.
John 4:39 –
“Many Samaritans from that city believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony”
I don’t know about you, but something the Lord has been teaching me recently is the beauty in newness. The beauty in letting Him change, mold, and shape me into exactly who He created me to be, and teaching me to let go of old ways.
When you let go of control and realize that your purpose here on Earth is to be a vessel and glorify our Heavenly Father, it really frees you to live into your unique God-given calling. When you realize that you are no longer living for yourself, but for the glory of a King, it frees you to be the daughter and light you were meant to be.
You stop living for the approval of man, but rather, for the approval of God.
And like the woman at the well, this type of hope allows you to share the love and redemption of Christ with others in a way so pure, honest, and irresistible that others can’t help but want to know this type of God who grants such a newness of life.
And that is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
Ephesians 2:10 -
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Galatians 2:20 -
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.”
But with this beautiful newness of life with Christ comes crushing, too. When I say crushing, I am not referring to a crushing and destroying of the spirit, but rather, a crushing of our own thoughts and patterns to be replaced with something sweet and pure – the Spirit of God. Like grapes are crushed to become sweet, delicious wine, so are we, as children of God. Being shaped and transformed to become more and more like our Heavenly Father and reflect His loving kindness and light to those around us.
It is not the law or strict rules that bring people to want to know Jesus more, but rather, the sweet aroma of Christ-followers who take the time to love and be light to others. You just never know how or when God is going to use you to bring others to know Him, but isn’t that the most beautiful part? It is not in the structured religious settings, but in the quiet everyday moments, that souls are loved and shown the love of Christ, through the humble words and actions of His hands and feet here on Earth – you and me.
Don’t take this privilege and responsibility for granted, because there is always someone out there who needs to be shown the same life-altering love, light,
and grace of Christ that you have been shown, too.
I have always loved this quote by author Hayley Morgan –
Remember, the law didn’t change people, but the gospel of grace changes everything.
For a lot of my Christian walk, I got so caught up in trying to “fit in” with the Christian and church-going crowds. Being a new believer (in the sense of learning how to not only believe in Christ, but actually walk with Him, too), I found myself constantly grasping for other Christians to show me what being a Christ-follower looked like. While this was all from a pure heart to want to become more like Christ, I have learned over the past year or so that Christ had so much more in store for me than that.
Rather than trying to “fit in” to a certain mold, God has called us to stand out.
Matthew 9:17 –
“Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”
Be lights. Be brave. Be like Christ. Share your testimony.
And most importantly, live and walk into the new life that Christ has given you.
While Christ does call us to have Christian community, He doesn’t call us to stay there. He calls us to be lights in this world, and to “be in this world but not of it.” There are so many people who are desperately looking for love in all the wrong places. People who need to see and experience the love of Christ through you and me. It is our calling as Christians to love and extend hands of grace to people of all backgrounds and stories.
I especially love these verses in the bible:
Matthew 5:3-11 -
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and
falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”
While it may be more comfortable to stick with the people who are just like us, we must remember to look to our example – Jesus – and how He loved and met others right where they were. No matter what they thought or said about him.
In my devotional the other day, I read the most beautiful quote:
“The teachings of Jesus are all out of proportion when compared to our natural way of looking at things, and they come to us initially with astonishing discomfort. We gradually have to conform our walk and conversations to the precepts of Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit applies them to our circumstances. The Sermon on the Mount is not a set of rules and regulations – it is a picture of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is having His unhindered way with us.”
~My Utmost for His Highest
So, let’s let Jesus continue to turn us into new wine and have his unhindered way with us. He is always working for our good and for His glory.
We can trust Him.