Summary: Just as wine has its own unique vintage so does your life. Each year that you have lived so far has a kind of vintage by which you grade it. Some were very good years, robust and full of flavor. Others were off years not too sweet but palatable. Other
New Wine Old Bottles
The title of todays message says it all. We are closing out 2007 and soon we will all step into 2008. But how do we step into the New Year? What do we bring with us from the old year and what do we hope for in the arrival of new one?
I think it is good for us to take a kind of inventory at the end of each year. We encountered or authored successes and failures that we need to evaluate and measure and then learn from them. We have to be very, very careful as we review the past year as some rules are necessary.
We need to admit many things that occurred were beyond our control. For those kinds of things we had to react or respond from our experience and trust God with the out come. Then there were the things that occurred that we did have an influence on or that we may have initiated. These things are hard to escape and we must be honest with ourselves about our involvement and the results.
Now we can turn to scripture and apply it to the old year as we look to the new. Jesus uses everyday language here as he talks to us. Everyone in His time knew about the art of wine making and every family had its own special recipe etc.
Jesus knew that the example of a wine bottle would prove to be an effective illustration. It was a given that everyone knew that you do not put new wine into old bottles otherwise you will lose both the wine and the bottle.
That is the principal I want you to apply as you review your past year and look forward to 2008. Just as wine has its own unique vintage so does your life. Each year that you have lived so far has a kind of vintage by which you grade it. Some were very good years, robust and full of flavor. Others were off years not too sweet but palatable. Others still seemed bitter at the start but had a surprise finish.
So you see your life is all corked up in a wine bottle and maybe you dont even drink. I hope you like this illustration and you follow my line of thinking.
The bible is there to help us live while we remain on the earth. It is Gods treasury of wisdom and counsel it also educates and entertains as we travel through its pages. God never intended it to be boring or to hard to understand. It is given to us as a tool to use in wine making, thats the wine making that is involved in bringing our lives to Gods table as something wonderful and complete and unique. Our lives should not leave a bitter taste in Gods mouth.
At the same time God does not want us to give up on wine making. Our Heavenly Father knows we will make mistakes and some years will be better than others. He knows that we can only have control over specific things and not everything like He does. It is for that reason that we must turn another page of His word as we turn each new day of the calendar.
We can not make an award wining wine out of our lives without the help of the Master Wine Maker. So in looking back over 2007 can you recall the pages of Gods Holy Scriptures that were most helpful to you as you tried to make your life into an award wining wine? Was there a particular passage or verse that helped you as you cultivated and tended the fruit that was your life this past year? Maybe the reason you had a bad year is because you did not consult the wine-makers book?
Was the past year bitter or sweet for you? Did it swing one way or the other through the course of the year? Most likely it did as the events of your life fermented through each passing day. You see we are a lot like wine. We are a product that is sometimes years in the making. We are of great value and unique just as wines are unique from one geographical area to another.
We are subject to change as we go through the processes of becoming fit for our Masters table. Since we are trying to make our lives into a great wine we must learn from our past mistakes. Once again we can only change the things we have control over.
We can not control how hard the sun beats down upon us we cannot control the amount of rain that falls upon us or the pestilence that may strike without warning. That is why we need a very long very detailed record from the Master Wine Maker in order to know how to proceed under certain circumstances.