Summary: A sermon that discusses the need for the Christian to aim higher in order to live in the new wineskins God wants for us. contains a good story about Rees Howells.
Here’s a story about a couple of Westcoast men who used to go Possum hunting.
In the West coast there are Possums everywhere – you see them on the road whereever you go.
Anyway these two men used to take the dogs out and the dogs would find a possum up a tree or chase one up a tree,and the two men, Dave and Fred, would shoot the possum.
For the squeamish remember that New Zealand has 60 million possums and they are an imported pest from Australia.
Anyway, one day Fred played a trick on Dave – he lowered the sights on Dave’s rifle.
They went out on a hunt that night and sure enough there was a possum up a tree caught in the spotlight.
Dave shot at the Possum and missed completely – another two shots.One cutting through a branch. Both missed but they frightened the possum.
The possum got startled and leapt from the tree and landed square on the head of Fred.
Dave whipped round and aimed his rifle at the possum. “Don’t worry.” He said “I’ll get him. I’ll get him.”
“Aim higher – Aim higher.” shouted Fred as he saw the rifle pointing straight at his head.
Dave confident of his ability simply pulled the trigger. The gun jammed – The possum jumped off Dave’s head clean into the campfire – yelping he jumped on the back of the dog, who being startled leapt into the ute, hit the handbrake which released and rolled the ute down the hill. It ran over the tent crashed into the bush, felled a tree which crushed the truck and killed the possum
- Fred just looked at Dave and said – “59 million Nine hundred and ninety nine to go.”
- Dave replied.
- “Good on ya’ Mate.”
The moral of this story is to aim higher.
In the Christian faith we need to aim higher we need, as Christians to be in the pursuit of excellence in our faith even though we know that we depend on grace.
It has been said – “If you aim at the moon and miss at least you’ll be among the stars.”
Well that is a nice little plastic saying for a plastic world but as Chrisitians we are involved in a much deeper and more profound enterprise.
The truth is we can’t settle for a second rate – low grade Christianity.
About four weeks ago I patched up my old lawn mower – It cost about 70 dollars.
Then a couple of weeks ago it broke down again – I thought it was because I put the wrong fuel in it.
But it turns out that the coil has failed and a new one will cost 180 dollars.
Where will it end??
A new mower will cost about 600 dollars.
It might be painful but I think I need a new mower.
A lot of us live our Christian life like that. We use Christianity to patch up what paul calls - the Old man.
Jesus once gave an illustration:-
New wine – newskins.
MK 2:21 "No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins."
An exerpt from the book intercessors.
For three years, after his day’s work was done, Rees Howells had been at the mission every night. There were meetings five evenings a week and the other two were spent in visiting. His work in the pit took him from 7 a.;m. to 4.30 pm., and then he had a two mile walk each way in all weathers. There was no time to attend any other meetings, for he hardly ever left his flock. The work had become so well established that many people were coming in from the surrounding districts on Sunday evenings; it was like continuous revival.
The outward effect on the village had been that, whereas three years before, the brewery was sending up two wagons and a cart loaded with barrels of beer every fortnight on paydays, it had now come down to one cart, and that only half full. It was a common joke that it would have paid the brewery to have persuaded Rees Howells and his friends to become shareholders.
“The only enemy we had,” said Mr Howells, “was the devil himself! All the people respected us for they knew we were out for their welfare. …”
New Wine – New Wineskins.
Here we get a graphic visual aid where the people in Rees Howells Welsh village changed from the Spirit of alcohol for the Spirit of God.