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Posted by Jon Walker

“No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” (Mark 2:22 NIV)

Near my house is a gas station/convenience store that just underwent a makeover, changing their utilitarian look into a warm and inviting neighborhood haven, something like a coffee bar with gas pumps.

When I walked into the place, however, it appeared the employees missed the makeover memo. The kid behind the counter wore a new uniform that matched the new look, but he still wore the same sullen expression from before, perhaps a little bored and a bit put out that an actual customer had walked in to disturb him.

It made me think about how we try to put new wine into old wineskins. Jesus says we’re doomed to failure because “the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined” (Mark 2:22 NIV).

For you to become the person God wants you to be in 2012, you will have to abandon the old wineskins in your life so that God can pour himself into the wineskin of your new life-in-Christ.

This may mean, for instance, that we cannot try to pour the new wine of “honesty at work” into an old wineskin of “cutting corners.” Otherwise, “both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined.”

This year, you will have to change in order to be the person God wants you to be. Are you ready to make the changes? Do you feel the excitement of knowing God is right there with you, not just helping you change, but leading you in the change?

As Pastor Rick often says, God is for you. He wants you to succeed in 2012. What are some of the old wineskins you will need to discard as the New Year approaches?

Jon Walker’s new book, In Visible Fellowship: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's Classic Work “Life Together,” is a study of small group life.

Jon is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and the author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s “The Cost of Discipleship.” This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.



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