Old wineskins are rigid and unyielding. On the other hand, new wineskins are flexible, and able to receive the newly pressed wine. The wineskin changes as the fermentation process happens…they expand as the wine ferments, stopping when the wine inside is perfect. We must never stop growing until the God-given purpose inside of us is perfected. Just as at the Wedding in Cana, Jesus has saved the best wine for last and He’s looking for new wineskins to put it in. He can’t use that which is old…He’s looking for new vessels to contain His new works. Are you willing to be that new wineskin?
John 8:3 ” The Teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in Adultery.”
The Jewish leaders wanted Jesus to tell them what He would do with this woman, but instead, He bent down and started writing on the ground with His finger. For whom and what was He writing? Not for the Jewish leaders, they were too busy addressing the crowd with their pompous speeches. Not the crowd, they were mesmerized by the spectacle playing out in front of them. The only one staring at the ground was the woman standing in front of Him. So what could He be writing? The one word we all desire most to hear or see is our name. Jesus wrote her name to show that she was not just a nameless person facing Him, but a precious soul who He knew every intimate detail about. The Greek word for “wrote” means that God can not forget because our names are written down in Heaven. Jesus wrote her name in the dirt…but it was being inscribed in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Daniel 6:10 ” Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened towards Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.”
Unwilling to compromise his faith in God, Daniel sought the Lord as he had done before. His daily prayer time had become an integral and structured part of his life, and any decree threatening the lion’s den held out no fear to him. Daniel knew where his strength was drawn from. What unwavering faith in the face of death he had. Daniel chose God over man, and I pray that same kind of steadfast faith for you today.
Proverbs 11:22 “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.”
This has to be one of my favorite Proverbs…maybe because I was raised on a farm in central Illinois, and the visual picture of a sow with fancy jewelry on wallowing in the mud is hilarious. But beyond this funny picture is the sad reality of how a beautiful woman can look just as absurd when she leaves her good sense and sound judgement behind.
Acts 4:31 ” When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled,ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
The Jewish Leaders were taken back by the Apostle’s confidence and boldness in speaking of the risen Jesus. Their outward appearance was that of unskilled laborers, but the Jewish Leaders quickly realized that these were no ordinary men. It says that. . “they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” That word “with” holds so much more meaning than just hanging out with the Lord…it means relationship, and companionship. Peter and John had a deep abiding relationship with Jesus and it showed in how they spoke and conducted themselves. What would men say about you…have you been with Jesus?
Colossians 1:17 ” He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
God’s love holds us together while the world around us may be falling apart. His love is a powerful embrace that gives us peace in the midst of turmoil. This love holds us together just like a safety-pin holds cloth… and the name of this blog. Here is the story behind it.
It was about 4:30 AM on a bitter Winter morning in Spokane,WA. I was getting dressed in a motel to go back to the hospital to be with my husband before they took him in for open heart surgery. He had suffered a massive heart attack a few days prior and the surgeon was not optimistic about his chances of making it off the table alive…but this was his only option. I was determined to look my best for him, so I put on a favorite dress, only to have a button pop off. Thus the search began to find something to fix this problem…from purse, to suitcase, to makeup bag and back again I went. Finally in utter despair, fueled by lack of sleep, anxiety, and fear, I stood in the middle of the room sobbing. Too exhausted to even take the dress off, I begged God for strength to go on. Suddenly a peace I can’t explain washed over me and through tear blurred eyes I saw a little safety-pin attached to the lid of my suitcase. At that moment I knew that God not only would put my dress back together,but He would hold me together for the day ahead. That little safety-pin became a tangible symbol of His Love for me. The surgery was a success, and 16 years later it is still a miracle.
I Corinthians 14:33 ” For God is not the author of confusion but of peace.”
Fog is as real as bright sunshine. Spiritual fog or confusion happens to us all. Events happen everyday that are confusing, and many times it is not because of us being disobedient, but rather by the very nature of things happening around us. It may not be about us at all, but others. This spiritual fog is unsettling, it makes us feel unbalanced and unclear. But the amazing thing is God can dispel this fog in our lives with His peace and bring clarity to our thoughts. He can bring us out of the confusion and into the bright ” sonshine” of His peace.
Joshua 21:45 ” Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.”
When we accept Jesus into our life we are saved in an instant, but the remainder of that new life is a process…sometimes a rather slow and arduous process. We get discouraged when our healing is slow to come, or when a promise the Lord has spoken into our heart is still just that- a promise. Impatiently we ask the Lord how much longer must we wait. But this verse shows that God does not forget, let alone does He lose sight of our journey thus far. We unfortunately, are creatures of instant gratification, and chafe at waiting for anything. But God in His infinite knowledge perceives the perfect time to fulfill those promises in our life…and the amazing news is that not one of those promises will fall short…every one will be fulfilled!
Job 3:25-26 ” What I fear has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest but only turmoil.”
Job had realized the possibility of trouble coming into his life prior to his suffering, showing he had not taken all of God’s Blessings for granted.
Troubles will come into our lives…but it is how we react to them that God is looking for. What do we fixate on, the trouble or the Lord? It’s sometime so very difficult to remember in the midst of chaos that God is still in control. But regardless of the situation or how desperate it appears, He is still not only in control, but has total authority over it. So take heart!
Ezekiel 3:14 ” The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit with the strong hand of the Lord upon me.”
God was calling Ezekiel to be a Prophet to the Jewish people in Jerusalem, but instead of being overjoyed with the prospect, Ezekiel was angry, sad, and indignant of what lie ahead. God had His hand in the middle of Ezekiel’s back forcefully pushing him ahead to his destiny. How many times do we think we know the path God has for us , only to be pushed in the opposite way. Do we go happily or with anger and resentment? That strong hand in the middle of your back pushing won’t change… only your attitude about it!