The Old New You

(Matt. 9: 16-17)(2 Kings 2:9-11)(1 Kings 19:9-21)

This account that is recorded for us is in three of the four Gospels. Jesus is once again dealing with the religious know it all’s. He is dealing with some of those who followed John the Baptist. Then He actually lays out some hard truth.

(16)No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. (17) Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

Matthew 9:16-17
  • In our scripture Jesus is actually giving a great analogy of the ever changing church. It comes in reference to the disciples of John asking why did they fast so often but Jesus and His followers didn’t fast at all?

It was a sincere question. They had a desire to know.

Jesus never minded being questioned about His ways when one was sincere in knowing.

As you think about His words, they hold a clear warning of attempting to bring the old and mixing or combining with the new. I am of the belief; at least in my own life, one of the main contributing factors that hinders me from experiencing life to its fullest, free from all the mental bondage and self-imposed fetters and chains, is simply refusing to change the skins.

In the Bible we have account after account of men and women who understood and was willing to live a life pleasing to God. Even if it wasn’t kool, culturally correct or safe. Because of their willingness God used them to alter history. Change the world. 

Today we are so tied up with this worlds delusions as we load ourselves with overwhelming burdens. It appears we have lost our vision, our dreams and are no longer interested in impacting the world for Jesus. 

Ever notice folks; though rare, that really seem to have it together? They are focused on serving God. Not detoured because of circumstances. Not wavering because of uncertainties?

There looks to be a common thread running through the lives of those born again bold believers in Christ. I want to share with you a couple of thoughts today that if you really want them to, could strengthen your life in Jesus. 

We have an Old Testament prophet who can help us get a grasp on this simple truth.

  • Elisha’s request.
    • A double portion of God’s Spirit.
      • Understand, Elisha just didn’t happen to be in the right place at the right time.
      • There had been some preparation in his life.
    • Look back with me at (1 Kings 19:19-21)

(19)So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. (20)And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee? (21)And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.

1 kings 19:19-21
  • We find a very wealthy man settled in his life and occupation.
    • He was not only a leader but a servant leader.
    • He had twelve set of oxen. Eleven was being used by servants or family. He was plowing with the twelfth. 
      • (Side note: Don’t ask others to do what you won’t do.)
    • While out doing his normal duties God came to him by way of His servant Elijah.
  • Elijah.
    • Here was a man of God. One who had stood toe to toe with the enemies of God. 
      • He had seen the mighty works of God. The latest, the show down with Baal prophets.
      •  Fire fell down from heaven burning up the drenched sacrifice.
    • The day he and Elisha meet though this strong man of God had been hiding and on the run.
      • What could cause a seasoned prophet of The one True God like this to fear and run? A horde of demons? The devil himself?
      • A woman. Jezebel to be exact. Now there is a life group lesson for us…
  • The Encounter.
    • The day these two met something very interesting happened.
      • Elijah called Elisha to service by casting his mantel (robe) on him.
      • Elisha asked to go home to tell his people by.
    • In the gospels, Matt and Luke; we find where Jesus told a man who asked to go bury his father, “let the dead bury the dead.”
      • This man was looking at staying till his father passed then go and follow Jesus.
    • Look at Elisha.
      • (1Ki 19:21) And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.
      • Elisha wasn’t waiting to bury his dad. He was burying himself!
    • He didn’t go back to talk of his plans and reminisce. 
      • He went back to cut himself off from his old life.
      • Most farmers have their hoe, their tractor, and their implements they like to use. The other ones aren’t as special and the farmhands use them.
      • I take this as these are Elishas favorite. He took his special plow and yoke and all that went with it and set it ablaze. He took Brutus and Bubba and turned them into bar-b-q. Fed his farmhands friends and folks.
    • Why didn’t he just sell them or lease them, pass them down?
      • Because Elisha was serious about serving God and left nothing to pick back up later or fall back on.
  • The reason many never go the distance 
    • We continue to pour new wine( our new life in Christ) into old wine skins.(our old life, ways, habits…
      • It actually works for a while, but then they begin to crack, swell and finally burst. 
    • Church becomes a got to again instead of a get to.
      • Preaching becomes stale and meaningless. People become bothersome and draining.
    • Yet we continue to tell ourselves its not us…
  • We need to recognize there are some bridges we are holding on to.
    • Those that we are not willing to burn that tie us, connect us to our old life without Jesus.
    • Some out of pride. Feeling this is what distinguishes us. Defines us.
    • Some out of guilt. Feel like you have to continue the legacy, carry the torch, 
    • Some even out of fear. Letting go means not being in control.
  • Heres the whole in a nut shell. 
    • For us to be who God intends for us to be it takes yielding back to God everything He has given to me.
      • If we hold on to these things you never own them but they own you!

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