7.9.2012 “Simplicity!”

Welcome! The Scripture foundation for this whole week is Matthew 9:14-17! Matthew 9 14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. 16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

What grabs me now as I read this again is the idea that I can treat Jesus as an “attachment” to my life like a patch on an old pair of jeans!  He so repudiates that idea through this illustration!  Jesus is either the center of things or nothing at all – He doesn’t leave “attachment” to my life as an option!

The scripture reading  chosen specifically for today comes from the Apostle Paul as He describes when Jesus blew apart his old wineskin and gave him a brand new one!  He had been a faithful Jewish Pharisee and then he met Jesus – the old stuff that use to be so important to Him became nothing – Jesus became everything! Philippians 3 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

These verses are such an encouragement to “let everything else be less valuable” than Jesus!  New wineskin living leads me to a radical reprioritization within my life.  Paul says all that was considered valuable is like “garbage” to him now compared to Jesus!  That’s a bold statement!  I think what is grabbing my heart as I read this today is the “simplicity” in a sense of this life Jesus is leading me into.  I think I get worn down when I find myself trying to “please” multiple people or forces or voices in my life.  Paul has One person to follow, One force to respond to, One voice to listen to and he says he considers all those competing people, forces and voices as distant seconds compared to Christ!  That is new wineskin living!  Whether it is family, marriage, career, boss, children, finances, bills, health etc – they all have to take a back seat to “knowing Christ and being found in Him!”  Other things might be important – but not that important!  I need Jesus as “most important” and then the other stuff will more easily fall into place!

There is a radical simplicity to that! Lord, I deeply desire to grasp a little more of the “simplicity” of this new wineskin living today! Amen

How do these verses strike you?  What is God saying? How is this week’s message topic playing out in your life today?

Your insights and comments are so valuable!  Thank you for sharing!