The Secret to Staying Fresh
"And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will bust the skins, and the wine is lost, and the skins as well; but one puts new wine in fresh wineskins." Mark 2:22
A few months ago, I ran across an article about American-born Walter Bruening. Walter died in April of 2011. While he did nothing particularly noteworthy in his life, he was famous for one key thing: his lifespan. Bruening lived in good health until the very ripe old age of 114 ½ years. Wow! He held the unique title of World's Oldest Living Man from July 18, 2009 to April 14, 2011. He has the longest recorded lifespan of any American in history.
When asked about the secret to his longevity, Bruening said, among other things, “I am always embracing change.” I like that answer.
Have you come to realize the fact that the world is ever-changing? Unless you and I embrace change, we will become an old wineskin, brittle and unfit for new wine. But, if we will adopt the Walter Bruening philosophy and embrace change, we can be used of God, season after season.
In the Book of Psalms we read, “The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, he will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green” (Ps. 92:12, 14).
If you want to stay full of sap and very green, even as the years go by, keep your heart soft, tender, and pliable in the Lord’s hands. When unexpected and unwanted changes come into your life, don’t allow yourself to get resentful and bitter and stubbornly “kick against the goads.” Trust that God has a plan and really does “work all things together for good to those who love Him.”
God is a God of newness and freshness. He wants us to stay fresh in our walk with Him. “Sing to the Lord a new song” is a command repeated over and over in Scripture. So when a new song is sung in church, don’t fold you arms in protest, longing for a familiar hymn from your childhood. Embrace the change, and “sing to the Lord a new song.”
Remember, our message is anchored to the Word of God. That message never changes, just as God’s character and nature never change. But our methods must be changing with the changing times so that we can be effective in communicating the gospel in the context and culture of the day. May God help you and me to stay fresh and embrace change so we can be the people He wants us to be, until He comes again.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.
Jesus taught us many things through His parables, including how to live life to the fullest!
And Pastor Jeff Schreve shows you Christ’s special insight in his new 7-message CD series, The Mysteries of the Kingdom: A Study of the Parables of Jesus. All 7 messages on CD are our thank you for your online gift of any amount to From His Heart in March!