By Dr. John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
A lot of people come to a church or a pastor and request counsel on how they can become better people. There is dissatisfaction with the way they are living life, and they would like to do better. They think that doing better is the business of God. God is not in the business of making us better – He wants to make us new! Becoming a little better doesn’t really change our lives. To improve a little better here and there is not God’s intent for His people. He came into the world so that we might have new life!
Jesus gave a couple of illustrations in Mark 2:21, 22. He said if you have a piece of cloth and there is a hole in the cloth, you don’t take a new piece of cloth to put it on as a patch on the old piece of cloth. If you do as soon as you wash it, the new piece of cloth will shrink and will pull away from the old garment. You still have the hole. Jesus said He didn’t come to put a patch on an old garment – He came to give us a whole new garment!
Jesus talked about pouring wine into wineskins. A wineskin is made of leather. As it grows old it loses its elasticity. It begins to crack. It is like a baseball glove. If you don’t keep it oiled, it cracks. If you put new wine into an old wineskin, it will burst wide open. The reason is that the new wine has expanding gases and the old wineskin can’t contain the new gases. Jesus emphasized that He didn’t come to repair old wineskins – He came to give us a new wineskin.
I read recently where the majority of American roads and bridges were built in the 1950’s, and many of the water systems go back to the early 1900’s. Cites are experiencing problems with them as they begin to fall apart.
In July 2014, a 93-year-old water main burst beneath Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles and sent up to 10 million gallons of drinking water into the streets and sewers. Residents of Baltimore have about 1,000 bursting pipes every year. More than a quarter of the city’s water supply in Houston is either lost or unaccounted for because of underground leaks. Inadequate sewage systems let up to 850 billion gallons of untreated waste water flow into rivers and lakes.
Harvey Gobas, co-author of a report on California’s water system, reports that we are engaged in “the Band-Aid approach.” He said, “You fix it, it lasts a few years, but you still don’t have a new pipe.”
The Band-aid approach won’t last long on our water systems, our roads and bridges, or life. God is not in the business of constantly making repairs with the Band-Aid approach. He came so that every person might experience new life!
Paul describes this in II Corinthians 5:19 when he says, “Whenever a person is a new creature in Christ, old things are passed away and all things have become new.” Band-aids don’t work. God doesn’t use band-aids – He births a totally new person!
John Ed’s blog posts appear each week in For His Glory.
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