How Fresh is the “New” You Just Discovered?

Over the past few weeks I have seen more on social media than I did most of the last 6 months. I seem to be susceptible to the “rabbit hole” concept of scrolling further down the updates than usual.

Today I came across a post from a pastor sharing his new favorite worship song. I’m familiar with the song and had a feeling it wasn’t quite as new as the post advertised. So I went back to check it’s release date. Turns out, I wasn’t wrong. The song was originally released in January 2014. That’s five years ago.

I will concede that five years is not a long time in the worship music industry. It seems too many songs come from so many corners of the spectrum from well-known to new on the block to one-hit wonders.

It did make me wonder, though. When we find something new, how fresh is it? And if it isn’t that fresh, though it is new to us, what do we miss when we latch onto it?

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Holy Spirit Wine and Human Wineskins

One of the worship groups I listen to released their annual album a couple of months ago. It usually takes me a few listens through the list and each song before I hear all the words and get a taste of the message being conveyed.

Driving in the car one day, my wife and I were talking about worship and this album in particular as she considered bringing a new song to our worship team. As I was scrolling through the songs in her car, I saw the title of one having to do with new spiritual wine.

I blurted out, “You know the scripture about new wine has nothing to do with wine, and everything to do with the wineskins.” My comments at the time were not about the song specifically, but the concept of new wine in general. Jesus wasn’t placing the focus on new wine, but on being vessels ready to hold the new wine. Today’s post unpacks that thought, and at the end I’ll mention what I thought of the song when I really heard the words.

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You can’t be “pastoral” with everyone: 5 questions to ask before we get pastoral

When you are a pastor,there are two primary elements of your ministry that you and the people in the church agree upon. You study the Bible and you tell people about it. Whether you preach, teach, or write, most people understand these as basic elements to what you do.

Another element of pastoral ministry is counseling. Real counseling isn’t just listening and being a friendly ear to hear about people’s problems, though some who go to a pastor’s office think of it like that. It also involves sharing biblical guidance for this problems and situations.

A result of all of this talking about the Bible is the impulse for a pastor or Bible teacher to try to speak into everyone’s life as a pastoral influence. But we do not have permission to be such a voice in to every life we are connected with or bump into.

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What does Easter remind you to sacrifice?

Photo by Ricky Turner on Unsplash

At this time of year, I always have trouble separating Easter and Good Friday. If Jesus didn’t offer His life as a sacrifice for sin, we wouldn’t have a resurrection to look forward to. Either in Easter, or for those who believe on the day when these mortal bodies are transformed into the immortal.

The sacrifice of Jesus was unique. Though it was symbolized for centuries through the sacrifice of lambs, bulls, and goats, it is only the precious sacrifice of Jesus which makes us truly right with God.

Christ entered the Most Holy Place only once—and for all time. He did not take with him the blood of goats and calves. His sacrifice was his own blood, and by it he set us free from sin forever. (Hebrews 9:12 NCV)

But what about us? Though Jesus “paid a debt I could not pay” according to the old hymn, is my life in Him without its own sacrifice? Or am I also called to lay put aside, consider dead, sacrifice something of me?

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