Message Recap – 5/21/10 – Mint Condition

Monday, May 24, 2010

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God has been speaking something to Pastor Dan personally, and so this message is aimed at himself as much as at us. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't listen up! Er... read up? Anyway, we'll start in Proverbs 13:12:

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

Hope that is put off, that never comes about and dreams that are broken make the heart sick.

Pastor Dan is turning 30 this year. Now, before you make a snide remark, just remember that you will be turning 30 someday, too. Sooner than you might think. At that point in life, it is easy to feel that the best chances and best opportunities are behind – you may know in your head that it isn't true, but feelings seldom match reason.

Pastor Dan began to wonder if there was any hope of his dreams coming to pass. Are the things that he's hoped for every going to happen?

In short; he's starting to feel old. He knows he's not old, but he feels... not young. There are things behind him now. Now, the issue here isn't really age. The issue is finding passion and freshness for the dreams and hopes within you. That means that whether you are 12 or 112, this message still applies.

When Pastor Dan first started leading Rev Church and leading worship his first emotion was fear. Then it became excitement. Now it's, “Where now?” He needs fresh vision, fresh direction, and a fresh goal. The truth is that everyone needs to be made new. We all need our vision, passion, energy and love for the Lord to be refilled. Each day, each season needs a different grace.

We all reach points when we need restoration – we need to be brought back to mint condition.

How long is something new? Pastor Dan just bought a new car. To him, it's new. It feels new, smells new and looks new. But it's really 4 years old. How long are clothes new? How long is food new? Not very long.

Do you ever see an abandoned building and wonder what it was like when it was new? Imagine the first family that moved in to their new house. And now it is abandoned, the roof is falling in and vines are overtaking it.

Check out Luke 5:36-39. You may not realize that Jesus is not really talking about wineskins here. What he's really talking about is our hearts and lives. Old wineskins (and hearts) become hard, cracked and inflexible. They become leaky, unusable. People can become hard, harsh, grating and inflexible too. Have you ever met someone like that? Someone that can't hold life and joy – it just leaks out of them?

Sometimes we can find ourselves old – like an old garment or an old wineskin. You can try to put a patch on the old jeans, but you're not fooling anyone into thinking you have new jeans. When we try to makes ourselves new it's the same thing! No matter how many patches we put on, no one is fooled. We get old and we break down. No matter how much we try to change it, we can't restore ourselves.

People letting you down, broken dreams, hope deferred – it all wears on you. When someone lets you down and you decide to never trust anyone again, you are turning into an old wineskin. Selfishness and pride will also make your heart hard. When our hearts get hard we become ineffective at carrying the “wine” of God's presence. We get leaky, useless at our purpose. God says he won't put new wine in old, bitter, selfish people.

We all need to be made new; nothing stays new for very long.

Take a look at 2 Corinthians 5:17-19. The message of reconciliation is the new wine that God wants to put into you! The message of hope and life and light that you can bring to those who need it! But if we've become old, hard, cynical and apathetic we can't carry it.

Even if you have not gone through this yet; learn the lesson now. When someone lets you down, when you get stabbed in the back, when things don't work out how you thought: allow God to make you new!

We aren't made new just once – as we are used by Him, as we go through life, we get hard. We need Christ to restore us again and again. We need Him to help us put away the past and become new creations so we can carry His message of truth and life without leaking it all out along the way!

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