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"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. Neither do men 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." (Matthew 9:16-17)

The wisdom of the Lord Jesus surpasses everyone in the world. He used such a popular metaphor to tell us this new important spiritual concept.

From sinners to sinners saved by grace, to sinners in the image of Jesus, the life of a Christian is undergoing renewal at every moment of every day.

However, renewal is not always an easy task: caterpillars need to experience the pain of peeling when they transform into cocoons and become butterflies. If women do not experience the pain of childbirth, there is no way to reap a new baby. The renewal process is always painful but full of expectation and joy.

The Lord Jesus himself said that new cloth should not be patched on old clothes, because the clothes will be damaged and the clothes will be worn even more. New wine can't be put in old leather bags. The wine will leak out and even the wineskins will be broken. This is precisely the portrayal of our lives. If we have not made up our minds to die to our old self that entangles us, no matter how much we listen to preaching, participate in more Bible study, and even participate in more service, the sin will only be covered by the "new cloth" and it will not really be solved. And we often stay in this new cloth repairing old clothes, new wine in old wineskins condition. We can live in front of Christ with ease, but one day the breach will become bigger and ruin the clothes, the wineskins will rip and new wine will be wasted, and neither will be preserved.

The New Year may not really be happy, but we need to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrew 12:1)

Min. Rebecca Zhang 張翱翔傳道~

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