BY: JASON PAYNE
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: Ecclesiastes 1:9-10: History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Isn’t it interesting how history always repeats itself? It’s hard to believe it is now the year 2016 and not much has changed. You may think, look at how far we have come and the technological advancements we have made. What do you mean not much has changed? The Bible says in 2 TIMOTHY 3:7 that we are always learning but never able to come to knowledge of the truth. The New Living Translation states it this way: “Forever following NEW teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.”
No matter how much time passes by or what year it is we all seem to start the new year off the same way. Out with the old, in with the new! But the reality is that the old way of doing things is still the best way. MARK 2:22 states, “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.” What Jesus is implying here though is that OLD wine in NEW wineskins does work! In Hebrews 13:8 it states that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He does not change but we do. His ways do not change but ours does.
We are always looking for something new — the newest model of something when the old one works just fine. You see Jesus is saying He is the Old Wine, the Best Wine, the Original, and the One who has been here before creation. HE is the great I AM! The Beginning and the End! The Alpha and Omega! The First and the Last! The Way, The Truth, and The Life! ( I don’t know about you but that made me want to shout and give the Lord glory!)
My point is this: every year we make a RESOLUTION (a firm determination) that we are going to change and do things a different way. But in reality its just the same old thing wrapped in a new package. We buy the lie and get let down (Romans 1:25). We have to be careful not to be deceived (Matthew 24:4-5). Do you know how many exercise machines claim to give you a six pack in just 6 minutes a day? “Just buy our new machine that will give you abs of steel in 6 weeks and all you have to do is hook these electrodes on your stomach and plug it in the wall and it does all the work for you.”
I know this is a SHOCK to some of you but it doesn’t work. If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is! You know what does work? Hard work, dedication, discipline, consistency, commitment, and FIRM DETERMINATION, which is what a resolution is. Just because we don’t see the results of something fast enough does not mean it doesn’t work. There are no shortcuts or quick fixes! Whether it’s losing weight, getting out of debt, saving more money, cooking more at home, spending more time with your family, or learning more about the Bible — it takes time. The old way of doing things may not be the most popular but I still believe it is the most effective! When Jesus came on the scene, He did not say He was doing away with the Law because it was old, but that He was fulfilling it (Matthew 5:17). Just because something is old does not mean it has no value! Most things actually get better with age — like a fine wine!
PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, I pray as we embark on a new year that we would not make the same mistakes as last year and as we move forward we would rely on your ways and not our own, and that we would not buy in to the lies of the world, or our enemy, who seeks to deceive and destroy us. Help us understand that just because something sounds good does not mean it is good. Give us a new perspective this year. Help us to see things through your eyes and not our own. Give us wisdom and discernment to do what is right in your eyes and not our own. I pray that we would make a firm determination to stay the course and know the TRUTH and to understand that because we don’t SEE immediate results in the areas of our life that it does not mean that the process is not working. Reveal to us the decisions to make, and the steps to take, as we draw near to you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I have been married to my beautiful wife, Christy, for 19 years. We have 2 amazing children: Elijah and Kayla. I am the facilities manager at Life Assembly and just received my Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Counseling. I enjoy doing missionary work, playing basketball, boating, watching Alabama football, and eating hot donuts!