Cover to Cover
Mark writes about Jesus healing the paralytic, choosing a tax collector as one of the twelve disciples, and then He is questioned about fasting and the Sabbath.
In verses 21 and 22, Jesus speaks about putting new wine into new wineskins. If you put new wine into an old wineskin, the container will burst. You can’t put a new patch of fabric on an old garment because the new fabric will shrink and cause the old fabric to tear. Jesus is speaking of taking this new move of the Holy Spirit. This new move cannot be poured into the old legalistic system of Judaism. The same is true today. We can’t take a new move of the Holy Spirit and try to conform it into what was experienced in the last generation or in a system that is no longer viable. God is doing something NEW today!
What are some things we can we take with us into a new move of God?
· Our love for God and people
· Our desire for the Word and to obey it
· Worship that is Spirit-led
· The anointing in prayer
· Excellence in communication and organization
· Excellence in ministry and outreach
· The beauty of holiness and forgiveness through repentance
· Expectation and a willingness to flow with the Holy Spirit
What are some things we can’t we take with us into a new move of God?
· Control has to be left at the door
· Ego has to be left at the door
· A judgmental attitude has to be left at the door
· Sin, especially in leadership, has to be left at the door
· Compromise has to be left at the door
· Disrespect for past and present authority has to be left at the door
· Old styles and culture have to give way for a younger generation
· Old methods need to lay down for more efficient methods being used today
The Holy Spirit is always moving. Will we get into the flow and move together with God, or will we try to shove it into with what we’ve been familiar? Will we try to define it and put a label on it, or will we let God lead us into something different than what we’ve known?
As we age, it is vital that we do not become a know-it-all or we won’t be able to receive any more knowledge. As we mature, it is necessary that we do not get hard and brittle, becoming uncaring and despising being understanding. As we gain experience, it is important that we don’t try to conform the Holy Spirit into the box we’ve built from our past experience. Let’s seek God for what He is doing TODAY, and don’t miss out!
In chapter 26, God gives a promise with a condition. God is an “if” and “then” God, meaning, we have our part. It’s actually a faith statement because obedience should come from reliance on God. When we obey God, we open up ourselves to receive from God.
Faith has a pretender. Some think they are in faith when they actually are in what we call “works.” Works are those actions we do out of self-sufficiency rather than God-sufficiency. Works are when someone is trying to do the right thing so they will be found acceptable to God and be rewarded. Faith doesn’t try to earn anything from God or to deserve anything from God. It’s a religious control that comes from a self-sufficient pride. God has never wanted or looked for a fake faith. Even in the Old Testament, God was looking for love, trust, dependency, and action.
With this in mind, when someone refused to surrender to God under the Old Covenant, they brought judgment on themselves. Why? One, Jesus had not removed the penalty for sin yet. Two, God’s intention was to consecrate a nation, so anything or anyone unholy in His presence had to be removed or it would bring more judgment on more people. Three, they had knowledge of right and wrong so they were responsible. Four, the Law was a tutor, showing not only Israel, but the world, that we are in need of redemption.
In chapter 27, the Lord tells Moses about redeeming, or purchasing, what has been dedicated to God.
In verse 30, God says, “All the tithe of the land… is the Lord’s.” Ten percent of what we receive is to be returned to the God because it belongs to Him. Tithing also has a blessing attached to it, not only in the Old Covenant, but also in the New.