“Neither do men put new wine into old wineskins: else the wineskins break and the wine runneth out, and the wineskins perish; but they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:17)

To earn money while in Junior High – yes, I had to earn my spending money – I sold the “Grit.” Today, it would be called family-friendly. I had several consistent customers, many of them members of my dad’s churches. I was able to keep myself in bubble gum money and eventually saved enough to buy a new baseball glove. It cost me about $10. There’s just nothing like the smell of a new baseball glove.

To keep my glove from drying and cracking, every year before the beginning of baseball season I would rub Vaseline on my glove. Then I would turn on the stove and bake the Vaseline into the leather. It was a seasonal refreshing for my glove. I was able to use that glove for over ten years.

God is ready to pour His new wine, to refresh you. Are we ready to receive it? Not if you are dried out, tough-skinned and cracking. God can’t and won’t pour His new wine into us if we are old wineskins.

What can we do? What must we do, if we are to be filled with God’s new wine, with a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit?

We must be made like new wineskins. The only way to be made soft and pliable is to be treated with God’s oil, the Holy Spirit. Our tough, dry, cracking hearts can be made like new, preparing us for a fresh fill of God’s Holy Spirit.

If we were a baseball glove, the answer is simple. We would reach for the Vaseline or glove oil and get it done. The answer is just as simple for us spiritually. We must be treated by the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that wants to fill us also draws us to God.

The Holy Spirit invites us to draw near, it is up to us to follow the pleading of the Apostle Paul, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” (Romans 12:1, The Message)

In the King James version, it is called “a living sacrifice.” God will not grab us like a baseball glove and rub us with oil, we must offer our lives to Him. When we do, things will be different. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he a new creature; old things are passed away; behold all things become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) “If a man, therefore, purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:21)

Every year I prepared my baseball glove for the new season. Today begins a new season in your life. Are you prepared to receive a fresh filling of God’s Holy Spirit? Are you a vessel of honor, fit for the master’s use?

If not, you know what to do. Present your body as a living sacrifice, so God can prepare you to receive a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit. Use the Gaither chorus as your prayer and invite the Holy Spirit to come, right now, “Come, Holy Spirit, I need You; Come, sweet Spirit, I pray. Come in Your strength and Your power; Come in Your own gentle way.”

Rick Borgman is the pastor of Lagro United Methodist Church.