SERMON NOTES February 18, 2024

Announcements / Service Moments
Reno Campus
Starting Point 3/3
Men’s Breakfast 3/2/24

Carson Campus
Starting Point 3/24
Men’s Breakfast 3/2/24

Reno Campus
Pastor Jericho Toilolo
Carson Campus
Pastor Dave Pretlove 

Series: Gospel of Luke
Sermon Title: New Wine Old Wineskins
Passage: Luke 5:33-39 

    Luke 5:27-33
    Luke 5:33-39
    2 Corinthians 5:17
    Revelation 21:5 
    Luke 5:33-39 
    Romans 12:2


  1. When have you seen friends or family try to combine Jesus with other ideas or beliefs?
  2. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17, Why is it important that you’re not just a better version of yourself, but an entirely new creation?
  3. Why can’t the New Wine of the gospel of Jesus and His Grace be put into an old wine skin of works-based faith?
  4. In what way does following Christ require us to replace old habits with new ones?
  5. Why do we resist replacing old habits with new habits?
  6. What beliefs and traditions from your past, before you knew Christ, have you attempted to hold on to?
  7. Jesus uses the metaphors of the patch and the wineskins to explain why He can’t just modify their old religious system. Why does Jesus plus other beliefs and traditions ultimately not work?
  8.  What people or groups of people have you tried to avoid or thought were lost causes?  How has Jesus been changing the way you view these people?
  9.  How has your faith in Christ been transforming the way you look at your circumstances?  How can you praise God even when life is hard?
  10. When have you fasted in the past?  How was fasting a powerful time to connect with God rather than a ritual? 
  11. Fasting is designed to make us physically weak & spiritually strong, just as Jesus went into his fast in the wilderness, “full of the Spirit”, but came out of it after 40 days “in the power of the Holy Spirit” (Luke 4:1,14). Based on your experience, what makes the principle of weakness/strength work?
  12. What would you love to see God do in your life or your community through this Practice of fasting?



  1. What are “wineskins” or foundational beliefs or practices in your life that should not be coexisting with the “new wine” of Jesus?
  2. What is your deep belief about God? If you truly believe your answer, what are two things that need to be addressed in your life to reflect the truth about God?
  3. The Pharisees alluded to Jesus’ disciples, enjoying his presence rather than focusing on His absence. As a Christ follower, do you actively participate in the Holy Spirit’s ongoing presence in your life?
  4. Religion puts a new patch on old garments, causing an easily seen mismatch.  What aspect of your life have you attempted to cover, rather than allowing God to do creative work, and what finally brought you around? 
  5. Spiritual disciplines often are about subtracting something rather than adding something. How does fasting fit into this concept?
  6. Jesus in Matthew 6:16, considered fasting an essential spiritual discipline. Do you incorporate it into your life?
  7. God prefers obedience over intention. He knows your heart posture in every action you make. Genesis 19:25-26 says, “Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land.  But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” Is there anything in your life that you are longingly looking back at, that can deter you from growing in your relationship with God?
  8. Do you have a foot still standing in your old life? If so, what is preventing you from fully stepping into the new creation?



Psalm 139:23-24 

Matthew 6:16-18
Luke 4:1,14

2 Corinthians 5:17 


I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us, He waits so long, so very long, in vain.
-A. W. Tozer. The Pursuit of God:



Podcast | Becoming Something | The Lie of “One Last Time” 




Book | Arthur Wallis | God’s Chosen Fast



Over the coming weeks, I want to encourage you to explore the spiritual practice of the EXAMEN. For the past millennia, our brothers and sisters of the faith have practiced this prayer discipline. The Examination of consciousness, or The Examen, provides opportunities to recognize where God shows up in our day.  “The exam is a practice for discerning the voice and activity of God within the flow of the day. It is a vehicle that creates a deeper awareness of God-given desires in one’s life.” (Calhoun, Adele Ahlberg.) The desired outcome of this practice is to help you become aware of both God and your God-given desires, and respond to them.

For those of you who have a more positive outlook day to day, this practice helps discern times and places where you feel most aware of the fruit of the Spirit. For those who are more serious or melancholy, this practice helps shift your awareness to life-giving moments the Holy Spirit brings into your day.

“The exam makes us aware of moments that at first we might easily pass by as insignificant, moments that ultimately can give direction for our lives.” —Dennis Linn

As you grow in recognition and embracing of the Holy Spirit throughout your day, awareness of His prompting becomes more natural,- and surrendered obedience becomes more our heart’s desire. Our will becomes aligned with His will, self-centered living becomes more Christ-centered living. Our life begins to form around God’s daily and momentary desires for us and the Kingdom of God. I look forward to hearing how this practice influences your day-to-day living out of your faith relationship with our Lord.

Examen questions: (Taken from Adele Calhoun’s Spiritual Disciplines Handbook)

  • When today did I have the deepest sense of connection with God, others and myself ? When today did I have the least sense of connection?
  • When did I give and receive the most love today? When did I give and receive the least love today?
  • Where was I aware of living out of the fruit of the Spirit? Where was there an absence of the fruit of the Spirit?
  • Gather together the threads of your daily encounters and activities. Attending to them one at a time, ask yourself some of the examen questions:  
  • Where did I give or receive love in this activity or interaction? 
  • How did I withhold love in this activity or interaction? 
  • What activity gave me the greatest high? 
  • Which one made me feel low? 
  • Reflect on where God was in the highs and lows of the day. 
  • How is God inviting you to pray about these things before you nestle into his arms and fall asleep? 
  • Make a list of feeling words. For example: accepted, anxious, apathetic, confused, defeated, disgusted, ecstatic, enraged, paranoid, weepy, undecided. Then begin to ask yourself the exam questions. Let these words help you articulate what drains or saps you and what gives you life. Let this knowing inform your choices.
  • Find a quiet moment to reflect on your day or week. Open your palms and ask the Holy Spirit to show you the moment for which you are least grateful. What made that moment difficult? Be with your feelings; don’t try to change them or make them acceptable. Offer them up to God. Talk to him about them. Where was God in this moment? You may want to thank God that he is always ready to be with you and talk to you. 


The other day I stumbled upon my high school letterman jacket in a box. Oh, the memories came rushing back, the events, the games, it was great. I decided to pick up the jacket and see if it would still fit. Well, as you can imagine, it didn’t. The struggle became real, Sure I was able to put my first arm in, but I could not get my second arm in. I mean Tommyboy was closer to getting Richard’s jacket on than I was. Who I am today is not who I was then. I have grown and changed, and who I am today does not fit the clothes of who I was then.

This week, the principle of new wine and old wineskins addresses this idea, but in our inner formation, our core beliefs, and practices. You see, we are continually being formed. Whether you know it or not, your beliefs, mindset, attitudes, and behaviors are all continually being influenced. It is what we call unintentional or intentional formation. You are always either being intentionally formed or you are being unintentionally formed. 

In the Christian world, we call this process spiritual formation. We are actively in the process of forming our spiritual selves into the image of Jesus. His way, His practices, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to live out God’s purposes and plans. Becoming like Christ, as a result of Christ in us. (John 17) in order to be his representative here and share His love with our world. As we grow in our relationship with God, he illuminates areas of our lives that require transformation, unpacking the old ways of living and thinking, and instilling new mindsets and practices. 

The problem is, oftentimes we avoid doing the deep work to unpack, dig up, and toss out the old thoughts, mindsets, practices, and stories we told ourselves, we try to take the easy road and begin to just add Jesus into our life (theistic syncretism). We try to emulate Christ in our own effort but that ultimately fails. It fails us, it fails the people around us we get frustrated and begin to doubt we really can experience this life Jesus so wants us to live. Jesus wants you to live his abundant life, abiding in him, and fulfilling your purpose. Just like the jacket no longer fits, your old inner formation no longer fits who Jesus desires you to be. This week begin thinking and evaluating what of your old life needs to be removed so there is more room for Jesus to transform you as you respond to the work he is doing in you. 

I leave you with a quote from a new book called Practicing the Way.
Christlikeness is possible, but it is not natural. In fact, the gravity or inertia of life will likely take you in the opposite direction. To put it another way, there are no accidental saints. Nobody wakes up one morning around the age of 50 and thinks, ‘Wow, would you look at that, I became a saint, weird. Or, hmm, it seems I have been living the sermon on the mount. I’m increasingly free of all worry, care, judgementalism, lust, and anger; money no longer has a hold on my heart; I am no longer run by fear and the need to look good to other people; I feel free; I’ve been pervaded by love, even love for my enemies.’ What a nice coincidence.

Formation will happen to you, per our earlier argument, with zero conscious decision on your part, but formation into a person of love in Christ will not. That you must choose, and keep choosing day after day. It will require intentionality”

John Mark Comer – Practicing the way


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