In 2013, the late, great Kobe Bryant coined this age-old Spanish term… “VINO”.
Now many people will look at this word, think about it, search it up and find out that it simply means wine.
However, to Mr. Bryant, it represented something a little bit different.
You see it is known about wine that its taste gets better over time and Kobe was more than determined to ensure that this new moniker was lived up to. This new nickname symbolized a coming of a new-age, a new season, and a new wind. Kobe Bryant was 35 at the time, and was entering a new year of basketball looking to compete at the highest level.
Ironically enough, that season would become one of Bryant’s most memorable; but not for his caliber of scoring, or flashiness amidst his basketball peers, but it was the year that he came across his first major injury.
He tore his Achilles right before the playoffs.
This new wine was indeed aging, but not in the way Kobe expected.
As a wine connoisseur, Kobe would be in the best position to evaluate the quality of any wine. However, it is not everything that tastes good, and it is not everything that looks good that is beneficial.
In Kobe’s case, he evaluated his abilities, passions and desires at his age, and he ended up overstepping.
We are no different from Kobe Bryant.
Time and time again, we place our hopes in certain wines that are supposed to age well with time. Our wealth, our careers, our schools, our degrees, our relationships, our love life and everything in-between. Unfortunately, we don’t count the cost of buying and taste-testing such “vino”.
Athletes are notoriously known for leaving everything behind on their respective courts.
We as believers are also expected to leave it all on “his” courts. The more we live in habitual sin and the more our hearts remain unrepentant, the closer we are to an “early retirement”.
The more we are in conversation with yesterday, the less time we will have to speak with tomorrow.
What do we mean by tomorrow?
Tomorrow is that new door of opportunity, that new breath of His spirit, the new presence of His glory and His beauty personified in your day to day life!
You see Sin, Falsehood, Darkness, and Ambiguity, are what we call the “wines of yesterday.” They age over time but leave a terrible taste in our mouths.
What we taste essentially is sadness, guilt, hypocrisy, shame, and disgrace.
And although these beverages of immorality and pride leave us wanting more, we all end up with the same result… an empty bottle.
When Paul was talking to Corinth about being transformed into the new man, (2 Cor 5:17). He made two absolute statements: The old is gone. The new has come.
In other words, Paul is saying that today we are renewed and our yesterday has been redeemed. And, in our tomorrow, will be reconnected with our Saviour…for good!
It sounds so simple that a toddler could understand, yet some of us are “adults” in the faith, and we have yet to accept this elementary principle.
Old equals past. New equals future.
The mistake that we make so often is that, we allude a factor of time to the words “old” and “new. So as a result, we limit ourselves and we limit our God.
How can God use me in a new way when I was sleeping around yesterday or was at the club last night? How can God use me in my old age, when there are new kids on the block?
You see God doesn’t focus on the wine; He focuses on the wine-skin.
God says, goodbye to our past because He is trying to have a 3-way conversation with our future!
As a former pornography addict, I had an insatiable thirst to quench the desires of my body, which left me periodically with an empty bottle. I believed that in my depraved state that the wine that I consumed was as good as it was going to get.
I’d always tell myself that in time things would get better.
That “yesterday” would be gone and my tomorrow would arrive.
Unbeknownst to me, the new wine that is available to the believer isn’t new because we’re in a ‘new year,’ but it is new because its quality is timeless.
This wine does not look at our past. It gets perfected and tastes better in our tomorrow; which is the Kingdom!
In terms of Kobe Bryant, he wasn’t just an all-time great because of his accomplishments, accolades and milestones. He was also bent on leaving his imprint on the next generation of NBA players by working on their footwork, shooting mechanics and everything in between.
He was able to build off of his past achievements and failures and use it as a benchmark for his future.
As an athlete in Christ who is running this race, I have a burning desire to show the youth of today that there is a better way to play this game. But in order to do that, we will need to put new wine into new wine-skins.
Think of the word “wine-skin” in relation to putting on a new suit. The tailor, who is Christ, is looking to fit you according to his purposes. That means new anointing and new desires.
It means your old wardrobe of fear, trauma, pain, insecurities and high-sound nonsense, has been paid for by the Captain of Salvation’s Army.
You are free to walk in this new beginning.
Now, be careful, those of us that wear this new style of dress and behavior, must not be “old-fashioned.”
Galatians 5:24 (NLT) says,
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.”
Do you catch that? We who belong to Christ, left ‘yesterday’ on Calvary.
We gave our past life up to him and for him so that we could see today, tomorrow and eternity.
That addiction? With Christ, it is behind you. That heartbreak you dealt with? That’s buried in the past.
You are free to taste the wine from his vineyard because you are now eternally connected to the vine. You are now able to replicate the image and glory of God wherever you go.
Perfecting your walk and your relationship with him daily. This new wine, this new you, will age perfectly as you remain in His perfection! We believe that is the true definition of Vino, folks!
So say goodbye to your mistakes, iniquities and transgressions.
Say goodbye to your failures, mishaps and blunders.
God already did. So you should too.
David Amon x Kofi Asare
David and Kofi are two relentless young adults with a passion of making the “young,” into “adults,” in Christ. Co-Authors of the #1 best selling Devotional, Re-connection, they live to rekindle, restore and revive their generation!