Faith • Leadership • Life

Water To Wine

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What do you think of when you think of God? Whatever it is that you think, I promise you He is greater. What is your perception of Jesus? He’s far better than you could imagine. Jesus came to reveal God to us completely. Jesus was God, therefore, to see and hear Him was to see and hear God. This is true of His earthly life and all that it entailed. The words, the stories, the love and the miracles all tell us who God really is, and the God we see is more incredible than we could have thought possible.

Jesus’ first miracle in the Gospel of John chapter 2 tells us much about just how good He is. A country wedding was taking place in the little town of Cana in the countryside of Galilee. Two normal, run of the mill people deciding to make their love official. This is where the King of Kings decided to unveil His glory for the first time.

Notice that He chose a home instead of the temple. This tells us that Jesus is personal. Although He would spend plenty of time in the temple, He was just as comfortable in this little home. Also, He chose a wedding instead of a funeral. You see, Jesus is a God of life, not death. He came to overcome death and the grave, and that’s what He ultimately did with His eventual resurrection from the dead. He is a God of laughter, celebration and dancing. This is who God really is. He also chose a feast instead of a fast. The opening act of the Son of God was this little wedding. The opportunity came when the wine ran out.

In ancient Jewish culture, running out of wine at a wedding was a huge social mistake and a major embarrassment to the groom because it was ultimately his responsibility. Whether it was because the crowd was larger than expected or the groom was simply a poor planner, it was a big deal that the party was still going and the wine was all gone.

This is where Jesus stepped in. He commands the servants, privately, to fill the water jars used for ceremonial cleansing up with water. He then very quietly and simply tells them to take some to the master of ceremonies. They had no idea that the dirty water had been changed into the most exquisite wine anyone had ever enjoyed. Over 150 gallons of water had been instantly and miraculously turned to wine. Amazing. Stunning. Powerful.

While it is true that this miracle displayed Jesus’ amazing power, it also displayed His extravagant goodness. This major point of this miracle seems to simply be to show that He is good! He saves the groom from extreme embarrassment while providing the guests with immense enjoyment. Yep, that’s just good. Really good.

You may have to peel back your preconceived notions of Jesus to truly embrace just how good He is. This miracle does that for you. As the party continued and the people enjoyed the fruits of the Messiah’s kindness, He sat with His new disciples. John tells us that they believed. I think that it was not only His brilliant power that made them believe. I think it was also His goodness. The Jesus who turns the ordinary into extraordinary. And just think…..if He can turn water into wine, what could He do with your life and mine?

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What’s Inside Is Coming Out

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The ancient real life character at the center of the greatest disaster in human history had an inner faith in God that led to an outer obedience. The Bible is clear about the order of transformation in Noah’s life. It began with God’s initiation of grace. This has always been true of God and always will be…..He is the initiator of grace. Noah wasn’t saved because he was a good man. He wasn’t saved because he was so much better than the rest of the wicked people of his day. No, he was wicked just like them. Noah needed grace from a holy God and he got it. The Bible simply says in Genesis 6 that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”. This is stunning truth. Noah wasn’t good or righteous first. He found grace first, which was initiated by a good and righteous God.

The text then teaches us that following the connection of God’s grace and Noah’s faith that Noah began to be considered righteous by God. This is because by faith Noah had believed in God for his salvation, a belief that was ultimately in what Christ was going to do in the future. God declared Noah free of guilt and righteous. This is the stunning power of the Gospel. Bad people declared good by a Holy God who is full of mercy and grace.

What happens next in Noah’s life is interesting and relevant for us. He was “blameless” among the people of his day. Again, this blamelessness did not earn him a ticket onto the Ark. Noah became blameless as a result of the transformation in his life after he placed his faith in the work of God. In other words, Noah had an inner change that led to an outer change. The transformation IN Noah began to renovate the OUTER life of Noah. What was inside was coming out!

This is a truth for modern believers to grab on to completely. If you have an authentic internal regeneration experience with God it will begin to show in your words, actions, and life. Like a sponge that when squeezed shows what it holds within, you and I will show in our outer life what’s really happening in our hearts. Noah certainly had a heart changing experience with God, but it didn’t stay inside. His faith led him to a radical life of obedience that paved the way to the building of one of the most massive water flotation vessels in history.

Jesus said in Mark 12:30-31 to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. There is the order.  It was true for Noah and it’s true for us. Our inner life will determine our outer life, and our outer life is the evidence of our inner life. What does your outer life indicate about your heart? Are your actions and words being guided by the changes in the deepest part of you? May it be so.

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