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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

May God bless the Pastors and Bible Teachers all over the world, we thank God that Sermons to the World is now reaching 148 countries and all 50 States and The District of Columbia in the U.S.

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

BEING PART OF A MIRACLE



BEING A PART OF A MIRACLE
by Pastor Mark Taylor

Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it.  JOHN 2: 1-12
This is our Lord's first Miracle.  He made a difference in the lives of many people when He walked the Earth. God's Word tells us that if all the books that were written were about Him, they would not include everything He did. He  is still making a big difference in my life and others.
He operates in different ways in the lives of different people.  He was called to a wedding.  When He is called He shows up.  
Psalm 50:15 "Call upon Me in the day of trouble;I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
What Jesus did at the wedding signifies some very important things to us about Jesus and his compassion for people. He cares about even about our embarrassing shortcomings.  God is working behind the scenes to meet the need.  He is solving the problem when we have only looked at it.  He is curing the cancer when we are still trying to pronounce its name, providing the resources as the bills are placed in the mailbox, and giving the strength when we are weak.
To the Jewish people wine symbolized joy. The Jewish rabbis had a saying, ‘Without wine there is no joy.” At the wedding in Cana their joy had run out! In some ways it is a reminder of the emptiness of our life without Christ.  When the water was turned to wine, the shame of the bridal family was turned to joy. That is simply the way life works. There are times we run out of joy.   The change in our lives - our water into wine- is not based on our strength or efforts, it is available as we yield our lives to the Holy Spirit’s power.  Sometimes our joy runs out.  God is working in the background to make sure that someone is getting water so that He can turn it into wine to restore the joy of your salvation.  

This sermon today was just water when I begin to put it together, but as I deliver it today to you My prayer is that The Lord Jesus Christ will turn it into wine that your spiritual joy may be full.  This is what the Holy Spirit does for you and me.

Wherever Jesus went there was life and joy. He stated that his life mission was, as He said, that “His joy might be in us and that our joy might be complete” (John 15:11). He has come to bring His joy, and there is joy everywhere in our world. He is the God of irrepressible joy, and He has come to share it. He offers the wine of joy to all those who are thirsty for life — for those who will come and drink.

Mary said we have a problem.  They did not other options such as coke or even pure water.
Jesus answered his mother as "dear woman" - a respect question.

Perhaps Jesus could have used Mary.  Jesus could have looked to His disciples.  He could have told them to take it to the governor for them to impress Him with the good wine.    Surprisingly, to all who were at the wedding, Jesus did the unexpected - He looked to the servants.  Miracles meet ordinary needs in unexpected ways.    One of the deepest desires of every believer is to be part of the plan of God.  The compelling nature of the love of God creates a yearning in us to get off the bench and into the game.  We often assume that people with social, political or even spiritual status will be God’s first choice, But God does not look at the things that people look at.  “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart”  (I Samuel 16:7. 

Who did Jesus say were the greatest in the kingdom of God?  He said people who are like children, who are humble and have very little to offer.  Our building will be built with the small offerings we have.  He will use you.  He does not look at your resources, your age, or even your abilities, but He just wants you to be a part of the miracle.  Just give a cup of cold water in his name.

Illustration- grandmother's house dipper and basin.  The water was used for ceremonial washing of hands and feet.  They had to go to the well to get the water - not an easy job.  They did a good job filling them to the brim.  They did it for Jesus.

In our limited understanding, we don’t understand how filling jars with water solves a wine problem.  My job is to faithfully walk with a glass of water until He turns it into wine.  When I get out of the way and walk faithfully with a servant’s heart, God turns water into wine.  There will be times in life when you feel that what you are carrying is terribly inadequate.  That is when faith becomes real as you trust God to take what you have and make it something better.  “Now unto Him, that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.  Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.”  (Ephesians 3:20-21).

God does not need you, but He wants to use you so you can be blessed.  You may decide not to give your money to God in tithes and offerings.  Believe me, God does not need your money, but you need God's blessings.  You have have the attitude "let the other person get the water and carry the water", and God will select someone else, but you will miss being part of the miracle.  Jesus could have just said the word and the water pots would have filled themselves with wine.  But He let other people be a part of His miracle.

Will carry some water to someone else who needs a miracle and let The Lord Jesus turn it into wine for them?

There is no limit to his grace. What Jesus gives is never just enough, it is always more than enough, with plenty left over. He did not give just enough trees; he gave more than enough. He did not create just enough mountains; he created more than enough. He did not give just enough ocean; he gave more than enough. He did not give just enough life and joy; he gave more than enough.  He gave us more than enough to complete the water cycle to give us rain and oxygen.

Miracles happen when we understand that Jesus transforms our everyday experiences. Jesus did not come to give us information; he came to give us a transformation. He changes things. 
Jesus did not just change the color of the water, He changed its substance.  When God gives you the new life, He can give you enough grace to stop sinning, start forgiving, and live a life of meaning. Wine takes years to make from the time the vines are planted to the harvesting and the aging.  But god can reduce that time.  He can reduce the time it takes for you to get healed or get out of debt.  He can reduce the time it takes to forgive and move n in our lives.

He has a way of taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. He did not come to bring new ideas; he came to make new people. The water did not just appear to be wine; it was transformed into wine — the best of wine at that.  “Behold, I make all things new.”  (Revelation 21:5).  The best wine was always offered first. Isn’t that just like our Lord? The best always comes at the end. The grace we once tasted cautiously—we now drink freely. Jesus has poured out in us the richness of his love and forgiveness.  He has a lot of wonderful things planned for you and I after we leave this Earth and all of its problems.
In very ordinary places he creates extraordinary beauty. Let Jesus touch you, and see if your life is not filled with new beauty and wonder — new flavor and fragrance.   Jesus is in the business of turning water into wine, sinners into saints, fear into courage, sorrow into joy, defeat into victory, despair into hope and death into life. 

Miracles happen when we understand that Jesus extravagantly provides for our everyday requests. There were six jars containing between 20 and 30 gallons apiece.  Though we anticipate that God may give us enough to get by, we often do not expect abundance.  Our expectations are far too low.  Filling the purification jars with water was hard work.   Out of those water jars came 2,500 glasses of water turned into wine - more than enough to satisfy the needs of the wedding banquet.  The Lord Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was more than enough.  His shed blood was enough to offer forgiveness for not just for our sins of the past, but for our sins today, and for the inevitable sins of tomorrow.   Why did Jesus give so much wine? Because he is an extravagant giver. He never gives just enough; he always gives superabundantly.

Isaiah 39:29 "He gives power to the weak,And to those who have no might He increases strength."  
Joel 3:10. "Let the weak say, I am strong."  He wants to give you an abundance.

You have to use what you have before the Lord Jesus changes your water into wine.  You may have to fill some jars which requires effort and hard work on your part. You may have to go to where Jesus is working to receive the wine.  Everyone there at the wedding that day was at the right place at the right time when the Lord Jesus showed up.  But He is still working miracles today in the lives of His children when they are living right and serving Him.  “Blessed is the person that does not walk in the company of the ungodly, nor stands in the same place as sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.  But their delight is in the words of the Lord, and in His words do they mediate day and night.”They shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his/her fruit in their season; their leaf shall not wither, and whatsoever they do shall prosper.”   (Psalm 1: 1-3). 

God is not here today playing church with you.  He is here today to give you a miracle or to make you a part of a miracle.  Everyone at that wedding was blessed because the servants did their part.    You have a part to do.  You want your loved ones saved, you have a part to do.  It may be to invite them to church.  It may be to pray for them.  It may be share the Gospel with them and tell them how to be saved.  

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