The miracle of water into wine was, according the Apostle John, a ‘sign’. Was it a sign that Jesus cared about weddings? He does, but there’s a lot more going on here than catering a wedding. When John designates a miracle as a sign, he’s stating that that act, in particular, displays the glory of God in Christ.
The backdrop of this miracle is the Old Testament passages depicting Israel as the unfaithful vine that produced bad fruit (Jer 2:21; 12:10). Jesus, however, is the true vine of God (Jn 15:1–3), and we are the branches. His fruit will be the finest God’s vineyard ever produced. In other words, God saved His best wine for last. This sign declares that Jesus is the faithful Messiah. His ministry will end by dying on the cross—when His hour has come (John 7:30; 8:20; 12:23,27; 13:1; 17:1)—but this first sign, signaled its inauguration.
Let’s allow the Father to prune us, so we may produce more fruit (Jn 15:2). “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,”(Ps 139:23–24, NIV).
The Lord has placed people in our lives who, like John, Andrew, and Philip, introduced us to Jesus. Sometimes He sought us out, as He did Philip. In Christ, God called us saying, “Follow Me!” He already knew us before we followed Him. He still knows our thoughts, our character, the meditations of our heart, and where we are at all times.
We continue to follow Jesus because He is the Lamb of God, the Messiah, the One Moses wrote about in the Law, the Son of God, the King of Israel, the Word incarnate. Knowing that He is always with us is a great comfort. He knows our anxious thoughts and the challenges we face. Lord, let us see You in all we do today. Help us to overcome our challenges, and to give You thanks when You do!
God’s glorious presence filled the tabernacle that Moses built in the wilderness, and the temple that Solomon built in Jerusalem. However, Jesus Christ is the supreme revelation of God’s glory. He is God in the flesh. In Him God dwelt, or, more accurately in the Greek, “tabernacled” among us. The love of God the Father, sent His Son, the eternal Word, into the world to give us true life and true light, and to baptize us with the Holy Spirit.
Today, afresh, we can receive Him into our lives and so proclaim Jesus Christ as the glory of the One and Only Son. Today, afresh, we can proclaim that through our faith in Him, and by the Father’s will, we have been granted the right to be His adopted children.
May the glorious light and life of Christ be evident in all we do this day.
I have a chronic neuro-muscular condition called Cervical Dystonia. I was diagnosed in 2014. Like a wrecking ball, it shattered my once active life. I used to fly us around the Pacific Northwest in our plane. I used to practice karate. I used to do a lot of things.
This is the first time I’ve revealed my condition online. I’m doing it now because things just got worse. There are so few suffers of this rare condition that a support group must be international. Even then, there are only 2,500 members. Each major holiday we usually lose one or two to suicide. Most have unsupportive family and friends who say the most hurtful things to them. Some have no one, and no income. Tragically, they give up the fight.
I’m blessed to have a supportive, loving, and encouraging wife and family. I’m blessed to have Christ in my life. Some days, despite all my family’s love, only He can reach into the deep place in my heart that needs joy. Until He grants me healing, I join in His sufferings, and I follow His example: not my will, but His be done on earth as it is in heaven. Trust in Him is key, and so is leaning on His Word and not my own understanding.
One of the kindnesses of suffering — at least mine — is the quiet. Life is simple. The stress of managing multi-million dollar projects, for example, is gone. Many times, in that quiet, it is just God and me … and a lot of pain. I can have long quiet times. I can pray. I can reflect. I can write. I think that’s His will for me right now. I just released an updated and edited version of my book, and I have two writing projects scheduled for this year.
Due to the treatments to paralyze the affected neck muscles, I feel close to normal for three weeks out of ten, but then the slide downward begins all over again. It’s frustrating.
Hanging in there is vital. Things change and research continues on this condition. More doctors have become aware of it. Because it’s rare, many sufferers, like me, get misdiagnosed and mistreated for years. Last summer was difficult for me, but then in August a new doctor added something new to the treatments which has lessened the extreme symptoms. I’ll take it.
This is the place from which I write. Through writing I try to comfort others with the comfort and hope I have received from Him. I want others to see the grandeur, greatness, gentleness, and compassion of God in Christ through the power and presence of His Holy Spirit. I want to encourage others to take a deep dive in their faith and to get closer to Christ. Ultimately, I hope to help Christians align their wills, thoughts, and hearts with His. This is what Jesus prayed for in the Upper Room when He prayed for unity.
Many times, I have asked God to remove this thorn in my flesh. He hasn’t yet. The Apostle Paul was right, God’s grace is sufficient and His power is perfected in weakness. Yet, I continue to ask for healing.
I have experienced healing and other miracles first hand over the years. For example, last week God worked radically in my wife’s career. God is good. We’ve been praying about her situation for two years.
In contrast, last week I developed a significant complication which is causing acute pain, stiffness, and more sleeplessness. I didn’t need this, but God is still good. Today, I get an MRI to determine exactly what’s going on in my neck and to see if there is anything the orthopedic surgeon can do about it.
Chronic illness is not fun. Despite it, my goal is to connect deeper with God and to follow Christ in His suffering. Did I mention how important it was to trust God and submit to His will?
God can instantly heal me if He chooses, but then would I get too busy and too distracted to write? I often wonder if has God painted me into this corner to do the one thing He wants me to do.
Jesus is calling you deeper in your relationship with Him.
After the shepherds heard an angel of the Lord announcing the Messiah’s birth and the multitude of heavenly hosts praising God, they went straight to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the feeding trough (Luke 2:8–20). The shepherds story amazed everyone. It was the first Nativity.
When the shepherds returned to their flocks they glorified and praised God for all they had seen (Luke 2:20).
Carolyn was distant, aloof, and alone in her far-off world.
There were four of us who were her co-workers, but none of us, employed at this regional grocery retailer, was her friend. It wasn’t that she rebuffed our efforts to engage her in conversation, or that she was in a drugged induced haze. It was more like our voices couldn’t reach her. The only voice she seemed to hear was hers, singing quietly to herself – while barely audible, it was pleasant.
There’s no question of God’s love for us. He created us. He died and rose from the dead in the person of Jesus Christ so that we can have eternal life with Him. The question is: do we genuinely love God? God sees deep into our hearts. He knows the answer to that question. We can’t fool, outwit, or manipulate Him. Many have tried. The one person that I knew who tried the most was a man we will simply call Mr. T.