What’s Really Happening When Jesus Turned the Water into Wine?

It’s About So Much More Than Just the Wine

Most of us are familiar with the start of Jesus’ ministry in John 2:1-11, when He turned the water into wine. Jesus and His mom were at a wedding where they ran out of wine. Jesus’ mom tells Him that, “They have no more wine.”

Jesus asks her why she’s telling Him this, “It’s not yet time for me to begin my work.” Mary tells the servants, “Do what he tells you.”

She knew who He was and what he could do. She had faith. She believed!

At that point Jesus told the servants to fill six large jars with water…so they did. Then He told them to take some of the water to the man in charge of the feast. The man tasted it and was amazed that the best had been saved for the last.

This was the first of Jesus’ miracles and it caused His followers to believe.

The servants had some amazing faith to take these jars to the host of the feast. They knew the wine was gone. They had just poured water in the jars. They took it anyway. We know how it turned out…best wine ever.

When God speaks to people, He’s asking them to do something bigger, something that will stretch them.

Every day we are faced with situations like the one at the wedding. We’ve miscalculated and ran out of something before we were finished. We have to decide what to do.

We need to start with believing that God can do anything and then ask Him. We need to trust that when He tells us to do something…we can do it.

God is abundance…not scarcity.

Too often we approach empty jars from a scarcity mentality and stop there. If we will have faith and ask, God will fill our jars until they run over.

It’s up to us to believe, ask and act.

The Untapped Power of the Mind is the One Thing That Keeps Most of Us Stuck

But the Mind Can’t Do It Alone…it Requires Action as Well

Why is it that we doubt what we know? There are countless examples of the power of the human mind, yet we think… “this power only works for other people, doesn’t apply to me”.

Not only is this lack of belief directed at ourselves, ultimately it shows our lack of trust in God.

In Mark 10:46-52, there’s an example of the power of belief and acting on that belief.

The blind Bartimaeus is sitting along the road begging for money as Jesus goes by, he begins shouting. The people told him to be quiet. He shouted for Jesus to help him even more.

Jesus told him to come to Him.

He got up and went to Jesus.

Jesus asked him what he wanted. He said, “I want to see again.”

Jesus said, “Go. You are healed because you believed.”

This is the power of believing and acting on those beliefs.

Too often people find themselves in a bad situation like Bartimaeus and give in and give up. They feel angry, hurt, defeated or afraid and just stay there. It’s okay to have these feelings…just not to stay there. We can fight the pain, or we can accept it, learn from it and move forward like Antoinette Bosco.

During her eventful life, Antoinette “Toni” Bosco had plenty of reasons to feel abandoned by God. A mentally ill mother, heavy responsibilities early in life, a disastrous arranged marriage, the death of three of her seven children – the list is a painful one. But, instead of turning her back on God, she decided to embrace Him even more.

She attributed much of her ability to cope in these difficult life situations to her Italian father who came to America as a young man. He taught her, “To be good to people, to help people, never be cruel and never be angry.”

There was a point of suffering when she just wanted to pull the covers up over her head and hide from the world. She was telling herself; I just can’t get up anymore. Then she heard another voice…

If you think you can’t or you think you can…you’re right.

“I would not have gotten through my life without my faith. I do believe that the Lord Jesus is with me all the time.”

Bosco has learned that you never know what’s going to come next in life, but no matter what, it is essential to keep the faith.

“I know every day my prayer is “Be with me and let me know that You are with me,’” she said. “So far that has sustained me.”

Use the power of your mind, given to you by your Creator and start moving forward to fulfill your life.

A Journey of Faith Takes Time and is Scary

It’s Much Better When We Have the Support of Others

We had another faith Sunday at church the past week. It is amazing and wonderful to hear about people’s faith journeys. Each one of us in our own unique place in our journey through life.

It’s easy to be consumed by all the things going on in our own busy lives and forget those around us. We often feel that we are going on this journey alone. We forget that there is help when we need it.

Isolation is one of the most difficult things we will ever experience.

We need to remember that everyone deals with the same struggles we do. Being willing to support those around us, even in small seemingly insignificant ways, can be live changing. The simple act of noticing people can be one of the biggest.

Being noticed validates our worth.

Both the needing and helping sides of the journey were evident in the stories shared. There were stories of the church as a whole or individuals giving support in difficult times when there was struggling. We’ve all needed this type of support in our own lives.

As I was reading The Traveler’s Gift there was an example of what a faith journey is like. In this book David Ponders traveling through time meeting with various people who give him wisdom and insight into the seven decisions for determining personal success.

David meets Christopher Columbus on the Santa Marie as he’s crossing the ocean. As the two men are talking, Columbus’s First Officer confronts the Captain, explaining that the men have had enough, and they are going to turn around and go back.

Columbus explains that they have been at sea for 64 days and only have 10 days of food and water left. Turning back would be futile. These men did not have the vision or faith that Columbus did.

It would take a lot of faith to get on a boat and set sail for an unknown destination at an unknown distance…but Columbus had a vision and faith. He believed and trusted God.

We need to believe and trust in God as we go on our journey.

It took years for Columbus to get the expedition organized. It took support from other people. It wasn’t instantaneous and he didn’t do it by himself. And neither will we.

Get support when you need it. Give support when you can. Believe in God and yourself and continue your journey.

I Say That I Believe…But Do I Really?

It’s Easy to Say, But Hard to Do

What does it mean to believe? The words believe, trust, and faith are thrown around a lot. They’re used in all forms of motivational situations. You may have seen the Geico commercial in which Pinocchio is portrayed as a bad motivational speaker. (use a picture from the commercial)

In the commercial Pinocchio’s nose begins to grow when he tells people that they have potential. This commercial shows us the real problem with believing…we don’t. It presumes that Pinocchio is lying when he tells people that they have potential. The lie is in what Pinocchio is telling himself. He doesn’t believe that he or anyone has potential.

Every one of us has potential!

The words, believe, trust, and faith are often used synonymously but have subtle differences. Faith is a noun only. Trust is both a noun and verb. Believe is only a verb. We know from English class that a noun is a person, place or thing. A verb is used to describe an action.

We use these words as nouns. As a treasure that is out there for us to find. The problem is that two of the three are verbs, and we should be taking action. This means that we need to do something.

If I believe that I’m doing what God wants me to do…why doesn’t it appear to be working?

A few days ago, as part of my morning Scripture reading, I read Mark 11:20-24. In this message Peter asks Jesus about a fig tree that the day before Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And now, “it is dry and dead.” Jesus replied to Peter, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, fall into the sea.’ And if you have no doubts in your mind and believe that what you say will happen, God will do it for you. So, I tell you to believe that you have received the things you ask for in prayer, and God will give them to you.”

As I contemplated this Scripture as it related to my question, I realized a few things.

When the scripture says, “…say to this mountain, ‘Go fall into the sea.’ And if you have no doubts…it will happen”. That sounds great, but really, do I think the mountain is going to just move. Think of the chaos that would ensue if we all did this. I would move the mountain over there and somebody else would move it somewhere else. Maybe my believing is about doing. I could move the mountain with a bucket, by developing a machine, by designing a system, or by employing a team. The scripture isn’t about magic, it’s about believing that I can do it.

“God will do it for you.” I don’t doubt for a minute that if He chooses to move a mountain from here to there in one big piece He can. But more likely, His way of doing it for me is through ideas, plans, methods, help, etc. We are made in His image…we’re not Him.

As I pointed out earlier, believe is a verb. This means that if I believe, then I will need to do something. I can’t just say that I believe and wait for the miracles. I need to do my part. My belief needs to be accompanied by action.

I can say I believe, but if I don’t act then I don’t really believe.

My problem is that I’m looking forward to the mountain being moved and getting distracted by the enormity of it. I need to trust that God will show me what each next step is. Pastor Lee shared about Bill Irwin, (use picture from this link) a blind man that in 1990 hiked the Appalachian Trail alone. God didn’t magically take Bill from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in north central Maine. Instead Bill walked 2,168 miles over nine months without maps or GPS or assistance one step at a time.

Bill believed and with God’s help, moved his mountain. It’s up to us to believe and move ours.

The World Is Full of Opportunities

Uplifed hands full of twinkling lights

 

 

 

It’s Our Responsibility to Make the Most of Them

 

 

In our humanness we all feel inadequate. We don’t think we have what it takes to do that thing…whatever that thing for us is.


One of Rev. James Moore’s seminary responsibilities was a weekly visit to a hospital. One week he was asked to speak to Mrs. Davis who was scheduled for brain surgery the next morning. She didn’t want to be bothered, but in her condition and with the risky surgery the hospital felt that he should visit her anyway.

 


In his young, inexperienced, inadequate state, he didn’t think he could do it.


The hospital staff continued to push him until he finally went to pray with her. Things didn’t go so well; he opened the door too hard and it banged the wall, he kicked her bed as he walked around it and then when he started to pray with her…he didn’t know what to say. He stammered around as he prayed and finally after feeling like a complete failure, he left.


He went directly to his professor and told him that he wasn’t cut out for this work, he had just made a mess of things at the hospital and wanted to drop out. The professor said that he was too busy right then, to come back next week and they would talk.


When Rev. Moore went back for his regular scheduled time at the hospital, he was expecting bad news…but he found that Mrs. Davis was doing well. When he went to see her, she explained that last week before he came to her, she had given up. His visit had gone so poorly that she felt sorry for him and this compassion for him, had given her the will to live.


Rev. Moore went on to become a minister, author and leader who impacted thousands of lives.


We don’t have to be perfect; we don’t have to be good; we just have to be willing.

 


Faith is being willing to get up and go when God gives us opportunities. He doesn’t ask us to do things with talents that we don’t have. Believe in yourself and trust in God.

 


Who knows how many we can help if we will move forward in faith.