Thursday, September 10, 2015

You Saved the Best For Last

John 2:1-11
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 and both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, they have no wine. 4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. 5 His mother saith unto the servants, whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. 6 And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. 11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

Joel 2:23
Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.”

Haggai 2:9
“The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.”

We serve a progressive God, everything about Him is progressive, He is always moving forward, always building, and always outdoing Himself.  Jesus had a ministry full of miracles from the beginning to the very end.  Jesus’ ministry began with a miracle that most would call insignificant, He turned water into wine, certainly this was no life or death situation, but His earthly ministry quickly progressed into opening blind eyes, making the lame to walk, casting out devils, feeding the multitudes, and raising the dead.

Jesus, “who being in very nature God,” was completely unfamiliar with the word impossible.

Matthew 19:26
“But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

Mark 9:23
“Jesus said unto him, if thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

Most of the time when we look at difficult circumstances and conditions of the world around us we tend to see impossible conditions: darkness, confusion, hopelessness, perversion, and corruption, we naturally tend to consider these situations impossible.  In fact yesterday I had a conversation with my pastor and he told me he was invited to speak at the local high school for the anniversary of 9/11 on the topic, “Hope for America.”  My reply was very cynical I must confess, I said, “There’s no hope for America is there?” 

He quickly replied, “Only God brother, only God.”

I look at the news and see how now we have begun putting Christians in jail for refusing to violate their faith and I see a nation that in my mind has gone beyond the reach of truth.  I see the impossible, but Jesus looks and he sees a perfect opportunity for a miracle, a perfect backdrop for a display of His glory.  What appears to me to be a breakdown in the fabric of our society, may just be a setup for a Holy Ghost breakthrough.

No wine at the wedding: the reputation of the groom was at stake. The people were expecting a party that would last for days, and they wanted more wine, but there was no more wine in their cups or in the kitchen.  Here we see a need, a desire, and a potentially embarrassing situation.  Then Jesus takes the case.

Then there was the case of Jairus the ruler of the synagogue, whose daughter was at the point of death: Jesus heads for Jairus home to heal her, but a messenger interrupts them on the way there with the message, “Trouble the master no longer, thy daughter is dead.”

Now the stage is set:  Guilt is the first response, “why didn’t I come sooner, why did I let my pride stand in the way, I should have listened to my wife.” 

Now grief sets upon him, “My daughter is dead, only 12 yrs. Old.” 

Followed by anger, “We might have made it if that woman hadn’t stopped Jesus, now she’s healed and my daughters dead.”

And then finally hopelessness, “He was my last hope.  I heard how he turned the water into wine, and healed the nobleman’s son and delivered the demoniac, but my daughter is not sick, nor demonized she is dead and now there is nothing that can be done.”

Then the words of Jesus penetrate his thoughts, “Fear not only believe.”

The house is filled with mourning, weeping and wailing, death is hanging in the air, and all that the man sees is darkness, hopelessness, grief, sorrow, and pain.  But Jesus sees the perfect opportunity for a manifestation of the God’s glory…”Little girl I say unto thee arise!”

What a mighty God!

Through the Apostles gospel accounts we have seen Him turn water into wine, feed the multitudes, heal the lame, restore sight to the blind, walk on water, cast out devils and raise the dead.  Surely we have seen him at his best, surely we have seen the greatest manifestation of his power and glory, right?

No!  Our God is far greater than that!  Let me tell you something He told me in prayer today, “You ain’t seen nothing yet buddy, the best is on the way!”

One day when Jesus was doing ministry with His disciples the news came to Jesus telling Him that, “He whom thou lovest is sick.”

So Jesus and His disciples headed to Bethany.  Upon their arrival Lazarus had already been dead for several days, not seconds, not minutes, not hours, but days.  The stone has been rolled in front of the tomb.  The stone speaks of finality, it says call the fat lady and tell her to start singing because it’s over, it’s beyond help, the condition is incurable, and the problem is irreversible.

His sisters told Jesus that if He would have come earlier, He could have healed Lazarus, we believe you could have kept him from dying, but now it’s over.

Isn’t it amazing how we so often put limits on God?

He can do this but not that, He has the power to stop something from happening, but He can’t turn it around.  Nonsense!  Brothers and sisters that’s where we’ve missed the point, the entire Bible from the front cover to the back is a book about turnarounds.

In our carnal minds we say, “You’re too late Jesus.”

But Jesus says, “Take away the stone!  Lazarus come forth!  Loose him and let him go!”

When we watch the news today we are seeing a society that is out of control.  America is no longer a Christian nation.  Every single day we hear of how God is being rejected and removed from our schools, our holidays, and in some cases even the church.  

Christmas has become a time for parades, and celebrations, but Christ is left out. 

Easter is a time for egg hunts, and rabbits, and dinners, and parties, but the power of the resurrection and the miracle of eternal life are left out.

We are seeing the spirit of perversion, worldliness, and corruption, not just sneaking into our churches, not hiding in our pews, but filling our pulpits and preaching their perverted self-serving gospel that is leading people into greed and lust.

Jeremiah spoke of a similar time in Israel’s history:

Jeremiah 5:31
“The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love [to have it] so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?”

Another scripture that clearly defines the spirit of this generation:

Isaiah 5:20
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

If we allow ourselves to we can look around and see what’s happening in the world, we can assess how terrible it is, we can get depressed, go into hiding, and say it’s hopeless.  Or we can look in the Word of God and see that our best days are ahead of us, we haven’t seen anything yet, God is just getting wound up.

The devil may think he’s winning, he’s thought that before… 

When he had all the children killed by Pharaoh to try to keep God’s promise from being fulfilled, but God put His promise in Pharaohs house, and let him raise him!

When the children of Israel were trapped at the red sea entangled in the wilderness, the Egyptian army behind them, but God turned the red sea into a highway!

Yes the devil is working hard, and yes we see the evil and the wickedness and the perversion, but don’t turn off the switch of faith - God is up to something big!

You sir have saved the best for last!

Let the devil paint the darkest, saddest, the most perverse and corrupt picture of hopelessness and despair, and sin that he has ever painted, and God will turn it into a back drop for the greatest display of His glory this world has ever seen.

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