Sunday, March 3, 2019

HERE'S YOUR SIGN Water into Wine

HERE’S YOUR SIGN: Water into Wine

CONNECT Have you ever ran out of something? I have run out of gas many times, usually at key moments. Have you ever run out of food or drink at a party? The party shuts down pretty quick.

TENSION Can you imagine what it would be like to run out of food or drink at a wedding reception? That is the situation the family in our story today faces. It is symbolic of the times of lack we all experience.

SOLUTION We are going to see how Jesus came to the rescue for that family and how He stands ready to rescue us.


BACKGROUND John writes about eight miracles in detail. These were not all the miracles Jesus performed.

John 20:30-31 (NKJV) And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

John calls them signs. A sign points to something and gives information and instruction. It reveals something. The signs Jesus did point to His glory and demonstrated to the world that He is the Son of God. They caused people to believe in Him and find the eternal life He came to offer.

TEXT John 2:11 (NKJV) This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

INSTRUCTION Jesus was ready for ministry: under authority, baptized in water, filled with the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit.

He had called His disciples. They did life together. That’s how discipleship happens, hanging out. Teaching and ministry happen naturally; like in a family.

Illustration: No devotions in our family… Daughter got saved in the car…

John 2:1–10 (NKJV) On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.

This is as a week-long party! Mary was probably a friend of the family…

2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.

Jesus did not isolate himself from the world.

Luke 7:34 (NIV) The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, “Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.”

Luke 15:1-2 (NIV) Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

They had run out of wine. A source of embarrassment to the family.

1.     There was a lack!

We all have times we lack something. It could be resources, faith, power, health, strength, love, life, light, friends. The list is endless. You fill in the blank.

The lack can come suddenly. It can be your fault or result of circumstances. The cause doesn’t matter. It is still a lack.

It is embarrassing to have a lack. When you can’t pay your bills or provide the things you want to give your family. When you don’t have the strength to do what you need to do to overcome the battle you’re in. When your faith reserves are low, and you don’t have any power. When you are weak with sickness and you can’t get well. When you feel you lack the skills and experience to succeed in your job.  When your love has disappeared for your spouse or your family and you can’t get it back.

Lack is an accursed thing. But I have good news for us this morning. There is Someone who sees our lack and hears our cry for help, and He is able to meet us at the point of our  need!

Psalms 34:10 (NKJV) The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.

2.     Jesus was already in the house.

When you have a lack or a need or a problem, Jesus is already there! He is with you!

Isaiah 43:2 (NKJV) When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.

Daniel 3:25 (NKJV) “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
James 1:5 (NKJV) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Now take out the word “wisdom” and read it again.

James 1:5 (NKJV) If any of you lacks… let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Now read it again. This time put your lack in that blank space.

James 1:5 (NKJV) If any of you lacks _____, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

God is ready today to fill that empty place in your life. Just ask Him! Cry out to Him from that empty place.

Now if you don’t feel like you can go for yourself, someone can go for you.

3.     We are called to intercede.

Intercession is going to God on behalf of someone else who can’t or won’t go on his own. God invites us to participate in intercession with Him. Mary demonstrates that. She took the lack as her own and took responsibility to meet the need through interceding to her Son and Savior.

The Bible sometimes calls intercession “standing in the gap”.

Ezekiel 13:5 (NKJV) You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the LORD.

Ezekiel 22:30 (NKJV) So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.

A ‘gap’ is an area of lack. It is the distance between what is and what God wants it to be. We can ‘stand in the gap’ for people who have an area of lack.

The Father is interceding for us today.

Romans 8:27 (NKJV) Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

The Holy Spirit is interceding for us today.

Romans 8:26 (NKJV) Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered.

Jesus is interceding for us today. Even this morning Jesus is praying for you.

Romans 8:34 (NKJV) Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Hebrews 7:25 (NKJV) Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”

Notice that Jesus tries to rebuff His mother’s attempts in intercession. God will sometimes do that to see if we will fight through and persevere. Jesus did that with the Syrophoenician woman.

Jesus told a couple of parables about this. 

Luke 11:5-8 (NKJV) And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

Luke 18:1-8 (NKJV) Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

It is called importunity: hanging on until the answer comes; just like a bulldog...

Luke 11:10 (AMPC) For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened.

Isaiah 55:6 (NKJV) Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.

Mary doesn’t let that dissuade her. She acts in faith as if the answer was coming. She takes action based on her knowledge of Jesus!

5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

4.     Obey what Jesus says

This is the key to life. Just do what God says. It is also the key to answered prayer. We pray the will of God.

6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it.

Jesus uses the unbelieving servants to accomplish the miracle and fill the lack. God can use anyone and anything to meet your need.

Illustration: Oral Roberts and the dog race track owner…

9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”

5.     The best is yet to come.

If you have lack in your life today, that lack will turn into abundance in the name of the Lord.

John 10:10 (NKJV) The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.


1.     Where is your lack?
2.     Where is Jesus in your lack?
3.     Have others pray for your lack.
4.     Obey Jesus.
5.     Expect abundance.


Sunday, February 24, 2019


EIGHT IS ENOUGH: The Good News of Jesus in Eight Stories by John
CONNECT Fanny Crosby was one of the world’s most prolific hymn writers. Although blind from shortly after birth, she penned over 9,000 hymns, along with many other secular poems and songs. One of my favorites is “Tell Me the Story of Jesus”. The chorus goes like this…
Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word; tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard.
TENSION If we ever needed to hear good news, it’s now! The world around us is getting darker and darker. People are hurting and hope seems harder to come by. The shadow of death hangs over the entire atmosphere.
SOLUTION Into this hopelessness comes the promise of life: Jesus Christ!
Matthew 4:16 (NLT) The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.
John 1:4–5 (NIV) In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
For the next eight weeks, ending with Easter Sunday, we are going to look at the life of Jesus. It is not going to be a biography, as such, but a look at Jesus through the eyes of one of His inner circle of disciples: the Apostle John.
We are going to look at eight miracle stories in the Gospel of John and see the wonderful difference Jesus can make in a life! The title of the series is EIGHT IS ENOUGH: The Good News of Jesus in Eight Stories by John
Today, I want to give the background for the series and look at some key verses in John 1 to set the stage for what is to come. But, don’t go to sleep! I believe God has something special for us today. Stay tuned in!
BACKGROUND John was one of Jesus’ first disciples. He refers to himself as ’the disciple that Jesus loves’. He went with Jesus to the Cross and was commissioned to care for Mary when Jesus died.
Usually inaccurately pictured as a gentle soul, Jesus called him and his brother James ’sons of thunder’ because of their tempers! He was an uneducated fisherman, a man of the people. He is also seen as intolerant and ambitious, the very type of man Jesus came to redeem. In fact his name means ’God is gracious’!
The Gospel of John is one of four books that tell the life story of Jesus; the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke are the other three. They are all different: different writers, different audiences, different themes, different content. Together they give a multi-faceted vision of our Redeemer.
Matthew was a Jew who wrote to Jews to demonstrate that Jesus was their long awaited Messiah King. He wrote that “the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” A former tax collector, it was important to him that “she would bring forth a Son, and call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Mark was the son of a Jewish mother and a Roman father who wrote to Romans to demonstrate that Jesus was the Suffering Servant who came “not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many”.
Luke was a Gentile physician who wrote to Gentiles to demonstrate that Jesus was the Son of Man and could identify with the pains of every person. He is shown to be the Savior who came “to seek and save that which is lost”. Luke contains more miracles of healing than any other book.
The three are called The Synoptic Gospels because they give a synopsis of Jesus’ life.
John’s Gospel is unique for many reasons. It was written many years after the other three. It does not give a synopsis of Jesus’ life but instead focuses on a few key elements from His life for a particular purpose. John was a Jew writing to the entire world to demonstrate that Jesus is the Son of God. He writes so that “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name”. This Good News is all about believing; the term is used almost 100 times by John in his writings. Believe means to “trust in, cling to, rely upon”. It is the action response to faith. If we have faith, we respond by believing and acting.
INSTRUCTION Now let’s look at four key verses in chapter one and how we can apply them to our lives.
  1. John 1:1–3 (NKJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
John is so much more than a series of stories. Through John we not only see Jesus as the Son of God, but God the Son, the second person of the Trinity! Because he is fully God, Jesus is able to reveal God to us, clearly and accurately (LAB). He is revealed as the Word, the Logos, the full expression of God. Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father”.
Colossians 1:15 (NKJV) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
Hebrews 1:3 (NASB) And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Ephesians 1:4 (NKJV) just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
Application: a. If you are going through something, you have God on your side! ”If God be for us, who can be against us”! He is not just some philosophy or idea or dead leader, He is the living God Almighty! b. You have purpose! God knew you before time began and chose to create you anyway. Not only that, all your days were written for you before time began. You have a purpose. Not only that, Jesus saw all your sin before time and chose to die for you anyway so that you could fulfill your purpose! c. Don’t let guilt and condemnation derail you. Jesus saw your sin and your worth. We stand holy and without blame before Him. In love He has predestined us to the adoption as sons”. This means we are destined for maturity and fruitfulness!
2.  John 1:12 (NKJV) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name:
APPLICATION If you receive Jesus and believe in His Name, He gives you authority to become a child of God. You are not a child of the devil anymore. Your DNA has been changed and you carry God’s genes in you! You are growing to look like Jesus. Don’t let the enemy accuse you about your failures. God is making us in His image!
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV) But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
1 John 3:1–3 (NKJV) Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
3.  John 1:14,16 (NKJV) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
APPLICATION Jesus left eternity and broke into time and space to become like me. By doing that He is able to come to my aid as my perfect high priest and intercession. T.D. Jakes says he came to earth not just to be the answer, but to understand the question: What is it like to be a man?
Hebrews 4:14–16 (NKJV) Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Brothers and sisters, don’t be afraid to come to Him. He knows. He understands the question. He knows we are but dust!
Oh what a Savior; Isn’t He wonderful? Sing hallelujah, Christ is risen. Bow down before Him. For He is Lord of all. Sing Hallelujah, Christ is risen.
4.  John 1:29 (NKJV) The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
APPLICATION Jesus, the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, walks out on the world He created and takes away the sin of the world. He takes it as far as the east is from the west; He hides it behind His back; He buries them in the depth of the sea! Our sins and iniquities will He remember no more! Who can bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies! Friends, don’t linger over what God has removed. He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the Cross!
INSPIRATION When you come to Him, remember who He is. John uses seven “I Am” phrases to remind us… Jesus said…
If you’re hungry, Jesus said: ”I am the bread of life.”
If it’s dark, Jesus said: ”I am the light of the world.”
If you’re outside God’s will or feel like an outcast, Jesus said: ”I am the door.”
If you feel alone and unprotected, Jesus said: ”I am the good shepherd.”
If you feel death around you, Jesus said: ”I am the resurrection and the life.”
If you are lost in your journey, Jesus said: ”I am the way and the truth and the life.”
If you are weary, Jesus said: ”I am the vine.”
More than anything, Jesus says: *”I AM!”
All of these are in the present tense… not I was… not I will be… I am… right now, right here… whatever you need, I AM!
O come to the altar, the Father’s arms are open wide. Forgiveness was bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.