Ever been down and out? Ever been in a situation when the debts just keep coming and you’re wondering where you’re gonna get the money to pay for it all? Or maybe even just to tide you over until the next month’s bills? Ever been so confused about what to do? Like when the situation is forcing you out of where you are now…moving you somewhere else? Been there, been that! I guess all of us have gone through that, or is going through it right now. Chances are we might go through something similar in the future.
So, I’d like to share with you something Bo Sanchez wrote about this:
Remember this line in a popular song?
You’re amazing just the way you are…
God sings this line to you.
In His eyes, you’re amazing.
Here’s the truth: Deep within you, you already are beautiful. Because you’re made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). You already are holy. All you need to do is to bring out God’s beauty and holiness within you. Manifest it.
Today, I’d like to share with you the powerful story of how Jesus turned water into wine.
In this incredible story, you’ll find 4 powerful truths that will change your life forever.
A Very Unique Miracle
One day, Jesus attended a wedding party.
Out of the 37 miracles that Jesus performed, this miracle was very unique.
Two days later there was a wedding in the town of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there,and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine had given out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They are out of wine.” (John 2:1-2)
Wedding receptions today normally last for 2 hours; Some may stretch to 4. But 4 hours is nothing compared to ancient middle-eastern weddings. A wedding reception during the time of Jesus lasted for 7 days.
For 7 straight days, guests live in your house and camp out in your backyard. No wonder they ran out of wine.
But Jesus transformed water into wine.
In the same way, God wants to turn your ordinary into extraordinary. God wants to turn your mess into a miracle.
Do these four things:
1. Allow God To Meet You Where You Are
Why was this a very unique miracle?
Almost all the miracles of Jesus were about meeting a very real physical need: Jesus healed the blind, lame, deaf, paralyzed… And two times, Jesus multiplied bread because people were hungry.
But to provide wine for a wedding party?
This was a social need. More specifically, it was an emotional need. If the wedding party ran out of wine, the host family would lose face. It would be a big embarrassment.
C’mon. Doesn’t God have more important things to do?
It could have been easy for Jesus to tell the hosts, “You ran out of wine. Tough luck. Swallow your pride. Serve ice tea.”
He didn’t do that. Jesus met them where they were.
Friend, God meets you where you are now.
What is God saying? He’s telling you, “If it’s important to you, then it’s important to me.”
Perhaps you have a broken heart. Perhaps you’re worried about your kids. Perhaps you’re growing old and you’re worried that you’re not married yet. Perhaps you’re afraid about your increasing debts. Perhaps you’re sad because of some rejections you had lately.
God meets you where you are right now, in your pain, in your worries, in your desperation.
God doesn’t shrug off your problems and say, “Don’t bother me with your feelings. I have more important things to do.”
That’s not God. God is a God who says, “If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.”
2. Allow God To Satisfy Your Deepest Needs
One day, someone asked me, “Bo, so many come to you seeking for help, asking for prayers, pouring their problems to you. Don’t you ever get burdened?”
I get burdened, yes, but not for too long. Here’s my secret: I know that on my own, I can’t satisfy their needs. So I point them to Jesus.
Mary teaches us the same principle. Mary knew she couldn’t turn water into wine. She had to ask Jesus to do that. Why? Mary was an intercessor. (And she still is.)
At the end of the day, we’re all intercessors. Because we can’t meet the deepest needs of the people we love. So we point them to Jesus. Always.
Why? We can give water. Only God can give wine.
At the end of the day, your love will never satisfy the deepest longings of your husband, or your wife, or your kids, or your friends. You need to point them to God’s Love. Only God’s Love is perfect.
Here’s an important lesson in human relationships: Don’t expect from human beings what only God can provide. The reason why we’re so frustrated with people is because we want from them what only God can give to us.
Let me give you a crazy analogy.
You’re Holding The Wrong Pole
While riding the bus, a woman saw a man, who was holding onto the same pole, staring at her. Finally, he said, “Excuse me. This is my stop.”
Since she wasn’t blocking the way, she was confused.
“Go ahead,” she said.
“This is my pole,” he said.
The mother was totally confused until the young man added, “I just bought it at the hardware store to hold up my shower curtain.”
This is our problem: We’re holding onto the pole of others instead of holding the pole of the bus. We’re depending on people instead of depending on Jesus. People are unstable. People will make mistakes. People will fail you. Expect that. If we depend on God for our deepest needs, it won’t bother us too much.
Married person, your spouse—no matter how fantastic—can never satisfy your deepest needs. Only God can do that.
Child, your parents—no matter how loving—can never satisfy your deepest needs. Only God can do that.
Friend, your best friends—no matter how wonderful—can never satisfy your deepest needs. Only God can do that.
Followers, your leaders—no matter how heroic—can never satisfy your deepest needs. Only God can do that.
Yes, I’m the leader of Light of Jesus Family. And I love my flock. But let me make this announcement loud and clear: I can only give you water. Only God can give you wine!
3. Allow God To Transform Something In You
Jesus could have gotten empty jars, snapped his finger, and viola—created heavenly wine.
He didn’t do that. Instead, he got jars filled with water.
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill these jars with water.” They filled them to the brim,and then he told them, “Now draw some water out and take it to the man in charge of the feast.” They took him the water, which now had turned into wine, and he tasted it. He called the bridegroom and said to him, “…you have kept the best wine until now!” (John 2:7-10)
Here’s why: You’ve got to offer something.
God can create something out of nothing, but that’s not how He likes to work. He takes something weak and makes it strong. He takes something damaged and makes it perfect. He takes something unholy and makes it holy.
Water is a symbol of your work, your love, your service, your effort, your sweat, your struggles, your tears… In other words, water is a symbol of your life.
And wine is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
Only God can turn your water into wine, your imperfect work into God’s work, your inadequate love into God’s love, your damaged life into God’s life.
Only God can make you holy.
4. Allow God To Love You As You Are
Let me shock you. Holiness isn’t primarily about loving God. That’s only a response. Almost like a side effect.
People think holiness is about praying, attending church, or reading the Bible. All that is important. But holiness is not about doing something, but allowing something to happen to you.
Holiness isn’t about working for God. It’s about God working in you. Holiness isn’t about loving God. Holiness is about God loving you.
People think Saints are people who love God. Actually, they’re people who allow God to love them. And loving God just follows automatically.
Because you can’t give what you don’t have.
St. Francis is my favorite saint. And one of my favorite stories of St. Francis was when he was walking with his friend Brother Leo.
While walking through a field of flowers, all of a sudden, without any warning, Francis covered his ears and started running out, all the while screaming, “Stop talking to me!”
Alarmed, Brother Leo ran after him.
Finally, he saw Francis sitting by a rock, catching his breath. Leo asked him, “Master, who was talking to you? I didn’t hear anyone!”
Francis said, “The flowers. They were talking to me.”
Brother Leo’s jaw dropped. The flowers? Has his leader gone loco? He asked a foolish question, “Brother Francis, what did the flowers say?”
Francis said, “I heard the flowers say, Francis, Francis, we are in bloom because God knew you were going to pass by.”
Francis was a Saint because everywhere he looked, he saw God loving him.
I repeat: Saints are Saints because they know how to receive God’s Love. And they allow that love to overwhelm them, overpower them, and transform their lives forever.
I tried to become Francis. I remember doing crazy things as a teenager.
When the sun was hot, I’d walk under the sun and say, “Thank you Lord, I feel the warmth of your love right now.”
When it was raining, I’d get totally wet under the rain and say, “Thank you Lord that your Love is like the rain, falling from the sky!”
When I passed by garbage and it stunk, I didn’t avoid it. I actually smelt it and say, “Thank you Lord that despite the garbage in my life, you still love me and stay with me…”
I was nuts then.
Three decades later, I don’t do that anymore. When it rains, I open my umbrella.
But I still try to receive God’s Love in everything I see.
I see God’s Love when my sons and I play together.
I see God’s Love when I have my date with my lovely wife.
I see God’s Love when I listen to Mom’s World War II stories.
I see God’s Love when I laugh with my friends over pizza.
I see God’s Love everywhere.
Receive God’s Love more!
Let me end with one last message…
When Your Resources Run Out, Rejoice!
There were two wines used in this party: Man-made wine and God-made wine.
Thank God that the man-made wine ran out.
Because if not, the God-made wine wouldn’t have appeared.
In the same way, there’ll be days when your resources will run out. When your own strength will run out. When your own ideas will run out. When your human connections will run out. When your own money will run out.
If they run out, rejoice! When resources run out, God-made resources will appear.
Here’s my belief. Every so often, you need to push yourself beyond the border of what is possible. Every so often, you need to enter the realm of the impossible. Because if you stay in the easy level, you’ll never grow. And God will have no stage to perform His miracles.
You need to dream God-sized dreams that can only happen if you received God-sized blessings. If you dream man-sized dreams, then you don’t need God.
Today, let your limitations open up to His leadership. Let your mess open up to His miracles.
I repeat. There were two kinds of wine in the party. Man-made wine and God-made wine.
Friend, are you tired of man-made wine in your life?
Let God-made wine—the Holy Spirit—work in your life today.
May your dreams come true,