Monday, November 13, 2017

Water to Wine

Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 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!” John 2:6-10



This was Jesus first recorded miracle.  He took the water and with no ceremony or flair made it wine.

He didn’t pour out the water, He didn’t empty the container.  He transformed what was already in it.  

That is what he did for me.  He didn’t get rid of what was already inside me. He simply changed it made it sweeter. With no ceremony, no flair, He changed me. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
You don’t need to be empty and freshly scrubbed to be used by God.  You come as you are and He does the changing.

That’s not to say you won’t have struggles.  Once you are filled to the top then just like at the wedding party, people will start to take some of it.  You’ll lose a dip at a time though just everyday life some of what Jesus did that first instant.

It’s not like the bread and fish from John 6 or the widows oil from 2 Kings 4 both of which refilled themselves as they were being used automatically.

I see people accept Christ and they feel so great that first day or that first week but they expect that feeling to stay with them.  
As time wears on though they begin to fade.
They have’t been restocking the jar.

So what can you do to keep from feeling watered down by life?

Here are some tools that help me.

YouVersion Bible App - This is a free app I have on my phone and my tablet. It has hundreds of Bible reading plans to choose from. You can search for a topic and find a bible reading plan about it. You can find devotionals and reading plans from a slew of pastors.  You can set an alarm to remind you if you forget.
It’s an absolute essential.  

Abide - Another smart phone app this one helps you focus your prayer.  Personal prayer time runs 2 directions for me. It either is long and rambling or it is filled with subject changes and distractions.  Abide will guide you through prayer with soft music and gentle prompts to keep you focused.

Journaling - You can do this with a physical journal or a digital one.  I use both. When I am planning a blog or preparing a message I use a moleskine notebook.  When I just want to write about my day, or jot down something I feel God has laid on my heart I use Day One. It’s an application on my Mac but it crosses platforms onto my phone as well. I can add pictures or links to my note too, which I really like when I go back and look at it later.  
Day one is searchable so if I type in “wedding” it will bring up any post that has that word in it.

Notes - I take notes all the time, again this one can be digital or analog. I have a notebook that comes to church with me everyday and it has everything from meeting notes to notes from pastor Kelly’s sermon. I take it with me to conferences and meetings. It’s not just enough to take notes though, you need to go back and look at them periodically.  You’ll see places you have grown and places that still need work.  I have a Terrible memory so notes are a must. Digitally I use Evernote to keep track of blog ideas and any lists I make.  I make a lot of those by the way. 

Those are just a few tools that might help you.  

I changed my schedule about a year ago so I could get some of these things done. Its a priority for me and I think once you get started it will be so for you too.

Thanks for reading

Alan






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