Summary: We can trust Jesus to always give us what we need and often our needs far out weigh our expectations.
October 19, 2003
Text: John 2:1-11
Subject: The Miracles of Christ
Title: Better Than Expected
This is a good church. It is not a great church yet, that is going to come, but it is a good solid church. What does the Lord expect from us? To be faithful in attendance and in giving? To study and pray daily? To love others as we love ourselves? Yes to all. And that is part of what makes us a good church. But Jesus said, “I will build my church!” and if HE is building it don’t you think He wants a great church and not simply a good one? As a church, we often need to step back and take a look at our vision. Where are we going and more importantly, how are we going to get there? We have a vision for the church. Often we become blinded by the everyday operation of ministry and lose the vision.
Two men went fishing. One man was an experienced fisherman, the other wasn’t. Every time the experienced fisherman caught a big fish, he put it in his ice chest to keep it fresh. Whenever the inexperienced fisherman caught a big fish, he threw it back. The experienced fisherman watched this go on all day and finally got tired of seeing this man waste good fish. "Why do you keep throwing back all the big fish you catch?" he asked.
The inexperienced fisherman replied, "I only have a small frying pan.
"Sometimes, like that fisherman, we throw back the big plans, big dreams, big jobs, big opportunities that God gives us. Our faith is too small. We laugh at that fisherman who didn’t figure out that all he needed was a bigger frying pan; yet how ready are we to increase the size of our faith? Whether it’s a problem or a possibility, God will never give you anything bigger than you can handle. That means we can confidently walk into anything God brings our way. As long as we maintain our vision, we can do all things through Christ.
The important thing for us to remember is that as the church grows and ministry increases we must continually keep our eyes on Jesus. He is the one who knows our needs better than we do. As a matter of fact, as long as we focus on Him, He will supply our needs. In doing so He will often go beyond our expectations.
Today, as we look at the wedding in Cana, we will see four steps that are necessary in becoming the church God wants us to be.
First, we must recognize our need.
Second, we must raise our standards.
Third, we respond in obedience.
The last thing we do is to reap the benefits.
Jesus is looking for opportunities everyday to glorify God.
Let look today to see what the Lord is saying to the church.
I. Recognizing the Need (vs 1-3)
A. The Occasion: There was a wedding in Cana. In a small town like Cana it may have been the social event of the year. The bride and groom may have been related to Mary and Jesus as well as some of the other disciples. Since the whole community was there, it may have been a financial strain on the young couple to provide enough refreshment for everyone. But the pressure was present to make them try to do something they were not able to do. In such close knit communities, failure to provide sufficiently for everyone would likely place a stigma on this couple that would haunt them for the rest of their lives. It wasn’t that their preparation was lacking. They had made all the right preparations. It was their human ability that fell short. They didn’t have enough wine for everyone.
B. They did invite the right person. The world doesn’t understand that even though they may look for all the answers to life’s question in self-satisfying acts of pleasure, there is only One who can truly satisfy. He will meet every need and all you have to do is ask. That is why Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks will find, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?” But knowing the need and knowing the Lord doesn’t bring and end to the problem. You have to ask.