Though my family no longer officially celebrates a Chinese New Year, we have an old tradition to have a dinner together with some of our relatives. Before we take a dinner, one of my uncles gave me a bottle of wine. He said the wine was bought when he took a holiday in France a few years ago and it become a quite old wine. He also said that the wine is one of the best wines. However, this time I will not discuss about that wine but I want to talk another thing that related to the wine.
I was reminded one of the famous story in the Bible, Marriage at Cana. I have learned so many implications from this story. Today I specifically want to focus on the miracles when Jesus changed water into wine. At the time, the biggest problem that occurred is, the wine was run out. Let’s we take a look briefly to the situation there:
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons (John 2:6 NIV)
Twenty or thirty gallons means approximately hundred liters water can be stored to the jars. It is very much. Then what happens next?
Jesus said to the servants “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” (John 2:7-8NIV)
And the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” (John 2:9-10 NIV)
Now let’s look further, what was given through the Jesus’ miracle was not just an ordinary wine, but said as the best wine. Then its best wine enjoyed by the guests and to be a blessing to many people there. The situation might be so different if which is served plain water only. My beloved friends, from this story we can take important lessons: Like what actually we are today? Are we still like plain water, or water that is in the process to be wine, or has become the best wine? Just as Jesus could change water into wine, He can change us to be a best wine that can bless and brings joy to many people. Or we have become a wine but not to be a best wine instead becomes a sour wine?
I am reminded of the allegory about the vineyard in the book of Isaiah 5:1-7.
I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. (Isaiah 5:1-2 NIV)
This was an allegory about God the owner of vineyard and His children were described as vines. If we read all verses, this passage specifically spoke about repentance that yields fruit. When we repent and accept Jesus, we supposed become a new creation that continues to grow and bear fruit with excellent quality. But in our daily lives, very sad and ironic I still found many Christians who repent and accepted Christ as personal savior does not growing and fruitful very well. As a grape that looks very good from the outside but it turned have a bad taste. There are many Christians who falling back into the sin and still doing old bad habits or even fall into a new sin. Wearing “clothes of Christianity in order to looks good but in fact has an opposite personal life to the true Christian life. Finally, we become a stumbling block and make God disappointed.
What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? (Isaiah 5:4 NIV)
Was not we would feel the same way if we had tried to care for and nurture a tree, but the result is bad? All the work we do just in vain. We will be sad and disappointed. Then what happens to the bad fruit? Let’s see to the following verses:
Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled. I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it.”(Isaiah 5:5-6 NIV)
This is the very bad consequence which must be accepted by a vine that did not bear fruit well. Is described more in Matthew 3:10:
The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
Also in Revelation 14:18b -19:
“Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.” The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath.
God was angry and disappointed! Is it reasonable? Yes of course! He has given all the best for us; even he was willing to sacrifice his only Son for our salvation. But we still prefer to follow the pleasures of the world. He has shown all His ways through the Bible, but we do not want to read it. God has bestowed the Holy Spirit to guide us, but we continue to pollute ourselves so that the Holy Spirit does not like to dwell in it.
My dear readers, what about us? Like what we are today? Like the best wine or the bad wine? Have we become good wine that brings joys and blessing to many people? Or we’ve become the grapes that looks from the outside so good but in reality we are just sour grapes that have been disappointing God and finally will get very bad consequence as described in the verses above? Whether we are Christians who really bears the Christian’s “clothes” that could become a light send out the light of Christ’s love? This evening, I ask you once again, let’s evaluate ourselves these things. How our spiritual life quality today? God expects our lives yield sweet fruits and become a blessing to many others. We should to be a sweet vine. Not to be a vine that does not yield anything. We have to make sure could produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8 NIV)
How we can remain to grow and bear high quality fruit? Now let’s back to the story of Marriage at Cana. Another important lesson that we can take from it is, initially Jesus Himself told to the servants to fill the jars with water. Crossed in my mind, if only Jesus did not tell to the servants to fill water into the jars, so the wine would not be available. What is the important thing that we could learn from this part? This section refers to how important we always fill ourselves regularly with the God’s living word in order to become the best wine. God’s word is the most important thing in our life.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
(Hebrews 4:12 NIV)
And before the jars are filled with water, there is important message from Jesus’ mother to the servants:
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5 NIV)
Here we can learn that obedience to Jesus is an important factor as well. So in short we can see that if we humans are in the Jesus’ hand, obedient to Him and always fill ourselves with the God’s word, then we can be changed to become wine (blessing) for others.
Wine is the result of fermentation process of the grapes. The best wine comes from the high quality grapes. Very expensive wine is a wine that has been through the process of fermentation for many years. It also applies to us. To become the best wine we need long process and the process oftentimes not always pleasant. There are times we have to experience severe things, painful, and so hard in facing the world temptations and challenges that could destabilize our faith. But through it all we can be changed into the high quality wine that can be a blessing to others. Therefore, I encourage all of us to always fill our “Jars” with the God’s word that will arm us to face any kind of temptations that could make us falling into the sins. God’s word is complete arms to face spiritual warfare. After we fill up with God’s word, we have to remain obey to His command
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:11 NIV)
“We must obey God rather than human beings! (Acts 5:29 NIV)
We also have to diligent in prayer and petition as the Bible said,
Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36 NIV)
My beloved friends, let’s together encourage each other in prayer in order we always willing to be formed and changed, remain strong to go through all processes, and continue to grow in God’s providence so we will bear much and the best fruit and become not just an ordinary wine but the best wine so the God’s sweet love and glory can shine through us and we can be a blessing to many people. Amen.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 NIV)
Karina – Living by faith
Image source: 1zoom.net
An excellent and thought-provoking message, Karina! It is both encouraging and admonishing. It is encouraging because we have our hope in Christ, and He makes us new if we choose Him. It is admonishing because it addresses the consequences of bearing bad fruit. I appreciate that you’ve included passages from the Old and New Testaments because it’s important to see that God is consistent. As He disciplined Israel because of their bad fruit, He will also discipline us for the same. He is a God who never changes, and hopefully we will learn from those who came before us. We have a responsibility as Christians to be faithful to the Lord in all things and bear good fruit for the sake of His kingdom. If we pretend to walk the Christian life but bear no fruit or bad fruit, how is God glorified in that? Thank you again for reminding us what the Word teaches 🙂 I pray that God will continue to bless you and your family.
You are much welcome, my sweet friend 🙂 I am so blessed read your insightful response on my post and it will become another contemplation to me. By the way, for the next, please feel free to give me critics and suggestions on my writing. I know your background education. Your knowledge about the Bible understanding is more than me 🙂 I am still learning till now. Thank you very much and I pray for your new work. Have a wonderful and blessed day to you.
I wouldn’t say that I have more understanding of Scripture than you 🙂 I think you do a wonderful job applying Scripture to life. We all learn from each other. Sometimes school can complicate what Scripture says when the gospel message is not meant to be that way. It is supposed to be straightforward and truthful, and I believe that’s how you teach. Keep it up! 🙂 Thanks for your prayers.
Thank you., my dear friend 🙂
Very beautiful Karina! I love how you weaved the Old and New Testament together in this devotional. Thank you for giving me much to consider about my own life – I pray I will be the best wine that makes others thirst for the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessings to you and your family.
Dear sis Beth,
Amen. Let’s pray for each other to be the best wine 🙂 Thank you for the such lovely comment, sis. Blessings to you and your family too.
This is so beautiful, Karina. Thank you and Happy Chinese New Year.
You are welcome 🙂 Thank you for the greeting. Blessings to you.
This a great post, Karina! It really makes one think about what kind of “wine” he is. I pray that my life will be daily one that will reflect the best of God and that I will allow God to make me the best me for Him that I can be. Thank you for sharing.
Dear brother Tom,
You are welcome 🙂 Amen and Amen..!! I will pray for you too and the others so we will bear the best fruit, become the best wine and be a blessing to others. Thank you very much for your kind comment. Blessings to you.
Sis, this post is so true. I want to bear good fruit. Filling ourselves with the Holy Spirit will guide us to living a life that bears fruit. I always get so much out of your posts. Keep writing! Blessings to you.
Dear sis Julie,
I want to bear good fruit as well 🙂 Let we pray each other so we will bear fruit and be a blessings to many people. Thank you for your encouraging comment, sis. Blessings to you and have a great weekend.
Glad to understand Jesus’ message in the gospel better 🙂 Wish you Happy Chinese New Year
Thank you for the greeting 🙂 Blessings to you and have a great day.
Karina, blessings to you too and wish you have a great day too
Karina, Happy Chinese New Year! Enjoyed your analogy with us becoming fine wine. It is enjoyable to drink but not to be the grapes being crushed and aged. Thank you for causing me to pause and thank God for making me into fine wine!
You are much welcome 🙂 I am grateful you enjoyed my post. Thank you for the greeting and such a lovely response. Many love and blessings to you.
Thank you for sharing your Thoughts and warnings Katina, what many do not understand today and it is why they walk in defeat is that Jesus is The Living Word and our only Teacher, Matthew 23:8-10 who leads us into all Truth, Matthew 10:26-28 without His wisdom and empowering which we ask for and receive, we cannot understand the written word because it is God’s thoughts 1Corinthians2:9-16
We see in the Scripture below without the definite article “IT” which were called small particles before, there were none in the ancient Greek including or, a , is, as etc they were added later by some Translations, Jesus is the Living Word mentioned in this Scripture below and in John 1:1-5 and Revelation 19:12-17 and in 1John 5:7
Hebrews 4:12-13 For the Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. (KJV )
Jesus said to the Pharisees (John 5:38-40 ) that although they searched the Scriptures they would not come to Him who they were about, sadly this is still so for some today, we must always acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Authority first and confirm His Truth in God’s inspired written word the Bible.
God tells us to put our Carnal flesh to death (Romans 8 :12-15-Romans 6 – Colossians 3:4-6 -Galatians 5:24 -26) by The Holy Spirit’s empowering as we choose to walk in His Fruit and to aim to be Perfected in Love.(1 John 4:17-19 – Matthew 5:48 – Philippians 3:14-16 -1John 3 : 9 -1 John 3: 1-11 we will than walk as Jesus walked in Love and Righteousness. (1John3:6-7 – 2 Corinthians7:1)
Christian Love – Anne
Dear sis Anne,
Once again thank you very much for the Bible verses. As always you have given me scriptures lesson. It will make me knowing more and understand about the Bible scriptures. Thank you, sis. This is one of reasons why I do blogging. I definitely could learn from others. Many blessings to you and have a great Sunday.
Thank you Karina and I agree with you The Holy Spirit who does not say one thing to one person and something different to another when it contradicts, does share Truth with you that you can share with me or I can share with you or others can share with us but we must always confirm what is shared with Scripture by His empowering.
Blessings – Anne
Excellent, original metaphors. Thank you, Karina.
Dear sister in Christ, Sheryl
You are much welcome. Thank you for your great comment. Blessings to you.
You are an inspiration. Thank you.
Karina, happy Chinese New Years (from another Chinese believer). Yes, may we be the best vintage wine. Amen
Dear my new friend, Esther ( hopefully I am not wrong about your name)
Happy Chinese New Year to you too. Thank you very much for your greeting also thank you for taking time to visiting and reading my blog post. I Really appreciate it. Many blessings to you.
yes, that’s my name. there’s lots of Esthers so often people call me Esther Joy. Many blessings to you too!
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Become the best wine. Nice.
As long as He holds the glass 😉
Thank you very much 🙂 Blessings to you.
You remain full of insight, full of wisdom. Great application of scriptures to life!
Thanks for being faithful to His call on your life to write, dear sister! 😀
Thank you very much for your lovely and uplifting comment 🙂 many love and blessings to you.
Wise and thought-provoking words.
🙂 thank you very much for your lovely comment. Blessings to you.
Reblogged this on Victory Ministries.
Karina I love this post. You have given me a different perspective on one of my favorite passages in that WE can become the best wine serving and blessing others. You have packed so many points in this powerful post. Thanks for giving me a broader view to study. Peace to you! 🙂
Dear sister Lilka
You are much welcome, sis 🙂 Thank you for your wonderful and encouraging response. Many love and blessings to you. Have a great weekend.
You too Karina!
Isaiah 5 speaks of a rebellious vine. John 15 speaks of a clinging vine. Jesus says that without Him we can do nothing. The pathway is “come and cling” not “sweat and strain”. We must not imagine that we are imitating Christ. That is an exercise of the head, and will prove unsatisfactory. Rather we are to expect an impartation of the life force of Christ. That is a relinquishment of the heart. Jesus is then scoring the obedience and fruitfulness in and through us. Oh, how I wish that every one of your readers, Karina, would examine the wonderful book “Abide in Christ” by Andrew Murray. Probably can be found on-line..Doug
Dear brother in Christ, Doug
I would like to thank you for your great thought on my post. As always I will be use it as my another source study and reflection. About the book that you mentioned, I have heard that book and I will search it at the Christian book store. Thank you very much for reading and giving my post great response. Many blessings to you.
Wonderful post thank you so much for sharing have a wonderful week
You are much welcome. Thank you for visiting and reading my post. I really appreciate it. Blessings to you.
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How nice that was. I really loved the question about what kind of grapes we are. Your point about grapes that look good, but are really sour grapes inside really made the whole point so vivid. That is also so real to life. How many “sour grapes” do we have sitting in church pews every day? How many times have we ourselves sat there looking good, but soured up inside? Nice job, thank you for it.
Dear brother in Christ, Wally
You are very welcome 🙂 Thank you for your wonderful and meaningful comment. Many blessings to you.
Reblogged this on A Story By Me and commented:
This is an excellent and very thought provoking message!
USE A LITTLE WINE? BY STEVE FINNELL
Christians who like the mood altering effects of alcohol like to use a proof-texting Scripture to justify their use of intoxicating beverages. (1 Timothy 5:23 No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) Do Christians really drink wine to ensure their good health?
SOME SIDE EFFECTS OF DRINKING ALCOHOL
1. Memory loss.
2. Lack of sound judgement.
3. Mood swings.
4. Animated speech.
5. Poor concentration.
6. Slow reaction time.
8. Liver cancer.
9. Kidney failure.
13. High blood pressure.
14. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
15. Breast cancer.
16. Atrophy of testes.
Use a little wine. REALLY?
To be considered legally drunk in most states in U.S.A you must have a blood alcohol concentration, BAC of 0.08%.
BAC IMPAIRED ACTIVITIES
0.01-0.05 Alertness and Judgment.
0.06-0.10 Visual tracking and Coordination.
0.11-0.20 Reasoning, depth perception, inappropriate behavior
0.21-0.30 Slurred speech and lack of balance.
0.31-0.40 Loss of temperature regulation and loss of bladder control.
0.41 + Difficulty breathing, slowed heart rate, and death.
Use a little wine. REALLY?
About 13,000 people are killed each year in the U.S.A. in alcohol-related accidents.
Alcohol-related crashes cost taxpayer over $100 billion dollars.
Use a little wine. REALLY?
There are about 5000 teenage deaths per year that are alcohol related.
Use a little wine. REALLY?
Christians would not drink wine nor any other alcoholic drinks were it not for the mood altering effects
YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com
To Steve Finnel
Thank you for visiting my blog. also thank you for the information about the effects of drinking alcohol. I really appreciate it. God bless.
I love your posts, Karina! Just shared this one on Facebook. God deserves our “everything,” yet we don’t tend to give back to Him in that measure. But if we did, wow what a difference it could make in our lives!
Dear brother in Christ, Steve.
I am honored you shared this post on your Facebook. Also thank you very much for insightful comment 🙂 many love and blessings to you.
And to you, Karina! You seem to speak the truth in Godly love and that is a blessing in this crazy world!
Be good, and follow after the things of God in Christ…(you’re welcome for the FB share!)
Reblogged this on Old Guys Abandoning to Jesus.
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You have a gift for teaching, Karina. ❤
Dear, sister Anna
Thank you very much for your encouraging comment. I just share something that hopefully could be useful for others through the truth of God’s word. Thank you and God bless 🙂
My dear sis—another great post! We love our God and should have regular prayer with Him to make our bond stronger always. Thanks so much for sharing this…
Thank you, brother 🙂 have a great and marvelous day. God bless.
And you as well, sis! May God bless and keep you as you seek Him in spirit and truth…
Bro. Steve 🙂
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A valuable lesson for this difficult time, even though it was written earlier. ❤
Thank you very much, sister Anna. God Bless
May we all strive for holiness. Blessings, A.
Amen! Thank you very much, Sister Anna. God Bless.