Daily Bible Readings:
Monday, February 27. Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-7. 1) What happened to the churches of Macedonia? 2) How did that affect or not affect them? 3) How would you characterize the people of that church?
Tuesday, February 28. Read Matthew 26:17-25. 1) What did Jesus want his disciples to prepare for? 2) Why was this an important event? 3) What meaning did Jesus assign to ordinary elements?
Wednesday, March 1. Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-10. 1) What effect does stinginess have on us? 2) What does God love? 3) What does God do for his people?
Thursday, March 2. Read 1 Kings 17:8-16. 1) What happened to the widow at Zarephath? 2) What does this text teach about generosity and sacrifice?
Friday, March 3. Read Exodus 16:1-21. 1) What were the Israelites complaining about? 2) How did God respond to their complaint? 3) What do you learn about God
Saturday, March 4. Read Matthew 14:13-21. This is Sunday’s sermon text: Send the Crowds Away.
Prayer for the Week:
O God, we want to be people of courage and faith. Help us to not shrink back from doing all the good that you want us to do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Hymn of the Week:
Love divine, all loves excelling
Charles Wesley, 1747
Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heav’n, to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art.
Visit us with thy salvation;
enter ev’ry trembling heart.
Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit
into ev’ry troubled breast.
Let us all in thee inherit,
let us find the promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning;
Alpha and Omega be.
End of faith, as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.
Come, Almighty, to deliver,
let us all thy life receive.
Suddenly return, and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray, and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.
Finish, then, thy new creation;
true and spotless let us be.
Let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee.
Changed from glory into glory,
till in heav’n we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love and praise.
When Water Becomes Wine
How can we see this miracle in our lives?
by Phil Ware
Each moment is crowded with eternal significance, yet our eyes are often blind: we expect only what is predictable. We miss God’s grace in the moment, the Father’s gift in the simple, and Heaven’s glory in the ordinary. We lose the Lord’s presence in the sunrise, his joy in the smile of a child, his whisper in the wrinkles of the aged, and his glory hidden in a spider’s web.
So when John tells us his story of Jesus, he is wanting to do more than tell us history. Yes, what he writes is truth, but even more he wants us to know it is true — authentic to real life. Each encounter with Jesus tells us, not just what he did, but also what he longs to do now… in us… among us… through us. The unpredictable Savior wants to show us how water can become wine.
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
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.”
They did so, 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.”
What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him (John 2:1-11 NLT).
Jesus is at a wedding. Possibly a relative’s wedding. Mary is likely helping. This week long celebration is the most important event in the life of the bride and groom, their families, and the small village of Cana. Losing face in this moment would be disastrous!
And they don’t have enough wine to meet the needs. Joy was about to be shipwrecked in shame. Celebration was headed for embarrassment. And Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew of the need. She also knew the power of her son not yet released. She brought the two together even though it wasn’t time for Jesus’ work to begin.
Jesus takes ordinary water and it becomes wine.
Look carefully at the story line.
• Mary shared the need expecting Jesus to act (John 2:3).
• Mary stressed the need for simple obedience (John 2:5).
• Everyone is blessed (John 2:10-11)!
This story is a reminder that our Savior will do what is necessary, even when the time isn’t right, to bring grace. Jesus takes ordinary water and it becomes wine, again and again…
With Nicodemus he talks about being born of water and the Spirit — inviting him to enter the Kingdom through the miracle of baptism and the Holy Spirit (John 3:1-21).
In the heat of the day, he uses his own thirst for water to break down the barriers of prejudice and suspicion with a rejected woman he meets at a well (John 4:1-43).
In a furious storm on the water, he comes to his fearful followers and brings them safely to shore and displays his power (John 6:17-21).
On the cross, water mixed with blood flows out of his spear pierced side, showing us the love of God and his willingness to face mortality to bring us life (John 19:31-35).
So where in your life do you need to experience water becoming wine?
I have a situation where I need a miracle from Jesus. I’m you sure do, too! We often get so caught up in our own stuff that we fail to notice others. Don’t believe me? Notice our pronouns when we pray. It’s all I, me, and my.
We want our water to become wine and so easily forget the shame, the brokenness, the embarrassment, the hurt, the longing, and the lack in others. We lose the miracle of seeing water become wine, because all we can see is ourself!