Well it’s about that time again! There is something about the New Year that stirs us…energizes us…excites us…encourages us…motivates us! Doesn’t it?
Maybe because it’s a time of new beginnings…fresh starts…new goals…or new resolutions. Or maybe it’s a time of making changes…making improvements…making commitments…or getting our priorities in order.
As we celebrate the New Year, we may begin to reflect upon 2013 and determine what we would like to change, improve, or do differently in 2014. We can set new goals and make new resolutions for the New Year…and if you are like the rest of our nation those goals usually include improving your health by exercising more and changing your diet! …which by the way is one of the Nation’s Top New Year’ Resolutions each year! Certainly no surprise I know!
And what is also so awesome about the New Year is that it gives us the opportunity to kick start our personal relationship with Jesus and grow stronger spiritually…especially if we weren’t as devoted in 2013 as we would have liked to be.
The New Year can challenge us to spend more time with Jesus…grow in greater intimacy with Him…dig deeper into His Word …and pray more often.
But I would like to propose to you a new New Year’s challenge…a challenge that will take your personal relationship with Jesus to another level…a challenge that will most certainly increase your faith…a challenge that will truly transform you… The challenge? …Full Stone Jars. Confused????? Well…check out John 2:1-11 and see… Are you up for this challenge?
Shortly after Jesus was baptized, he attended a wedding in Galilee in a town called Cana… which, by the way, was a week-long festivity celebrating the new life of the married couple. Jesus valued these weddings … Why? Because they involved the whole town and everybody came. It was actually an insult if you didn’t attend!
At this particular wedding, they ran out of wine…. which is a complete embarrassment and disgrace to the hosting family during these Jewish wedding celebrations.
3When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
4“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
7Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
8Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, 9and 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. John 2:3-9 NIV
Jesus transformed these full stone jars of water…these jars that were filled to the brim with water…into wine! Yes truly a miracle!
But think about this for a minute…what if …just what if the servants only filled the stone jars ½ full or ¾ full?
Since Jesus transformed the full stone jars of water into wine, I would venture to say that Jesus would probably have transformed only ½ or ¾ of the water into wine if that’s what the servants gave Him… wouldn’t you think?
I mean, of course, we are talking about Jesus and He can really multiply any amount water into as much wine as He really wants (kind of like how He multiplied the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish in Mark 6:41) but my point here is…
The servants gave Jesus full stone jars of water to transform…
So here’s the challenge…
How much of your life are you giving to Jesus today?
Are you giving Him your entire life…your complete life…your full life to transform…just like the servants who gave Him full stone jars of water to transform? Or are you giving Him only ½ or ¾ of your life?
Just how much of your life are you willing to give to Jesus to transform? And what is holding you back from giving your life fully? Is it your finances, your relationships, your social lifestyle, what you think will fulfill you and make you happy? Is it fear, lack of discipline, or your need to be in control?
Just as Jesus transformed the full brim-filled stone jars of water to wine…so too will He transform just as much of our lives as we give him.
Jesus wants us to give our lives…surrender our lives… completely to Him…not just part of our lives. He wants to transform us so we can look more and more like Christ. And this act of surrender must take place daily and will continue to take place throughout our entire lives.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6 NLT
God is in the business of transforming just like He transformed the water into wine…but he can’t transform what we aren’t willing to surrender to Him.
Giving our full life to Jesus is certainly not easy…but filling six 30 gallon stone jars of water and giving them to Jesus is no easy task either! (Oh, by the way, the milk in your fridge? It’s only one gallon.)
The servants did as Jesus commanded… No questions asked! No delays! No hesitations!
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. John 2:7 NIV
Why are you hesitant in giving your life and every aspect of our life fully to Jesus?
Don’t you think that your Creator…the Creator of the Universe…the Creator of Time…the only One who knows the beginning and the end (way before you were born…and way after you are gone!)…the only One who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow…the only One who gives you eternal life…Don’t you think he can handle your life better than you can?
And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10 ESV
Don’t hesitate…don’t wait…don’t delay!
Let’s accept this New Year’s Challenge…Give Jesus Full Stone Jars. Let’s give our life and every aspect of our life fully to Him to transform today…this year…and throughout our whole lifetime. You will no doubt see your personal relationship with Jesus grow and His transformations will blow your mind beyond what you could ever think or imagine! …Just like water into wine!
I pray you will take this challenge and be ready to be amazed at what He can do with what you give Him in 2014!
1) How much of your life are you giving to Jesus today?
2) Are you giving Him your entire life…your complete life…your full life to transform…just like the servants who gave Him full stone jars of water to transform? Or are you giving Him only ½ or ¾ of your life?
3) What is holding you back from giving your life fully? Is it your finances, your relationships, your social lifestyle, what you think will fulfill you and make you happy?
4) Why are you hesitant in giving your life and every aspect of our life fully to Jesus?Are you afraid? Are you not disciplined enough? Or do you just want to be in control?
1) Jesus wants to transform your life. But he can’t transform what you aren’t willing to let go of. Surrender our life fully to Him today.
2) Determine what is holding you back from giving your life fully to Him. Pray and ask the Lord to help you let go. Pray for His strength to not give in to your fleshly desires and for Him to transform your mind and heart to line up with His desires.
3) Make a commitment to grow in your relationship with Jesus in 2014. Whatever that may mean for you…wherever you at in your relationship with Him. Whether it’s spending more time with Him…going deeper in His Word…praying more often. Maybe it’s sharing Jesus with others, maybe it helping the needs of others, maybe its volunteering your time at your church.