February 24 Esight, 2010

Two days later there was a wedding at Cana-in-Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, as were Jesus and his disciples. They ran out of wine at the party following the wedding, so Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine left.” He answered, “That is no concern of mine. My hour has not yet come.” His mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Nearby were six stone water-jars similar to those used for Jewish rites of purification; each could hold twenty to thirty gallons of liquid. Jesus said the servants to “fill the jars with water,” and they filled them to the brim. “Now draw some off,” he ordered, “and take it to the master of the feast”; and they did so. Oblivious to its source, the master tasted the water, which had now turned into wine. He hailed the bridegroom and said, “Everyone else serves the best wine first, and the poorer only when the guests have drunk freely; but you have kept the best wine till now.” – John 2.1-10Wow, water into fine wine…this miracle isn’t just about “chemistry”, though. I recently received a note from a friend expressing the difficulties in “showing” the Father’s character of love to those around us. And I, no doubt, will confess that to take a self-centered human being (And we are all self-centered; I am convinced that genuine other-centered love is truly beyond the capability of any of us without something greater than ourselves, outside of ourselves, awakening and enabling that love.) and turn them into a revelation, a conduit so to speak, of God’s other-centered love is no less a miracle than taking well water and turning it to wine.

But we continually need to be reminded:

“Love is the basis of godliness. Whatever the profession, no man has pure love to God unless he has unselfish love for his brother. But we can never come into possession of this spirit by trying to love others. What is needed is the love of Christ in the heart. When self is merged in Christ, love springs forth spontaneously. The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within—when the sunshine of heaven fills the heart and is revealed in the countenance”(Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 384).

Did you catch it? We can’t love by simply trying to love. Love comes from God (See I John 4.7 NASB and REB). Only by His love for us is love in us awakened. (The Desire of Ages p. 22) True love is as fundamentally different from our natural state as wine is from water. To restore us into the image of that love would, at least for me, be more like turning muddy water into fine wine. This miracle of unconditional love is indeed so beyond the possibility of human origin and rare that, when manifested, it makes even the most ardent Atheists stop and take note. True love is so far beyond any of our capability that John stated that everyone who does love, only does so because they have been born of God. We love only because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19 and1 John 4.7)

So, it becomes obvious to the careful reader that what is needed is less “trying” to love on our part, and more “letting” ourselves be loved by Him who did not count heaven itself a place to be desired if we could not be with Him. Only by “believing” and personally “experiencing” His love for us can love spring up in us, like a fountain of living water, and flow out to those around us. He can do it, if we only let Him.

I wish you God’s best this week.