Strength to Strength 3
Study 3 DOING WHATEVER HE SAYS
KEY-VERSE: “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)
In our key-verse we have the golden rule of a happy and useful Christian life. Do we want to know His joy, peace and blessing upon our service? Do we want our life to be well-pleasing to Him in all things? Do we want our prayers to be answered? Are we seeking fresh and enlarged fields of service – and do we need guidance? Then we must do what He says. If we can live in obedience to this golden rule we shall always be filled with the glory of His presence, power and blessing. Read John 2:1-11, and notice what a remarkable claim Mary makes for the Lord Jesus – “Whatever He says, however contrary it may seem to your ideas, do it!” How can she be so confident? Because He was, and is, unique. He is the Son of God.
1. Consider the fact that He does speak to us today
He speaks to us just as He spoke to the servants 2000 years ago (verses 7 and 8). But how does He speak?
(1) He speaks to us AUTHORITATIVELY. Look up Luke 6:46. If He is Lord then it is His sovereign right to dictate in your life and mine, and what He says is the final word on any given matter. If we know Him as Lord, why do we question what He says? For what He says is invested with all the authority of what He is.
(2) He speaks to us PERSONALLY. “Whatever HE tells YOU, do it!” He spoke personally to the servants, and the guests did not know what He had said. He speaks in the same way today.
(3) He speaks to us COMPREHENSIVELY. Notice the word “whatever”. He speaks to us about the little details as well as about the big problems of life – about the wine that has run short, and other temporal things; in fact, there is no detail connected with our lives about which He does not speak to us.
(4) He speaks to us INSTRUMENTALLY. That is, He speaks through others. How often we hear the voice of the Lord through the wise and helpful counsel of our friends! While we must recognise the principle stated in Galatians 1:16, we must also recognise that the Lord often guides us through the counsel of other Christians.
(5) He speaks to us PROVIDENTIALLY. That is, through the daily happenings and circumstances of our life – by closing one door and opening another, and by saying to us – Revelation 3:8. He speaks to us through what we read, what we hear, what we see…and if we are listening we will not fail to hear His voice.
(6) He speaks to us THROUGH HIS WORD. This is the particular way in which He speaks to us today. Look up John 6:63. There is no “spirit and life” in the daily paper, the writings of our great poets or in the latest novel! The Lord supremely speaks to us in and through His Word (the Bible), and anything which we feel to be His voice to us which is contrary to His Word is certainly not His voice.
(7) He speaks to us BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. Notice in the Acts of the Apostles the constant and unerring directions that were given by the Holy Spirit to the servants of the Lord in the first century.
Yes, the Lord speaks to us today just as definitely as He did to the servants at the marriage feast of Cana in Galilee.
2. Consider the fact that all that the Lord says to us has a three-fold relationship.
In that it touches God, it is for His glory; in that it touches me, it is for my good; and in that it touches others, it is for their good.
(1) When the Lord Jesus said, “Fill…draw…take…” (verses 7 and 8), it was for His glory. Verse 11 tells us this, and we can be sure that whenever He speaks to us about something in our life, something He wants us to be, to do or to say, it is always for His glory. In other words, to listen to what He says and to render Him full obedience will always glorify Him.
(2) When the Lord Jesus said, “Fill…draw…take…” (verses 7 and 8), it was for their (the servants’) good. We know this because in verse 9 we are told that while the governor and the guests did not know about the miracle, the servants did. It is most likely that having seen the miracle they believed on Him? What a blessing came to them when they heard the commandment of the Lord and obeyed Him! Look up Deuteronomy 10:12 and 13. Everything the Lord says to us is always for our good; it is always for our profit that we should obey the Lord. Look up 1 John 5:3, and compare Matthew 11:30.
(3) When the Lord Jesus said, “Fill…draw…take…” (verses 7 and 8), it was for the good of everybody else concerned. Everybody at the feast benefited from the miracle that resulted. When the Lord speaks to us it is not only for His glory and for our good, but it is for the good of everybody whom we touch, in the home, the office or wherever we may be.
3. Consider, finally, how we should respond to what He says.
(1) We should respond with PROMPT obedience. “Whatever…do it!” They did not delay. John Bunyan said, “The soul of religion is in the practic part”; that is, the doing of it. Our whole duty is to do what He says, and to do it not as a duty but as a delight.
(2) We should respond with COMPLETE obedience. The Lord’s command was, “Fill…” (verse 7). How did they obey? “They filled them to the brim” (verse 7). There is a danger of rendering to the Lord only partial obedience, but His demand is that we obey Him fully. Is He not worthy of our complete and full obedience?
(3) We should respond with UNQUESTIONING obedience. The word is “whatever”. That means we must obey Him without any questioning or dispute. Fancy being told to fill the water pots with water when wine was needed! Fancy being told to bear water to the governor of the feast! Yet they gave to the Lord their unquestioning obedience.
Sooner or later there comes to us all the felt need of a supreme dictation – that is, of someone who will take the full responsibility of our lives and exercise His lordship over them. Our Lord Jesus offers to take that place in your life and mine, and it is His right alone to take it. Shall we give it to Him?
WORDS OF LIFE MINISTRIES
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