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Watch 2022 online sermons » Levi Lusko » Levi Lusko - Running Low On Purpose

Levi Lusko - Running Low On Purpose

Levi Lusko - Running Low On Purpose
TOPICS: The Last Supper on the Moon

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped off a lunar module, and onto the surface of the Earth's Moon for the very first time. Neil Armstrong's voice was immortalized in that moment as he uttered the words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". A few hours before this milestone was marked, while still inside the lunar module, Buzz Aldrin invited those who were listening in from every nation to, quote, "pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way".

And then the radio went silent. What the citizens of Earth didn't know at the time was that astronaut Buzz Aldrin had purposely planned this radio blackout in order to eat a small meal. From within a flight packet, he withdrew a piece of bread and wine for which he had received permission to bring on the spacecraft. And then after reading from the Gospel of John, he proceeded to take communion. In the middle of a conversation between the heavens and the Earth, only Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were there to witness the last supper as the first supper on the Moon.

Welcome to "The Last Supper on the Moon". Glad to have you with us at every single Fresh Life location: online, churches joining in through our partnership with the Open Network. We are so glad you're here. You've made it. And it is an honor to be entrusted with this opportunity. I'm grateful to every single church that would allow us into your church for this exciting season, as we delve into what will accompany this message, NASA's 1969 lunar voyage, "Jesus Christ's Bloody Death and the Fantastic Quest to Conquer Inner Space". I hope you will come back every single week because it really is meant to be week by week, something that altogether is powerfully used to ignite greater faith, greater expectation, and tap us into what I believe is the happiness that Jesus wants us all to experience.

That's the language that CS Lewis put into the mouth of the representation of Jesus in his book, "The Chronicles of Narnia," Aslan. He said to the children at the end, "You are not nearly as happy as I mean you to be," which is actually a very good translation of the Hebrew word blessed. "Blessed is the man", Psalm 1. We are told, "Oh how happy," literally in the original language. And I believe that God wants to move us all further towards the happiness that we are meant to be experiencing, the vivaciousness, the sense of flourishing that He intends to be a part of our experience following Him. I am sad that so many Jesus followers are experiencing merely a scratching of the surface of the blessings that God intends to be our day-to-day experience in technicolor, walking with Jesus, moving from black and white, like the grainy footage of Neil's first steps, to the technicolor, the 3D, and I'm not getting down that way, but the VR of what it's meant to be walking with Jesus in living color.

Now a little vision about where we're going. And if we haven't had the chance to meet, my name is Levi. And God has wrecked my life in the best possible way. He destroyed what I thought was going to be life, this "living for me" thing that went so badly. And He built something in the place of that has been so much better. His love has grown in my heart. And I have spent every waking moment, from that moment forward, imperfectly trying to point other people to that life, as well. And that is what's encapsulated in this book. But vision for these seven weeks that we'll be in this series together, I have bookmarked one special page. I don't know if you can see that there. Can you see the yellow highlighting there? This is page 237. It takes place within chapter 15 of a nearly 500-page-long book. And in this page, in the highlighted portion, this is all we're going to cover in the seven weeks that we're going to be together. This is literally it. So we're going to live in this sentence. It's not even a real sentence, because it's in parentheses. We're going to live in this parentheses for seven weeks.

So when I say that this series of messages, this collection of talks is meant to accompany this book, that is literally the truth. Because it runs parallel in that track, but almost nothing in the book we're actually going to get to cover because that would be exhausting. And I would have to talk, like if you're a child of the '80s like me, like the Micro Machines guy. And I just can't. I can't. I won't. And so this is going to accompany it. If you want further from what you get, if this whets the appetite, because it's going to run in that vein, of course, of topic, launching from the idea of the first thing ever being eaten on the lunar surface being the last supper, and so the Moon and the cross cannot ever be separated. Like you remember the first time you ate in a new car. You held out for a long time, didn't you? But then you broke down at that McDonald's drive-thru one day. You thought, I will keep all the fries. But no, eventually, you'll never forget the first thing you ate because it ruined that car, right? The first thing ever eaten on the Moon was communion.

And so as we have that flavoring our discussion, some of you, for further reading and studying, may want to get this book. There's also small-group curriculum, video sessions that will guide a small group through it, as well, which would be particularly helpful, I think, especially in a journey towards Lent. So if your church is considering things there. There's also an audio version of the book read by me with some help from my beautiful bride, as well as the late President John F. Kennedy. It's a little immersive audiobook. So where we could, we sampled from actual historical stuff. So you'll hear stuff from Apollo, given courtesy of NASA. So that's fun on audio. And there's an e-book, as well. And so I hope God uses it to draw people around the world closer to Jesus. Amen? Amen.

Well, open to John chapter 2 if you have a Bible. And if you don't, they are going to show up on the screen. And if you're new to this journey, what we find in the Gospels is the telling of what happened when Jesus came. What you find in the Old Testament is the telling of Jesus coming. And then you find Him coming, and that's the Gospels. And then you find what He did through the rest of the Bible after He came, once He ascended to heaven, and at that moment, gave His spirit to all those who would follow Him, which goes out to you and you and you and you, anybody. You don't have to be a prophet, a priest, or a king, like you did in the Old Testament, to have God's spirit upon you heavily. Today, Joel says, it's available to all. So all sons and daughters can have the filling of the Holy Spirit. And so that's what we've been given. That's this story.

And in John 2, Jesus is very new on the job. Literally, it's His first week on the job as Messiah. It's a lot of expectation, a lot of watching and waiting, a lot of promising. And then He finally shows up, after 400 silent years, and He's here. He just got baptized. He went 40 days in the desert with the enemy, proving that He is the greater Adam. He's able to do what the first Adam did not do, and that is handle temptation successfully. And so now it's finally time to go mano y mano with sin, and Satan, and the grave, and for all mankind, rescue us from our sins that we, as citizens of planet Earth, long lay in, in sin and error pining. But He's finally here. And you're like, dang. I'm excited to see what He's going to do. Here we are, John chapter 2. It says, "On the third day of the first week of His ministry, there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there".

Now both Jesus and his disciples were invited to the wedding. "And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, 'They have no wine.' Jesus said to her, 'Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.' His mother said to the servants, 'Whatever He says to you, do it.' Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing 20 or 30 gallons a piece. Jesus said to them, 'Fill the waterpots with water.' And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, 'Draw some out now and take it to the master of the feast.' And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine and did not know where it came from, but the servants who had drawn the water knew, the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, 'Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now.' This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him".

And Father, we pray, I pray, I ask that every single person listening to me right now would hear You. Thank You for every soul. Thank You for every heart. Thank You for the part we are all called to play in what You're doing in the world. There's so much happening. There are so many natural disasters always looming. There are so many economic crises always being discussed and pontificated. Regardless of when this message is being listened to, whether today or years into the future, there's so many things that we would think have your attention. And yet in all of Your grandness, nothing is lost on You, not one bird, not one flower, not one child. We are all precious in Your sight. I pray that would sink in as we study, as we consider in these moments your Son here at this feast, dedicating precious minutes and hours and days to this happy couple not having their wedding reception ruined. And I pray the overkill that it seems like at first glance would be reassuring to us who have issues that we're facing. And we would see that You care passionately for the details of our lives. And I give God one last request. And that is that if even one person listening to this message doesn't know You, that by Your spirit, You would draw them to Yourself. And I ask this in Jesus's name. Amen.

If you like to take notes in church, the title of this message is "Running Low On Purpose". "Running Low On Purpose". The Bible says that where there is no vision, people cast off restraint. Another translation says that, without vision, people tend to perish. I'm concerned that so many people are missing out on the power of purpose in their life. There is nothing more energizing, there's nothing more gratifying, nothing more satisfying than putting your feet on the floor in the morning with a sense of purpose, with a sense of mission, with a sense that you have something to accomplish. And that when you lie your head on the pillow at night, that you do so fatigued. You will do so rewarded. When all of the effort that was expended was done so out of a sense of calling, out of a sense of mission, it makes the highs higher. It makes the lows more survivable, to know that I'm suffering at times. It's hard at times. But I'm doing so for a purpose. There's a sense of, I'm a part of something bigger than myself. I'm living on mission.

So where do we get something like that? How can we have purpose? Because if we look to secular society and the teaching of this world, it's just the result of random chance. And there is no Creator. And none of it really matters. And why even mess around? Then why would we not give in to that sense of despair and the sense of, well, all we have to do is just eat, drink, and be merry. So what does it matter? And of course, there's going to come a sense of "cyna-cim", "cyna"... cynicism if there's no point. If death is just blackness and scene and production and of show, and you are no more, and no one you've ever loved you have any hope of ever seeing again, where's the purpose in that? What's a point of building a company? What's the point of working a job? What's the point of bettering yourself? What's the point of any of it if there's no meaning, if there's no immortality, if there's no transcendence, if there's nothing that outlives us?

So I'm concerned for people who, as the Bible says, end up just perishing or despairing. There's no hope. Or they just settle for substitute gods, because if you don't have God, you're going to have a small g god, something you'll pour your passion into, something you'll get up out of bed in the morning for. But those things will not be able to help you when life hurts the most. A beautiful home, a wonderful job, your kids doing well, even those things are going to be short-lived. But it's a little bleak to actually look at the whole thing, because I did a funeral a while back for one of the richest men I ever knew. And the last time I saw him, he was wearing a diaper. And it humbled me to be in the presence of someone who could do and say and buy and go pretty well anywhere he wanted to, but to see what mortality reduces us all to at the end. And without hope, there is just perishing. Without something bigger there, without an ultimate purpose, and I believe here's the thing.

That is what God gives us. He does not leave us just grasping for the Moon, because our whole lives, it's been there. Ever since the world was created, it's been there. But none of us have ever been able to grab it, to take it, to touch it, to stand on it. It perpetually teased us until the summer of 1969. And that is why the world was enraptured and captivated. That is why the whole world screeched to a stop, to acknowledge man had stood on the Moon. And we could not have done it without a rocket. We could not have done it without the mobilization of 400,000 people who worked on it in some way. We could not have done it without the collective will of the entire United States of America and the assistance of the agitation that came from our rival.

Without that sense of pressure, without that sense of competition, it took a race to bring about those, and it also took death. It probably would not have been done without the tragic assassination of the late President John F. Kennedy, whose death sort of mobilized and caused it to take on an otherworldly importance and urgency, and a sense of paying homage to the one who articulated the vision that causes all of our hearts to go a little bit faster. That we choose to go to the Moon, all of these things, they stir deeply in our veins. And yet they simply point to something bigger, because just as I cannot jump off the stage and get to the Moon, no matter how hard I try, because it's about 238,000 miles away from me on the given day. It ranges from 225,000 to 252,000, but 238,000 is the average. There's no way I can do it. It takes an enormous rocket. It takes something outside.

And so it is with Christ. We look at the happiness. We look at the purpose we all crave. We look at what we want our lives to be like. But we ultimately just find ourselves jumping and leaping and grasping, but not being able to obtain what, in our hearts, we know should be there. And so we are given a Messiah. The answer is not us leaving Earth to go to some heavenly body. It's someone from heaven who came down. The Son of God came down to give us the grace that would encapsulate us like a spacesuit, giving us life support, giving us help, giving us all we need in Christ. And what we are going to do in this series is we're going to look at the seven signs that Jesus gave us, sprinkled throughout John's Gospel, beginning with the first miracle He ever performed.

And by the way, those are his words, the signs He gave to give us glimpses of His glory. The first of those seven, and there's tons of reasons why it's awesome that He chose seven. Don't have time for that. But I see five different things here in this being His first miracle, and that is that, number one, He was sending a message. And so what I want you and I to do is, as we look at this, we're doing so through the grid of, how do we get purpose? Because that's what we want. That's what we need. Because we're all tragically on this Earth running low on purpose. And there's a little bit of a panicky feel that comes when you're running low on anything: maple syrup, toilet paper, gasoline. Running low. Argh. Argh. Distance until empty, they never should have added that to a car. It has made us all too bold, too cocky. Anybody with me? Oh, I can make it. I can make it. I got at least 26 until empty, right? They should not have put that there.

Running low on purpose... when we are running low on our purpose, what are we supposed to do? We look at Jesus focusing and fulfilling His, focusing on and fulfilling His. And it's indirect. The whole world's trying to find themselves. We're trying to lose ourselves. In looking at who He is, we discover who we are. And these signs give us a glimpse as to who He is. And as we discover Him and His purpose, we will be unlocked in ours. All seven weeks, youi got to be here to collect all of these. But the first is Him, Jesus, sending a message. This was intentionally low key, because with all the expectation of thousands of years of messianic prophecy, to finally have Him show up and He's a bartender? All of us are like, womp womp. Like, dude, come on. You came to rescue us from the hell and stuff. What are You doing with pinot noir swirling in this bathtub? I just don't get it, right? They are tragically low on Merlot. Jesus, please come on in.

It's like, dude, this is like the president of the United States delivering mail in Omaha. Like, we get it. You technically are a civil servant. But bro, we need you to be worried about other things. And Jesus, the Messiah, the most overqualified craft services provider, but what did they say when a leader takes office, first 100 days? The leader knows that eyes are on, and what he does there sends a message for the whole administration. That's this. That's this. Jesus showed up in a situation where they were running low on something to send a message as to what his reign on the Earth, all thousand years of it when He comes back and on and to forever, and what the lives of his followers are to be like as ambassadors of that coming kingdom. Wine running out. When you look at wine in scripture, it has two different definitions. Number one, it's medicine. Number two, it's celebration. Wine is medicine. Wine is celebration. It is given as an agent of healing.

In the story you've heard it of the... not Prodigal Son, the Good Samaritan. The Good Samaritan healed and bandaged the man who had been hurt using wine to treat his wounds. They didn't have Neosporin, y'all, so they had to work with what they got. So it was meant to heal, but it was also an agent of celebration. In the story of the Prodigal Son, we find the father killing the fatted calf when his son came home. And there's, you better believe, some barrels of the good stuff being broken out as they are celebrating, as there was music, as there was joy and rejoicing, the cups of wine that were a part of the Passover feast, Jesus spent the last literal meal before going to the cross doing what? Drinking wine, celebrating not only how good God had been, but how good God was being and how good God will be in sending Jesus to this world to save us from ourselves.

Let's think about it, as He was hanging on that cross, He had bread and wine being digested, becoming forever a part of his cellular structure. It was in the power of that meal that He looked forward to for so long, the power of a meal that was brought 238,000 miles a couple thousand years later by a man who took them, praying, John 15:5, in silence as He ate those things, absolutely unbelievable. Jesus was clearly sending a message. What message was He sending? He was sending the message that He is the one who can bring the wine that always runs out in this world, because no matter how good the party is, no matter how good the high is, no matter how big of a rush it is from that big deal, from that thing you closed, from the amazing, from that I threw the game, it always runs out, doesn't it? How dope were you in high school? Didn't that run out? Yeah. How sick were you when you were in your 20s? How fly are you right now? It's going to run out. And don't you already feeling it nagging at the edges of your mind? How big was that? It's got to be bigger next time.

There's someone coming for the throne. There's this paranoia that creeps in. Even in our highs, see, we can't sleep because of the competition. There's a neurotic, anxious, festering wound inside of all of our souls that will not be quenched by anything on this planet. There is no healing. There is no ultimate lasting celebration to be found. But Jesus showed up to say, when the world's tried and done its best, I can bring the wine. I got the goods. I got the healing. I got the celebration. And that is also why He chose to have the miracle performed out of anything He could have had it done in, out of stone pots used for purification by the Jews. Why? To say, don't you think religion can help you? Because those pots are empty, too. Those pots are bone dry. You ain't got no wine? I got wine. Moses, He brought you the law, and the law did not help. All it did was expose your need for wine. But I, Jesus Christ, God's son, I bring grace. I bring truth. I got a balm for all your wounds. I got joy for all your despair. You want to trade? You got despair? I got joy. You want to trade? You got wounds? I got healing. You want to trade?

I'm willing to trade. I will hang in your place on the cross and be made sin for you so that you could be treated like I should be treated, as sons and daughters of the King of Kings. Well, come on. Is there anybody out there grateful... I got to hurry. We got five to cover. That's just one. He was sending a message. Secondly, He was accepting an invitation. Why was Jesus at a wedding? The text tells us very clearly, He was invited. He was invited, which leads us to this shocking epiphany. Jesus goes where He's wanted. Jesus comes where He's welcomed. And we all, at times, look at other people. And it seems like God's working in their lives, and we sit there in jealousy. But we have to remember the question, like, did I invite Him in? Is it as simple, could it be as simple as that, that He comes where He's welcomed, that He comes where He's wanted? There's a whole lot of buildings in Gotham City. Which one does Batman land on? The one where there's a light shining on top of it, because someone said, help. Someone said, SOS.

What is it to sit in the mornings in silence before rushing into the business of the day and kneeling in humility and saying, I need You, God? What is it saying, I'm being bombarded by sexual temptation. Father, there's a world of pornography out there. There's a world of Tinder out there. God, I feel so many lusts inside of me. I got to feel such jealousy inside of me. What is it to say, God, I crucified my flesh. I want to follow You. Fill me with Your Spirit. I need Your help. What is it to say, I want to share my light and shine my light at work in the corporate workplace, in the schoolroom? God, I want to shine light in this world. I want to burn bright for You. What is it? It's to shine the light. God comes where He's welcomed. He was invited to the wedding. There's a lot of marriages in this world that Jesus isn't working in. Have you welcomed Him into your marriage? How have you, together, held hands and said, we confess our sins. We need your help. God, you are welcomed here. You are wanted here. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. When we get paid, we're going to tithe. When we have kids, they're going to be raised in the house. We will not orbit around soccer. We will not orbit around the dollar. We will not orbit around grades. Those things all have their place. They all have their time.

We are people who are called by his name. Jesus accepted the invitation. Have you given Him one? Have you invited Him into your heart and life? Because He did that. His whole Earthly ministry, it's actually shocking, can be characterized by three words, eating and drinking. When you think about Jesus, is that what comes to mind? Because in the minds of his enemies, that's how they characterized it, eating and drinking. Jesus? Eating and drinking. Luke 7:34, "The Son of Man came eating and drinking," he said. "And you say, here's a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors, and a friend of sinners". Jesus spent so much of his precious three and a half years on this Earth at the table, in the restaurant, at the pub. It doesn't say He was drunk, but He came eating and drinking. That was how He advanced the kingdom. How are you going to advance the kingdom? Eating and drinking. Do you know your kitchen table is a weapon of evangelism? Do you know that your couch is meant to be an extension of heaven, healing, and celebration?

There should be hurting people coming in to be prayed for. There should be hungry people coming in from your neighborhood, from your life, from your kids' school, people being brought in, people from church being brought in, people from life being brought in to laugh and to cry laughing, that's called "craughing", to celebrate the goodness of God. There should be joy at the table. Jesus accepted invitations and then said, go and do likewise. He was also honoring marriage, honoring the institution of marriage, which He knows is meant to be, according to the Book of Ephesians, a picture of the gospel to a broken world that does not see the light clearly, our groping around in the darkness. And your marriage is meant to be a picture that points people to God's power. Your singleness is also meant to do the exact same. It's also noteworthy, if you collect all seven weeks, you'll get to the end and find out his final miracle, his final sign took place at a funeral. Tying a bow on it, Jesus, from the worst day of someone's life to the best day of someone's life and everything in between, He's there for you.

Thirdly, what was He doing on this day? I'm not a smart man, Jennie. He was solving a problem. That's what Jesus does. People bring problems to Him. And you know what He does? He solves them. He works in them. All things together for the good. It doesn't always look like what those involved wish it would look like, but He always solves problems that are brought to Him. This was a big problem. I wish I had more time to unpack the significance of the wedding feast in that culture in that day. Wasn't like today, where it's a four-hour event. How long do you think a Hebrew wedding feast lasted? The answer is a week, a week. They turnt all the way up. And you're like, man. And did you know, it was such, like, it would be bad, if you go to a wedding and they run out of food, that's bad. That's bad form. In that day, the wedding guests could sue the person throwing the party if the food and drink ran out. They could be fined.

That's how seriously they took the party. That's how serious they took the celebration and the covenant of marriage and what it means to society and what it means to the world. They didn't take it lightly. They didn't take it flippantly. It was a thing, man. It was a thing. And Jesus was solving a problem of the social embarrassment and humiliation it would have been for this young couple to have no wine. He came to a place where they were running low and He did so on purpose. He came where they were running low on purpose to solve the problem of humiliation to save them. And I actually tend to think He was solving a problem on purpose where they were running low and He caused the problem on purpose. How do I know that? The text says that Jesus and His disciples were invited, but this is His first week on the job. Meaning, He's picking disciples still. He has just picked some of them. So they were like, Jesus, we want Jesus to come. And then word gets back, well, Jesus has got a couple of disciples now. And oh, tell them that they can come, too.

Well, they had no idea the crew He was bringing. How much do you think Peter and Bartholomew and James and John, Sons of Thunder up in the biz. Yeah. Like, they're coming in, like how you like me now? This stuff's free. Put that in your purse, right? Why were they running low on wine? I think it's because the disciples got invited last minute. I think when all of the catering plans were arranged and the bride was on doing all her things, I don't think she had any idea these hooligans were going to show up. Is it possible that, in your life at times, Jesus will intentionally allow problems to exist so that He can reveal his glory in those same problems being solved? As you follow Him, there is that tension of Him being, as CS Lewis would put it, "not a tame lion". Good, absolutely. But don't think He's safe for a second. And so He's solving a problem, one that maybe He caused. And He has promised to do the same for you. And if you doubt that, little one, if you doubt that, loved one, all you need to do is look up, for what will you find? You will find the Moon, God's "faithful witness," Psalm 89 says, "in the sky". He has given to you a Covenant. And as a symbol of the Covenant, He has given the moon.

In fact, the very, very last Psalm David ever wrote, Psalm 72, final Psalm David wrote with his own hands, he references the Moon not once, but twice, in his prayer for his son Solomon. God's Eternal Covenant in the sky, a nightlight, a problem of terror, a problem of anxiety, and a solution is the Moon is still there. Hasn't gone away. God is still there, still solving problems. Then fourthly, He was giving a template. Why did He do this thing on this day? He was giving a template for what to do when we faced crises. We find, step by step, what to do. We bring the problem to Jesus, who hopefully we've invited into our home, into our lives, into our souls, into our marriage, into our problems. OK? And then we come to Him, and no matter what He says to us, this is the hard part, we do it. And we resist the tendency that will always be there to say, that won't work. And that's what we always do. We give a problem to Jesus. He's like, here's what I want you. We go argh, that won't help. That's crazy.

Pour water on the fire before it burns? That's not going to work. I need wine. I don't need to pour water onto bathtub, 125 gallons of it. But the thing He tells us to do, we do it, like Mary said to the servants. Do it. Do what Jesus says, no matter how stupid it feels. And then here's the best part. Go bring it to the master of the feast, a ladleful of water from a bathtub, y'all. Just do it. When Jesus tells you to do something about the problem that He maybe even caused in your life and you bring it to Him, and He's like, here's what I want you to do next, whatever He says to you, do it. Maybe in your small groups this week, you could go around and ask the question, what was the last thing Jesus told you to do that is still undone? I got mine and you got yours. All right. He was giving us a template. And I believe He was showing us how to get to greatness. The template to greatness is found in verse 9. The master of the ceremonies didn't know where this wine came from when He proclaimed it the best wine He ever tasted.

The master of the ceremonies did not know where the wine came from. But look what the text says. Look at this verse 9. The servants knew. What do the servants know? The servants know what others will never know, and that is that God always saves the best wine for the end of the feast and it came from God's hand. But what do the servants know that others don't know? Jesus said that the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. Those three words just ring around in my heart. The servants know. The servants know. What do those who serve in their marriage, what do those who serve in their career, what do those who serve in their calling, what do those who serve in their home, what do those who serve in the Church know that other people never will? Where the wine came from, how this thing took place. They'll smile. The servants always smile because the servants know. A template for greatness.

And then finally, and we're done, Jesus, here in this moment, was painting a picture. He was painting a picture. In John chapter 2, verse 11, in another translation, we are told, this was the first sign. Jesus gave a glimpse of His glory. And in this act, His disciples believed in Him. The first glimpse of His glory, the first sign of what was to come, not just what was to come throughout His earthly ministry, the sign of what is to come when His ministry and kingdom is fully realized. And right now, the Kingdom of Heaven is within. We are the first fruits of the Resurrection after Jesus coming out of the grave. Eventually, it will be everywhere. It will be all over the world. It will be undeniable, unmistakable. What? The wedding feast of the Son of God. The Bible opens with a wedding. You know that, right? The Bible closes with a wedding. You know that, right? The new Jerusalem coming down from heaven, adorned as a bride for her groom. We are even, in the Bible, told what the wedding feast will be like.

In Isaiah 25, "In this mountain, the Lord of Hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of well-refined wines on the lees". That's the second course of wine. "And He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces. The rebuke of His people, He will take away from the Earth, for the Lord has spoken". Do you see it? The wedding was lost. The feast was lost. It was supposed to be this feast that lasted forever. It was lost. Why? Because of sin that entered the world, and immediately, mankind is plunged into sorrow. But at the end, we're told it's going to be restored. The wedding feast, the party will continue. It's a TBD from Garden of Eden days. And the only way that could happen is if someone would deal with sin in between. And Jesus did so on purpose. He took the cup of the wrath of God so that we could have the cup of rejoicing, celebration, and healing thrust into our hands and Church. We have a part to play. In the midst between now and then, we are a part of the party planning committee.

Matthew 22, verse 2, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a king who arranged a feast for his son. And then He said to you and to me, go out into the highways, and as many as you find, invite them to the wedding". Come on. Next week, week two of this series, there's an empty seat next to us. Who in our lives could we bring in? Who in our homes could we bring in? The highways and the byways, to the sinners and the saints, to the fiends and the tax collectors, to the prostitutes, to the high, to the low, to the rich, to the poor. Everybody needs Jesus. Everybody needs purpose. And we all, as sons and daughters, can invite as many as will come. It's a lot, Levi. It's daunting challenge. My purpose... oh, that's a lot. But you're not just to do it with elbow grease and your own strength. You're not to just pull your boots up and go for it. Why? You've been given power. You've been given power. Did you see it as we read?

First verse, I wanted to run around this stage screaming the moment I said it. No one even noticed it. When did this happen? Verse 1. "On the third day". He chose to bring water into wine out of Moses's bathtub on the third day? He's sending a message. He's painting a picture. He's giving us a template. What is He doing? He's reminding us of the purchase price of our joy. It was His death, but that would not be the end. On the third day, on the third day, our lives began. Our hope is found in the third day when Jesus Christ rose again, securing our party forever. That's power. I mean, don't get me wrong, the Saturn V is impressive, 180 million horsepower impressive. The Saturn V is outrageous. I mean, 7.5 million pounds of thrust. It could be like 85 Hoover Dams. It could run New York City for over an hour. It's the most powerful vehicle mankind has ever built that has launched. But that's nothing compared to the power of the Holy Spirit, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, that lives in your heart, that gives strength to your body, that will raise your bones from the grave. And that power lives in you on purpose. So if you feel like you're running low on courage today, all you need to do is ask. And so Jesus, we ask. We ask for new power.

Every church, every location, every head bowed. If you're, today, running low on that kind of joy, running low on that kind of happiness, and at the outset of this journey, if you would say, I want to move closer to all that Jesus has for me, I am not as happy as He means for me to be, could I ask that you would just, as a show of humility, raise up your hand, raise up your heart, raise up your home? Maybe with enough faith, doing so on behalf of the spouse who's not here, who's not listening, who's not engaged, who's not a Jesus follower, you're raising your hand up on behalf of the children who are prodigal and will be saved, but are not yet. In Jesus' name, we're asking for that power to course through us. You could put your hands down. I want to invite anybody at our location, church online, every partner church, if you have not yet said yes to Jesus, let me give you space and time to make that all-important decision, giving your heart to Him. Pray this prayer with me. Every head bowed, every eye closed. Church, pray it with us.

Dear God, I know I'm a sinner. I can't fix myself, but I believe You can. Please come into my heart. Make me new. I give myself to You.

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