Read: John 2:1-11


When the laborers are standing idle in the marketplace the problem is simple. The householder doesn't pray for them, preach to them, or lay his hands on them to impart some spiritual gift - he gives them jobs.


''Go work in my vineyard."


All that is needed is for the believer to realize that he has been called to a ministry, a work,


- he's not just a ''church member" as they say,


- he's a member of the Body.


''Having then gifts that differ, according to the grace given to us, let us use them."


There are people reading these words whose need is that clear. There's the Vineyard! Get to work! All the praying and Bible Study in the world won't help you until you get up and take your place in the Vineyard.


But what if you've entered the vineyard, you've been told what to do and you're staggered by it? You look at that sea of troubled souls God has told you to reach and you're overwhelmed.


''How can I.........?


I don't have the power.


I don't even know how to begin!"


What if you have an assembly of believers who know that they have been commanded to go and make disciples, but the boldness just isn't there. They sit and look at each other trying to get up courage.


"What we really need are some good rousing songs",


so they get to­gether and sing some good rousing songs and everyone feels better. "Man, that's just what we needed! Now we're loosened up." But when the songs are over they're right back where they were.


"No", says another diagnostician, "what we need is better teaching. The teaching around here is stale."


So they get a Bible teacher who really knows his stuff -

He can dig into the Greek and the Hebrew.


He can pull those symbols out and show you who the man of Sin is, what 666 means, and where the 144,000 are living right now.


It's all very interesting. But when the teaching is over the people are as limp as ever.


Somebody else suggests they need more altar calls.


Somebody else comes back from the West Coast with a new book on the gifts.


Somebody else wants to start a seminar on soul winning.


All our man-made solutions only confuse things. The problem is exactly what it was that day in Cana. The bride was there, the groom, all the in-laws and guests. They had a good band, the food was delicious, but the essential thing was missing. So Mary comes up to Jesus and tells him: "They have no wine."


When we know what we should be doing but can't find the power to do it –


Where there is no joy in our hearts after the singing stops, and no boldness in us after we leave the fellowship –


No confidence as we look at those mountains we have to move and those barriers we have to break through

– it's because we have no wine. Saints without wine are like a body without blood.

One time we started a Bible Study on Monday nights at 7.00. For months we kept going with this thing


- praying for it


- dragging people out to it


- trying this and trying that.


We knew that something was missing. It just didn't have that life. What we had on Monday nights at 7.00 was a miniature wedding feast without wine.


Then one day, after months and months of waiting and praying, and almost giving up, the thing caught fire - it came alive. That meeting finally got the wine of God in it.


- No man could do this.


- We were absolutely powerless to bring this about.


- That wine had to come from the same hands that gave it to the wedding feast at Cana.


There are people, and fellowships, and churches, that stumble along for years


- trying to come to life,


- trying to accomplish the work of the Kingdom.


They never make it. They're like a man with water in his veins instead of blood. Then suddenly - life!


The corpse becomes a living man with real blood in his veins and things begin to happen. The wine of God has come into them.


It's not that God is holding out on us; it's not that He's stingy with this wine of Heaven.


There has never been a time since Jesus first turned that water into wine at Cana, when He has done it more abundantly, more generously, then He's doing it now.


The Son of God is standing in the corridors of one hundred thousand faltering wedding feasts across the earth at this moment waiting for someone to come up to Him and say,


"They have no wine".


Whatever your assembly lacks of the life of God - whatever any person lacks of the heavenly wine, can be met with a double portion from on high - this day!


You need courage? You need boldness? You need love in your heart?


You need a spirit of praise to help you worship God? You need authority?


You need power?


You need a mind of patience and forgiveness?


One good drink of the wine of God and you'll have it!


Don't look to some flesh-inspired gimmick. The life that we need has to come from above. Jesus has to give us this wine - which He paid for with His death on the Cross - and He will. New wine - fresh today! If we'll but look to Him and do what He tells us without arguing, or protesting, or doubting.


First of all, to have this wine in our feast someone has to care enough to go to Jesus and ask.


There are lots of people who will complain to every­body and his brother if the wine supply is low. Lots of people who will stomp away in self-righteous dis­gust when things get dry. But what's needed is some­body who cares enough to go to Jesus, as Mary did, and pester Him.


"They have no wine."

"Woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come."


He pushes her away, but Mary holds right on. "Do whatever He tells you", she says to the servants. She knows there's going to be wine at the feast.


Somebody to cry out for the life that only He can give.


Somebody to bang on Heaven's door. Somebody to keep banging until the answer comes.


God give us hearts that care! Not just about our own fellowships, but every assembly of believers we come across or hear about where souls are dying of thirst for the wine of God.


God give us hearts that care when we see some brother or sister yearning for life - to care enough to go to the only one who can satisfy that thirst!


If there is any need in the Body of Christ at this hour it's for women like Mary, for men like the friend at midnight, for people who quit belittling and criticizing and analyzing and diagnosing, and start lifting up those dry churches and dead fellowships and those thirsty souls before the throne and the Lamb - and interceding…. "they have no wine".


If He gave us life, He can give them life.


If He showed us where we were wrong, He can turn the light on for them too.


If He brought us under conviction, He can bring them under conviction.


The only reason the life of the risen Son of God finally penetrated our hearts is because somebody, somewhere, cared enough about our need to lay it before Jesus as Mary laid that dried-up wedding feast before Jesus. You wouldn't be a believer today if somebody hadn't been praying for you.


- criticizing you didn't do it - judging you didn't do it,


- you were too deafened by sin to hear a godly rebuke,


- it was somebody's prayers!


"Well", you say, "I've been praying and praying for so-and-so, and nothing happens."


And, Mary could have said, "I went to my son and told Him they needed wine and do you know what He said to me? 'Woman! what have you to do with me?' So, I figured, if that's the way a son is going to treat his mother, I'm going back to Nazareth!"


No - she insisted - not for something for her own glory but for this wedding feast. You do the same. "Lord, they have no wine." He wants to see you hold firm. He wants to see that you really care enough to keep asking and insisting until it comes.


Next, we notice that in order to give us wine at our feast Jesus makes us do something with what we have.


He didn't pull a wand out of his back pocket and touch the punch bowl.


He commanded an act of obedience with the one drink they did have: water. "Fill the jars with water."


That's always His way. You put that earthly thing you have into His hands and He will make it into something heavenly.


- You give Jesus your five loaves and two fish and He will make it feed a multitude.


- You give him your water and He will make it heavenly wine.


- You give Him your fleshly body and He will make it a temple of His Holy Spirit.


- You give Him your little broken down fishing boat and He will make it catch fish like it never caught fish before.


So when Jesus commands you to do some simple thing don't be insulted - do it!


- it's the doorway to the miracle you need.


You asked Jesus to break the chain that binds you to that detestable habit and He told you to go ask your mother for forgiveness or He told you to go out and get a job or He told you to pay that debt – "What's the connection, Lord?''


Never mind what the connection is - do it!


You asked Jesus to set you free from fear and He told you to go to the Lazarus that sits and begs at your gate and give him $100.00.


"I don't get it, Lord? What's the connection?''


Never mind the connection - do what He says.


And when it's the wine of Heavenly life that we need He says, ''Put your earthly life, just as it is, with all its weaknesses and problems into my hands'', your whole life - not just part of it - all of it!


Fill the jars with water - not a gallon or two - not half full - all the way - up to the brim. Some of us are putting half our lives into the water jars and expecting a miracle.


''Lord, I give you my life - well, most of it - but there are a few things that will have to go my way. I'll never be friends with Aunt Nellie. I hate hard work. My bank account stays the way it is and I want to drive a decent car.''


No wonder nothing happens. Let go, friend. Give Him everything and do it now!


The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.


Life from Heaven in whose light all earth-bound men are but walking dead. That's what the wine is: Life! And it's here now for those who will fill the water jars with water and who will put themselves, as they are, holding back nothing, utterly into the hands of Jesus. You say you did that yesterday - but what about today?


God help us to be in those hands of Jesus today and stay there that the water of our flesh may constantly become the wine of His Spirit. For apart from Him we can do nothing.