by J.R. Miller
“Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ” 1890
“Everyone brings out the choice wine first . . . But you have saved the best until now!” John 2:10
The world gives its best first–and the worst comes afterwards! It is so in all sinful pleasures: first exhilaration–and then bitter remorse. It is so in the chase for wealth, power, and fame: gratification first–and then painful disappointment. At first money brings gladness–a sort of satisfaction. But as time rolls on and wealth increases–cares multiply, anxieties thicken, burdens grow heavier, and at last–the rich man finds that in all his riches, he has less satisfaction than he had in the days when he was just a poor boy!
It is so in all mere worldly ambitions: the first cups of fame are sweet–but soon they pall upon the taste. This truth holds especially in the sinful life: we need not deny that at the beginning, sin is sweet–but bitterness is found at the bottom of the cup!
In grace, however, this is reversed–the good wine is kept to the last! Christ Himself first had humiliation, darkness, and the shame of the cross–and then exaltation, power, glory!
In the Christian life, the same law holds: First there comes bitterness–but out of the bitterness, sweetness flows. There is first the deep sorrow of penitence–but this gives way to the blessed joy of forgiveness. First comes self-denial and cross-bearing–but out of these experiences comes a holy peace which fills all the heart. Sorrows are to be endured–but the good wine of comfort is poured into the emptied cup.
There is also a constant progression in the blessings of the divine life. We never get to the end of them! Indeed, we never get to the best! There is always something better yet to come. Christ keeps the really best wine until the very last–in Heaven! As sweet as Christ’s peace now is to the Christian–he will never know the fullness of the love of God, until he gets home to the Father’s house!
by J.R. Miller