Tag: Best

Give the Lord your best!

George Whittenby George Whitten

Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people, A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.” Isaiah 29:13-14

An ancient story is told of a King of Spain who was to visit a poor country village. Upon hearing of his plan to visit them, the people seemed excited to offer a great celebration that would show their adoration and love for their king. But the villagers didn’t have much to offer.

In the midst of their quandary someone proposed that, since so many villagers made their own wines, they might each choose his best wine, and combine them in a barrel to present to the king as a gift from the village. So they did, each wine-maker bringing a flagon with which to fill the barrel. Then, they anxiously awaited the arrival of their sovereign.

When the King arrived, he was ceremoniously presented with a silver cup and invited to draw wine from the barrel. As he filled his silver chalice, he was surprised when he tasted only water. Where was the wine? Each villager had reasoned, “I’ll withhold my best wine and give water. There will be so many cups of excellent wine poured into the barrel that mine will never be missed.

Here was a town full of people whose private greed completely overcame their public enthusiasm. The indictment of Isaiah the prophet suited them perfectly: “these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me..

Yet our God looks at the heart, and He knows well when we are going through the motions of showing love and admiration for him, without any truth or sincerity.

Hypocrisy is a serious offense to our God. He would rather we honestly withhold then pretend to be generous. How often do we act publicly to be seen by men in a certain light, while in fact, our motive is self-seeking? So God will have to do another marvellous work to expose our hypocrisy, because of His love for us, for He knows when our “wine” is really “water“. But wouldn’t we rather offer our very best wine right from the start?

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten

You have saved the best until now!

J.R. Millerby 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