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The Best for Last

Monday, September 25th, 2017

Read John 2:1-11

View the Sept-Oct, 2017 Issue

Paul wrote, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

— Philippians 3:14 (NIV)

One Sunday my pastor preached a sermon entitled “Saving the Best for Last.” His message was based on John’s account of Jesus’ turning water into wine. The master of the banquet tasted the wine that Jesus had converted and declared, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

As I was reflecting on the sermon, it occurred to me that this is also true for those who follow Christ — the best comes at the end. We all encounter difficulties and hardships: illness, broken relationships, loss of loved ones, conflicts, stress, and many other challenges. Sometimes we may feel overwhelmed and discouraged. But as Christians, we can look forward with hope. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we can live with the assurance that the best is yet to come. We can look forward to an eternal life of joy and peace with our Lord and Savior.

The Author

John D. Bown (Minnesota, USA)

Thought for the Day

No matter what I face today, God offers hope for a better tomorrow.


Dear God, help us to trust you to give us strength during the challenges we face. Amen.

Prayer focusSomeone preparing to preach this week


Comment by Joe

John, so very true, God did has not promised us a rose garden on this sin stained earth, but what we are promised is glory ever after with our Lord and Savior in His Heavenly Home. That wordsmith, the Apostle got a glimpse of it and afterwards was not able to describe the glorious sight he saw. Believe the reason was that a earthly body and eyes cannot comprehend the beautiful, glorious heaven Christ has waiting for the ones that call Him Lord and Savior. Anything we think is neat, pretty or a good deal will pale as just earth when we arrive and hear our Lord say - 'Well done '.

Posted September 24, 2017 at 07:55AM CDT
Comment by cherie of Inverness, FL

Good morning UR family! Thank you, John for your devotional on looking forward to seeing heaven at the end of this long hard (at times) life. Oh what a day that will be! Love to you, brother!
Joe, dear brother I love to see you each day showing so much love and light for us! Love to you!
Edd, as you can see I changed my address again! Haha! I pray Ron can find a good surgeon whenever he decides to go in. Kisses to little Zeke and love to you and Patti!
Everyone I love you all so much! You all are helping me and Ron to keep our lights shining bright!

Posted September 24, 2017 at 07:17PM CDT
Comment by JK

Greetings to all!! John thank you for "saving the best for last" and reminding us that we live for that hope of salvation and eternity with our Lord and Savior.
Cherie I am glad you and Ron arrived "back home" safely. I hope you find your area relatively unscathed by Irma.
Joe thank you for your greetings at the "door" each day.
Continue to pray for Teresa for the swelling in her arm and any pain during and between dialysis(M-W-F). She is a light to all and especially our Tuesday bible study.
Sarah praying for you and your physical therapy approval. Thank you so much for your prayers for all of us.

Posted September 24, 2017 at 08:11PM CDT
Comment by beth of saucier, MS

John, thank you for today's message. What a joy to know that God is there with us through each and every day.
Cherie, glad you and Ron made it safely "home." I agree that God wants you in Florida.
Busy weekend, football game and birthday party, church, and finally a quiet afternoon to gear up for the week ahead.
Praying for all of our UR family and their needs.
Wishing all a good week filled with joy.

Posted September 24, 2017 at 08:34PM CDT
Comment by raynard of newark, DE

Good Morning U.R Family. Thank you, John for your devotional.As my heart is moved is how I write my comments these days. Praying for those affected by the tragic church shooting from yesterday. Also asking for prayer for not just a fellow member of my church bu a friend. She had a medical episode during service and had to be transported to a local hospital. I'm waiting for her daughter to contact us to see how her mom is doing. Cherie hope you and Ron can stop and" enjoy the sights" and you're not telling him" Let's put on our Blues Brother's dark shades and" We're on a mission from God" I digress. My wife for the next four weeks took on a part-time overnight caregiver job. It's until her regular job can" put her back on a full-time schedule. Also prayer for all at my job and not just my fellow co-workers. Sidenote. I was looking at a menu from a restaurant. It said" mush on it. My wife then said" don't you remember on The Little Rascals where they were eating mush/ It was really " Grits". I don't know about you but" Cream Chip Beef on toast is good next to some corn beef hash and " a real egg omelet not powered". You think when Jesus feed all those people fish, he asked where you nets " accidentally catching dolphins as Charlie the Tuna said" Why is that Indian crying over a little bit of trash? I digress ..Prayers going out to each and every spoken and unspoken prayer request.Be blessed and encouraged everyone and have a great day...

Posted September 24, 2017 at 08:44PM CDT
Comment by Sarah of Berwyn, IL

Good morning, everyone! Thank you, John, for your devotional this morning. I have thought a lot about what you are saying, that God has saved the best for last with me and other believers. When I get discouraged with the situation that my children and I have been having to live in, I find hope in knowing that the Lord is saving the best for last with us. Our life here on earth may not have much or any of the worldly goods that so many people are running after, but we don’t need them. God has so much better laid up for us in heaven.
EDD of Ocala, FL - I pray that everything went well yesterday with the service at your church honoring the retiring pastor. I pray that the Lord will send you another very godly pastor to replace this departing one, and that He will bless and direct the retiring pastor’s future path. * SUSAN of Plymouth, MN - I am praying for you as your back was giving you some extra twinges of pain or discomfort yesterday. I pray that you are feeling much better today. Good for you that you are still able to do handstands and cartwheels!!
CARMEN of Longwood, FL - I am praying for Awilda, and other friends and family of yours who live in Puerto Rico, as they recover from two major hurricanes in as many weeks. I pray that the Lord will provide for all of their needs as they endeavor to rebuild their homes and lives. * JOANMARIE of Jamison, PA - I am praying for the family you are meeting with today regarding their loved one. I pray that all goes well with the meeting, and that the Lord will use you in a special way, to bring them comfort and be an advocate for them. I am also praying for the 20 year old young man who recently had corrective back surgery, whose father you met at the Dollar Store. I pray that he is recovering well, and that the surgery was successful. I pray that the Lord brings him healing and relief from all pain. I pray, too, that He will uphold his father, who is taking this hard.
JUDY of Yalaha, FL - I am praying for you and the computer problems you are having. I pray that they can be easily dealt with, or if need be, that the Lord will provide you with the funds for another computer. I pray that you will be able to stay connected with all you want/need to. * RONNIE of Virgil, NY - I am continuing to keep you in my prayers regarding your children. I pray that the Lord will be working in their hearts, and that they will contact you. I pray that He will bring about a reconciliation between you all, and His Spirit will restore love, with forgiveness and understanding.
JULIE of Delray Beach, FL - I am keeping you in prayer, that you will hear back soon about the PH study that was done for your heartburn. I pray that you will get good results, and that surgery will not be needed. I pray that if surgery is required, that it will be successful, and effective in relieving this heartburn, along with the pain and discomfort. I am continuing to keep your son in prayer, that the Lord will lead him to find a very good job that he will enjoy. * MARYBLANCHE of Hutchinson, KS - I am praying for you as you recover from your recent knee surgery. I pray that this surgery was successful, that He brings you healing and relief from any pain. I pray that you will soon be walking fine.
RENE of Moreno Valley, CA - I am praying that today you were able to remember to call your doctor to make a follow-up appointment. I pray that all will go well with this appointment, and that you receive good news. I am joining you in prayer for the victims of another church shooting in Tennessee. I pray that all of these senseless acts of violence will stop. * LINDA of Madison, AL - I am praying for your husband as he continues to recover from his surgery, and now has a cold. I pray that the Lord brings him healing from the cold, and that He will continue to bring full recovery from your husband’s surgery, and that he is feeling better in every way real soon.
CHERIE of Inverness, FL - I am praising the Lord that He brought you safely back to your home in Florida, and also that your car held up for the trip! I pray that the Lord will continue to bring healing to Ron from his specific health issues, particularly with his kidneys, and that he will be able to find doctors and hospitals that will be able to provide him with the specific medical care he needs. I pray that the Lord will fill you both with His peace and joy. * RAYNARD of Newark, DE. - I am praying for your friend and fellow church member who got sick in church yesterday, and was taken to the hospital. I pray that her condition is not serious, and that the Lord brings her healing from whatever is wrong with her. I pray that she will be well enough to return home soon. I am also praying for everyone at your workplace. I pray that things will improve there, and that the Lord will work out everything there for your good, and that your job will remain secure.
Here is the link to my blog site for any who are interested. It is at
Have a blessed day, everyone!

Posted September 24, 2017 at 09:57PM CDT
Comment by Georgine

Good morning everyone, today is the beginning of a beautiful day.
Thank you John for today's devotional, it is true that we have heaven to look forward to. I was so happy when my Aunt Beth died. I miss her and still do but after the trials latterly she had here on Earth I was and am happy she is with the Lord and my mother and grandmother.
However I try not too think too far ahead and live each day trusting the Lord for the strength to do so.
This morning the results of the elections in Germany were final and although Angela Merkel is still the Chancellor from the results the media are emphasising the rise of the xenophobic (having or showing a dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries) right wing party, the AFD, Alternative for Germany. The general consensus is that this is the result of the policy of accepting immigrants of Chancellor Merkel. In fact the Brexit situation in Britain was partially based on the erroneous premise, come out of Europe and we can stop having to take our quota of immigrants. Please pray for the situation in Europe and the plight of the never ending stream of immigrants, some it is true from the wars in the middle East but a large percentage of sub-Saharan Africans and others driven by drought in their countries due to climatic change.
Thank you to the conributors this morning for their comments and prayers.
Georgine, Arqua Petrarca, Italy

Posted September 25, 2017 at 01:10AM CDT
Comment by monte of laughlintown, PA

If it comes from the hands of Jesus, it is the best—whatever time it comes!! Do we appreciate that God was with us, and that the Holy Spirit is still with us?
There were many great comments yesterday, but one of the best came last—Thelma, ‘It is an honor ( although it may not seem so at times) to work along beside God , aiding your folks.’
John, we need to remind ourselves day after day of the Easter message. The best is surely yet to come!
Praying for all preparing to preach this week—even those who will be offering sermons without a pulpit and without words! Praying for Ron and Cherie as they complete their journey to Florida—and for resources for Ron’s health care.
Praying for those who are in the transition from the better times to the struggles with aging—health, economic security, changing relationships—may they be blessed with joy and hope in the comfort of God’s love.
Thank you, Georgine, for speaking to the challenging issues that Europe is facing and some of the forces of prejudice that are swelling up. May we in the USA pray, talk and act seriously about the future—one that reflects our love of God and God’s Creation.
Praise God for the new day and a new week!

Posted September 25, 2017 at 02:52AM CDT