Read John 4:1-30
Naturally, the best way to start such a series on cups is start with the cup that is filled with something spectacular. It’s the cup filled with blessings. It’s the cup leading to eternity. It’s the cup of life.
In the selected passage, the Samaritan woman was imperfect. She had had five husbands and was now with another man. She wanted to understand what it was that Jesus was telling her. Yet, she was confused by the social norms. After all, she says, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”
But Jesus tries to break down those norms and reaches out to her, an imperfect person. He offers her living water. Water that will become a spring of water. Water that wells up to eternal life. It’s not ordinary spring water. It’s moving water. Living water!
This water satisfies. No one will ever thirst again. You won’t need anything else.
But who qualifies for such special water? Who is worthy to drink from this cup of life?
The Samaritan women certainly wasn’t worthy. She had sinned. Yet, Jesus offered her a drink from this cup of life. Just like Jesus had asked her to put aside social norms for a cup of water from Jacob’s well, so Jesus has put aside our transgressions.
We ourselves might not be considered worthy. We have sinned. We have done the unforgivable. But Jesus is still standing there, holding out the cup of life and asking us to come to Him, the source of all life.
The question is: will we take the cup Jesus has offered or will we choose a different cup?
So I have this cup. It’s a coffee mug to be exact. Exciting, right? 😛 This cup is something I want to get rid of really bad but I keep holding on to it. It’s not like it’s going to fix anything or make everything go back to the way things were if I keep it. I don’t even really feel like the cup is mine. It’s just there bringing unwanted memories.
But I’ve had this feeling that in some way I could bless someone by it. I just haven’t quite figured out how yet. Any ideas?
I figured I could use it to start a prayer chain in which the cup is passed around. Tell them to pass the cup on and pray for the person whom they give it to. Or maybe as a way for people to release their burdens. Or maybe simply just make someone’s day and put a smile on their face by giving them an unexpected gift. Handing over the cup along with a simple “God bless.”
Instead, God brought the idea for this series of blog posts:
The Cup of Life
Take This Cup From Me
Cup of Thanksgiving
I hope this series brings you blessings and inspires you.
P.S. Any suggestions on what to do with this cup are welcome! 😉
“Life is not a straight line leading from one blessing to the next and then finally to heaven. Life is a winding and troubled road. Switchback after switchback. And the point of biblical stories like Joseph and Job and Esther and Ruth is to help us feel in our bones (not just know in our heads) that God is for us in all these strange turns. God is not just showing up after the trouble and cleaning it up. He is plotting the course and managing the troubles with far-reaching purposes for our good and for the glory of Jesus Christ.”
~ John Piper
We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest
upon us, O Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
~ Psalm 33:20-22
Recently, I’ve been going through a tough time. I’m finding that it is so much easier to let yourself get depressed, become bitter and to wallow in self pity. Way too easy. But that road doesn’t lead to anywhere good.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that if I didn’t have God in my life, I can’t imagine how I would have handled things although it could very possibly be like the former I described. Nevertheless, God is my strength. He is what gets me through the hardships. He is the one who picks me up when I am down.
So remember that Jesus’ loving arms are wrapped around you always. He never lets go! His love remains strong and true and nothing can change the way He feels about you. People may come and go in your life and it will hurt but God will never do that. He is the true constant in the complicated equation of life.
Further, I also realized that I am extremely blessed. I might not have everything I have ever wanted and life might not always go how I would like, but we serve an amazing God! That fact alone is enough. With that knowledge, we should be blessed for life! But it doesn’t stop there. I realized that I have a supportive family and great friends who truly care. God provides us with everything that we really need. Because of all that He has done for me, I can get through the tough times.
Therefore, when you find yourself in a similar situation, COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS! You will be amazed at how uplifting this can be. It brings a new perspective to life!
Remember that God is YOUR strength, YOUR fortress, YOUR defender, healer, saviour, redeemer and the BESTEST FRIEND YOU WILL EVER HAVE!
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. ~ Psalm 46:1
I think a lot of the time we are worried about appearances. We care too much about what other people think of us. We worry that our peers won’t like the way we dress and we are afraid to embarrass ourselves.
As a result, we don’t do a lot of things that we really want to do. We miss out on great opportunities because we don’t want to go alone or maybe we are trying to keep up a certain reputation.
One of the amazing things that we can miss out on is true worship. Sure, we might go to worship but we might not sing because we don’t like our voice. We might not raise our hands in surrender to God because we don’t want to stand out.
But the truth is God made each of us unique for a reason. The fact that we are different from one another is the beauty of God’s creation. Life would be pretty dull if we all were alike.
So what I’m getting at is that you don’t need to be afraid to be who you are. If people laugh at you or make fun of you for being yourself then they aren’t being very Christian-like. Always know that God loves you for you. He made you the way you are and finds you absolutely beautiful!
So if you want to sing in worship, but know you have a terrible voice, sing anyway! Connect with God on a deeper level that you’ve never experienced before. God isn’t going to say that you have a terrible voice. Rather, he’s going to smile down on you for the praise that you are delivering.
David, a King, rejoiced in the Lord when the ark of the covenant was finally moved to Jerusalem. He danced and sung out even though many thought it was not appropriate for a ruler to do. But David didn’t care! He wasn’t embarrassed. He simply said, “I will become even more undignified than this,” (2 Samuel 6:22). He was praising God and didn’t care how he looked.
So rejoice in the Lord! Lift your hands in praise! Sing as loud as you can! For God’s opinion is the only one that really counts!
Todays post is a devotion written by Claire Cloninger that I found in my Bible and would like to share with you. God lives within us!
Jesus desires to be even closer to us than a brother or a friend. He is not only the God who is above us and the God who has come among us; he is also the God who desires to dwell within us. This is the fact that the apostle Paul described in Colossians 1:17 as “the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” It is the wonder he describes in Galatians 2:20 when he says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
This is the mystery we were made to contain: the very life of Jesus. He means to love out the reality of who he is right here within the reality of who we are. He means to be our lives – the breath in our lungs, the thoughts in our heads, the energy and creativity in our jobs, the love in our hearts. He means to take on the stress and unravel the inner complications so that we can move through our lives just as he did, in gentleness and simplicity and harmony.
We were never intended to be more than containers: temples to contain his glory (1 Corinthians 3:16-17), branches to contain the sap of his life (John 15:1-8), vessels to contain the new wine of his Spirit (Romans 9:20-21). We are the glove; he is the hand. We are the cup; he is the coffee. We are the lamp; he is the light.
This is what we were made for. This is the intended purpose of the human person and personality; not to be gods, but to contain God. This is the kind of unity that was present in the garden but that is sadly missing in this world. It is the sheer simplicity of God’s design that was shattered by humanity’s sin. And it is the reason that Jesus came and cared and was tortured and killed and laid in a tomb and raised to life again… so that he could give us another shot at being what we were intended to be.