Wednesday, September 21, 2011

God's Cup (Part 1)

As a child, I was always ecstatic when Christmas rolled around and Mom would go to the grocery store and come home with Eggnog! It was probably the one single most indicator that Christmas was coming soon. We would open the carton and pour us a glass and then gobble it down with delight! It was wonderful! My family would all stand around with Eggnog mustaches, grinning ear to ear, because we knew, more was to come over the Christmas Season.
There were other times when I would walk into the kitchen at home where my Dad would be standing holding a plate of food, a bag of chips and the cookie jar in his hands and a large cup of milk filled to the brim would be sitting on the counter top. My Dad,with a puzzled look on his face would ask me to come and take a sip of the milk so that he could pick it up without spilling it. This was often a common occurrence in our house because the Lawson males would often try to carry everything all at once so as not to miss part of the TV show. Not being able to fulfill our obligation, we would often end up spilling our drink on the floor. So I would bend down and take a large sip of Dad's milk, so as to help him out, only to find that the large cup of white liquid was not milk at all but rather butter milk! Once again drink would get spilled on the floor because I cannot stand butter milk!
Two drinks, very similar in makeup and in appearance, yet there is zero similarities in their taste! One is wonderfully delicious and the other is so grotesque that it is only good for being thrown out. But what is the lesson that is to be learned here?
John 18 recounts the story of Jesus going to the Garden with His disciples. Judas, having already been filled with Satan, led the Roman soldiers to the same place in the garden. At this point there is an awkward moment and no one seems to know what to do. Jesus asked them who they were seeking and they said Jesus. Then Jesus told them that He was Jesus. This led to dumbfounded looks and bewildered disciples. Peter is the one who breaks the silence as he pulled his sword and cut the ear off of Malchus, the slave of the high priest. After telling Peter to put away his sword, Jesus makes a huge statement, "The cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?" See Jesus knew that God had sent Him to Earth for a reason. It was as if God handed Jesus a cup and said, "Bottoms up." Jesus was saying, God gave me this cup to drink, by pulling out swords and fighting, I would be evading what God gave Me. It would be like saying, "Father God, thank You for this cup but I really don't want it." "The cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?" For Jesus, drinking the cup that the Father had given Him, had nothing to do with enjoyment, or entertainment or popularity, or self-desire, but it had everything to do with the fact that the Father had given it to Him. Jesus was going to drink this cup rather it had Eggnog or Buttermilk! Why? Because God gave it to Him, and pleasing the Father was first and for most in Jesus' list of priorities.
So what about you? God has extended to us a cup of not just water but 'living water. I'm sure any of us would say I will do anything to get a cup of that living water! Yet when it comes to drinking that cup, often we would rather not. That is because God's desires is not first priority in our life, our desires are first priority in our life. Sure we boast about drinking the cup of living water when it is sweet as Eggnog and everything is going wonderful! But we gag as the thought of drinking the bitterness of the buttermilk, such as when God is calling us to get out of our comfort zone.
Life is full of choices, yet for a Christian and child of the King of Kings, there is no choice, obedience is the only way! So to that I say, bottoms up! Drink deep! and Enjoy Life!

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