Monday, November 2, 2009

What is in Your Cup?

Last week, I asked my Mom, who is a precious godly woman, to write a guest post for my blog. I can't wait to share this special post with you, as I know you will be blessed!!!


Reference: Hebrews 12:1-13, Matthew 26:39

A few weeks ago, I gave the ladies of my Bible study class an assignment to do prior to the next Tuesday morning when we would meet again.

1) They were to read the Gospel accounts dealing with Jesus' suffering, beginning with the agony before the Father in the Garden, taking note of how each Gospel added something to the account. Also they were to read Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 dealing with the same thing, while remembering what we had read in Hebrews 5:7-9 and 12:2-3.

2) They were to bring a teacup to class the next week.

I began class by passing a sheet of paper around to each one, asking them to write down any trials, difficulties, etc. with which they were currently dealing. It was for their eyes alone. Then they were to place their folded paper into their teacups. Through out the coming days they were to refer to their teacup.

I then began to share about Christ's suffering, the holy God wrapped in human flesh, Who, just like us, felt the pain of rejection, verbal abuse, trials of weariness, the demands of crowds that forever wanted Him to meet their needs, often not even giving time for Him to eat, sleepless nights spent in prayer to the Father, betrayal by one of his disciples, plus physical torture !!

Even though our Lord cried out for the Father to remove "this cup from ME", He submitted to the will of the Father--'nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt'. He was faithful to "drink the cup" to the full. And by it, He provided the ONLY way for the incredulous gift of grace---eternal life--to be given to such unworthy sinners as we. Jesus' suffering was for our benefit! He not only paid our sin debt in full, but by so doing, He purchased our salvation.

But by 'experiencing' suffering in a human body, He, as our merciful and faithful High Priest, is able to feel our pain and be our comfort in every trial. Also Jesus was 'made perfect' (to reach the goal/completed) by what He suffered. He also learned obedience. Now we all know from the Scriptures that Jesus was/is perfect holiness. He was/is God! It is one thing to be perfect and to have perfect knowledge. It is another thing to 'experience' suffering and submission/obedience to the Father in human flesh!! Jesus knows!!

Just as Jesus' suffering had a purpose, so does every trial that we encounter in our lives. That includes those little daily annoyances and frustrations, "those little foxes that destroy the vines", that seek to rob us of our joy! Our suffering is for our own spiritual benefit. Plus when we endure it in a way that pleases the Lord, His Name is glorified and our trials benefit others. This is only true, however, if we follow our Master's example and submit to the Father's will as Jesus did. All trials are from the Father's hand! They are His child training (that is what the word chastening in Heb 12 means). They come from His heart of love directly to those who are His true children. He intends them for our profit and holiness (sanctification).

So, lift up the hands that are hanging down in defeat! Strengthen the paralized, weak and wobbly knees, and run the race before you with endurance. (Endurance comes from the Greek word hupomeno that means to abide under in the trial, trusting that God's grace is sufficient). Running requires healed knees, and fighting the spiritual battles of life requires hands that are lifted up where they belong. All you are enduring is for your training that you might share God's holiness.

Make straight paths (leaving wagon wheel marks) for others who are coming behind you to be able to see and follow your clear tracks of endurance and steadfastness of faith in the trials of life! (Hebrews 12:13)

What is in your cup? How will you respond to it? Overwhelmed? Defeated, with your arms fallen down? Feeble-kneed? Grumbling, complaining? Or with confidence in your Lord who has perfect wisdom and knowledge, Who makes no mistakes in His child training? Who loves you with an everlasting love and seeks your highest good---even though the path is often strewn with pain that we shrink to have to endure.

Challenge: Get your own teacup, a piece of paper and write down what you are struggling with. Place it in your teacup and determine to deal with it in a way that pleases the Lord and results in your further practical sanctification. Then RUN with the GOAL ever before your eyes. Others are following in your tracks.

May God bless you!

My mom and me ~~ May 2009

I hope you were blessed and strengthened, as I was, by her words of wisdom! My dear Mom has suffered MUCH in this life, so she speaks from the heart, not just the head!

If you were encouraged by this devotional and would like to really receive a blessing, leave a comment on this post, and I will enter you in a drawing for a special Giveaway! I am going to give away a CD of my Mom's testimony, where she shares about some of the things she has suffered in this life, and how she has learned to trust God whatever befall. Deadline to enter the giveaway is next Sunday, November 8th at midnight EST.


Noel said...

You're mom is a beautiful lady! She certainly doesn't look like a lady whose has had to suffer. You can see God's grace on her face :)

Donna G. said...

What a powerful post! Your mom is so creative in making the teaching of the Scriptures apply to our lives. She's very pretty, too. =)

Michelle (She Looketh Well) said...

Elizabeth, you know I love this, especially where I am right now. This has been the encouragement from the Lord for me! To accept this 'cup' He has given me!

What a wonderfully worded post! Spot on in Truth, not always a message that a 'feel good' church wants to hear, but sooooo true!

Tell your mom thank you for this, it ministered life to this weary mama in the midst of one of the largest struggles of her life!


Neide Colson said...

Are you "proud" of your Mom? Well, I am very "proud" of my American Mom, as well as my Brazilian Mom. I feel very, very blessed because God chose such wonderful American family for this teenager, back in the 80's. It wasn't hard to learn to love all of you at that time, and it has been a joy to continue to love you through the years (even if we are thousands of miles away). Praise the Lord again for the "internet" that makes us feel close. THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting her words. She is a lovelyl godlly woman who I look up to and hope to be like her "when I grow up".

Michelle (She Looketh Well) said...

Yes, Elizabeth, I am doing tappy holidays! I don't know if it will be too much for my body, but I am trying. I don't know if I have what it takes to rebuild after workouts, I am taking it slowly, though probably not slow enough!

Rebecca's Refining said...

Thanks mom! I loved your "devotional"! Thanks Elizabeth for asking her to do this...and sharing this challenge and blessing! Do you think she would be willing to share more? We could put a devotional book together!! :)I know it would be a blessing/encouragement to me...and probably many others!!

6blessings said...

Thanks for sharing this. There is so much wisdom in this message. I was especially convicted to watch my attitude on the little anoyances that confront me daily. What a blessing your mother is!

Trisch said...

Elizabeth, you have no idea how timely this is to me!

I hadn't gotten to this post earlier, and to be honest, I'm glad now!

Because God had me come here at precisely the right moment to receive what your mom has shared.

You look a lot like your mom! And her love for the Lord just shines through! You are most blessed!

Thank you for sharing and thank your mom as well!

Off to get a teacup......



Kathy - mom of many said...

Oh, boy, this spoke to me. I have felt weary lately and felt very much like putting up my hands and saying, "I give up." Thank you.

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