Saturday, 16 June 2018

"Jesus Asks Us: 'Can You Drink of this Cup?'" June 16

"Jesus Asks Us: 'Can You Drink of this Cup?'"
Marc Brisebois
Those Who Drink of Christ's Cup
God is raising up a generation of overcomers. These "mighty warriors" will be distinguished by immunity to the works of darkness. Like any elite warrior, they are qualified by training of a most extreme sort. As such, they will require an uncommon endurance and passion. Like the first apostles, this generation of Believers may not initially know what it is they seek. Still, their uncompromising devotion to God will fuel their desire to persevere and finish the race. They will drink of the same cup as Christ and be great in God's Kingdom!
What Is This Cup?
In Mathew 20:22, when the disciples asked Jesus for prominent positions, He asked them this question: "Can you drink of My cup?" This same question is being asked of us today. Anyone wishing to participate in the Kingdom of God in a more significant way must first answer the question, "Can you drink of this cup?" Perhaps a more fundamental question is, "Do we even know what this cup is?"
The Cup is a Symbol of the Cost of Influence in God's Kingdom
Jesus asked the disciple the question as He asks each of us. When He asked me, I responded eagerly, but was unprepared for the journey. I simply knew the Kingdom of God was central and I wanted to be a significant part of it. My ignorance was neither surprising or unprecedented, in fact, it was typical! When the disciples asked for prominence (through their mother) the answer given them would have fit me perfectly.

"But Jesus answered and said, 'You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?'" (Matthew 20:22)
Notice the first part of this response from Jesus: "You do not know what you ask." He is essentially saying, "You are clueless!" They, like us today, were relatively unaware of the price they would be required to pay. Even so, this does not mean we are not able to pay it.
Though we want promotion, the cost of this journey is beyond our comprehension. It is far easier to say, "I can drink the cup" than it is to actually drink it. Among narrow roads this is an even narrower one, and fewer still that find it (Matthew 7:14). As the saying goes, "Many are called but few are chosen." But now the issue becomes, "What must I do to enter God's process? What choice can I make to ensure I stay on this path I know I am called to?"
An Honest Evaluation
The process requires an honest evaluation. Let's face it, we want to matter; we want to be important to what is by far the most valuable thing to which we could ever contribute. In fact, we were made to be important and to belong. So let's embrace this reality. While we might want to clothe our motive in spiritual language, at the core of our being we desire to be significant. This is not, by itself, wrong.
Jesus' Roadmap
The disciples were less covert in their ambitions (Mark 9:34). They spoke openly of their respective greatness and did not seem to mind presenting themselves for advancement. Neither did Jesus condemn their ambition. While the religious would say, "How dare you presume to be great?" Jesus simply presented a roadmap.
"But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant." (see Matthew 23:11 and Luke 22:26)
Our fruitless attempts to be selfless only add another layer to what God must do. That is, He must show us our ambition before He can purify it. If you want to be great, do not pretend otherwise!
Jesus was neither unaware or disillusioned by selfish ambition. In addition, they were not disqualified by their desire to be great—remember, God knows what is in man. The only question is, "Can you drink of the cup?" There is a journey which will transform our selfish ambition into selfless passion. Rather than condemn or shame His disciples, He gave them a roadmap.
God's Training is His Cup
Think of it as training. When recruits show up to the military, they do not need to be athletic or skilled. They do not even need to be in the best physical condition. Why? The military has a program for that. Whatever is lacking can be overcome, so long as you have the desire to press forward. Desire is critical! Essentially it asks a simple question, "Can you drink of this cup? Can you stick with the program?" God is looking for a few good men and women to drink His cup!

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