It’s that time of day – time for your favorite cup of coffee from your favorite coffee shop. You love their coffee, but you hate their prices. Now imagine there’s a new invention in coffee mugs and the first ever “smart” mug comes into existence (it’s just a matter of time before everything is smart and human beings remain as the only dumb thing left on the planet).
A “smart” mug is a coffee mug that turns any regular coffee into your favorite store-bought, brand name coffee. All you have to do is program the mug by pouring your favorite blend in there once and then after that, the mug will automatically turn any coffee into a virtual replica of your favorite brand.
How great would that be? How much money would you save by just making regular coffee and pouring it into this fancy new mug? This would be the coolest mug in the universe and everyone would want to drink coffee out of this mug, right?
But imagine the mug has a problem – not a big problem, just a little one. The mug has a small hole in the bottom of it. It works great and performs all that it promises to perform; the only problem is that it drips scalding hot coffee from the bottom of the cup onto the person who is drinking from it.
Not a big deal, right? Just a small problem, right? Would you use that cup?
No matter how fancy the cup may be, if it has a leak in it, you wouldn’t use it. You’d much rather have a cheap styrofoam cup with no hole in it vs a fancy schmancy cup with a hole in it. The smallest hole can make the biggest difference!
God is no different. God thinks the same way. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the thought of how great God’s dreams are for my life…and for my family…and for my church. God doesn’t have “plans” for my life…HE HAS DREAMS! As a father, I don’t have plans for my kids and their future; I have dreams. BIG DREAMS!
(dream for my son Michael = future shortstop for the Washington Nationals and future point guard for any team in the NBA; I decided to leave professional football out because I don’t want to put too much pressure on him at a young age)
God has even bigger dreams for His children!
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” (John 14:12)
Did you hear that? God wants to do great things through us. Actually He wants to do GREATER things through us. We are His fellow workers. We are the vessels He has chosen to bear His name before kings and rulers and all His children on the earth. God is ready to turn this world upside down and we are the means by which He wants to do that.
Truly amazing isn't it? BUT....
(there’s always a BUT isn’t there?)
…are you ready to be used by God? Are you ready for Him to pour out His blessing into your life and use you mightily?
You are the cup. God wants to pour blessing into your life. Don’t tell me how smart you are or how talented you are or how many verses you have memorized. That’s great, but that’s not the primary determinant of God’s ability to use you.
What is then? WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE ANY HOLES IN YOUR CUP.
Just as no coffee drinker would pour great coffee into a cup with holes, so too God will not pour His tremendous blessing into a life that has holes in it. He’d rather a simple cup with no holes vs a fancy cup with holes.
What does that mean? What are the holes in our life? Here are three that I see:
1. LACK OF INTEGRITY
This is the biggest one today. Nothing will cause you to lose God’s blessing faster than talking the talk without walking the walk. It’s easy to talk about being Orthodox and being Christian, but the truth is that Orthodox Christianity is not a belief; it is a life. It is a life of purity, a life of integrity, a life lived in accordance with God’s commandments and teachings. Don’t tell me who you are; show me who you are!
“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.” James 1:26
2. LACK OF LOVE/ACCEPTANCE
Love is the easiest subject to preach about and tell others about. But push comes to shove, am I really loving others? Do I accept others as they are and extend the love of Christ to them without judgment or condition?
“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18
3. LACK OF DISCIPLINE
“But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:27.
St. Paul understood that this race isn’t over till the fat lady has sung. As long as we are breathing, we have an enemy who hates us and hates when God pours His blessing into our cup. That enemy will do whatever he can to destroy our witness and our message. We must keep our guards up – through personal accountability and a life of self-discipline in order to keep what God has bestowed upon us.
A wise person once told me “we don’t have to fight to gain spiritual treasures; we have to fight to keep it.” Very true. God wants to bless your life and pour His blessing into it mightily – but are you ready to hold on to it?
Discussion: What other holes could be sources of leak in our lives and how do we combat them?