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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cup - 10-25-12 Deadline (10/18/12)

TITLE: The Cup of Death
By Kimberly Miller


I think that many people come to Jesus for selfish means. This could be my deduced reasoning due to a few verifiable observations. The fact that many respond in stark anger at Jesus if He happens to not meet the requirements of their 'to do' lists (also known as prayers) , shows a less becoming intent of the heart that has unwelcomingly been exposed. Such an intent is hardly noticed by one's own conscious, and rather remains buried as the root of all actions deep within the belly of the insatiable flesh. If one were to be aware of their true intent in following Jesus, perhaps they wouldn't have begun to do so in the first place. There would certainly be less named as 'fallen away' these days.

But it seems that we are unaware of the true nature of our creature-like state, for although we are created in the image of God, we happen to identify more with the beasts of the field in their simplistic existence. We have become the predators in our measly food chain, seeking our desires and requests to be fulfilled in the minute and hour that we've determined them to be. Sad thing is, however, that we have made God the supplier of these demands. Our eyes remain glued upon the cup in His hand, spoken of as the cup of blessing . Psalm 16 is clear that this cup contains pleasure and life forevermore ; all who desire a drink may drink of it for free.

Although Jesus yearns to fascinate His children with the delight of small spontaneous tokens or stupendous longed- for presents, this does not mean that He is necessitated to do so. Expectancy is not faith when like stubborn children we expect our Father to give us the 100 unnecessary requests on our gift list. Yet this is how we come to Him, as though He is a supernatural clerk at a toy store and we but the elected customers deemed worthy to receive anything we please. God has become nothing more than a convenient Santa Clause who we present our endless petitions to everyday.

Is this who He is supposed to be? And is this the sole purpose of Christianity? If Jesus only offered pleasure, the essence of all things that man seeks, then wouldn't the whole world be hounding to His feet to receive of these treats? Yet on the contrary, the whole world despises His name, many more have left the faith due to offense, and those currently His own often only turn His way when offering up a need or want . It seems to be then, that Jesus as the supreme of all delights, offers a far different cup then the one we've believed Him to possess.

He offers the cup that He Himself drank. Fullness of life and joy are indeed found in the breadth of its content, but the liquid inside is a flavor many of us don't desire. It's the cup of death; the cup of sacrifice; the cup of suffering to fulfill His Father's will. Only through death does one find the fullness of life, for the fullness of life is found when all of 'ourselves' has died and only His life is manifest inside our lives. Thus this is the fullness of joy-to be found submitting to His will alone. This is the greatest of pleasures- to be walking hand in hand in complete communion with the Man. This is the greatest delight-to be feasting on His love as He shares the depths of His heart through communion. The cup of suffering is the cup from which Jesus drinks. Daily He offers it to His bride as the means to experience the fullness of life that is only found by walking in Christ. And yes, it takes death. A death that few of us willingly want to make for the sake of other human beings, or even further intimacy with the Man named Jesus. Selfishness cripples our frames from walking in the purpose of our existence . We follow Jesus not to share in His death, nor to offer ourselves daily as bodies broken for humanity or lives poured out as an ointment of worship. We follow Jesus for what we can get, not for what we can give Him. He already gave us everything when He chose to drink from the cup of death; He offers us to do the same. How many will remain in the faith?

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Member Comments
Member Date
Marie Hearty 10/25/12
Jesus died for everybody; even those who came to him and then left, or only wanted 'things' from him. Try not to focus on the negative so much, but instead give some advice on how one can strengthen their relationship with Jesus, and get to actually know him by reading the bible and spending time in prayer. One of the best ways to know Jesus is to do as he did, and although many will neglect to do this, you might want to focus on the people who truly love him and sacrifice their life for him. Thanks for sharing.

God bless!
C D Swanson 10/25/12
An altogether deeply powerful entry. There are many layers to humans, and the depths are sometimes jarring in terms of actions. But, Jesus loves them all, despite their actions.

A disproportionate amount of individuals "choose the world" over Jesus, opting not to seek His kingdom, or His face. But, there is always hope, and prayer that these things might change.

Your entry sounds likes "righteous anger" at the individuals who walk on the other path. Pray for these individuals...God will do the rest.

Thanks for the story and message.

God bless you~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/01/12
This is an interesting sermon. I'm not sure everyone will agree with all of your points but you definitely give some things for one to ponder. It is true we are living in an age of instant gratification. I'm blessed to feel like my relationship with Jesus is that of a best friend. Sure I tell him my wants and needs and I know no matter how trivial they may seem to others, if it is important to me then it's important to him. I also share my joys and thoughts with him. How cool is that relationship? Nice job.