As overflowing cups

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I was walking towards my house with hands full of books, groceries and a coffee cup that was full to the brim. As I tried to open the latch to the gate, my coffee cup spilled out, dousing all my Bible study material.

Life is so busy and our hands so full of things that at times it can be overwhelming. But even though life’s pressures were pushing down on me, I was determined to see all the blessings in my life.

I was walking towards my house with hands full of books, groceries and a coffee cup that was full to the brim. As I tried to open the latch to the gate, my coffee cup spilled out, dousing all my Bible study material.

Life is so busy and our hands so full of things that at times it can be overwhelming. But even though life’s pressures were pushing down on me, I was determined to see all the blessings in my life.

God’s blessings were all around me as I walked past the wooden gate that leads into the courtyard where a bubbling fountain and a plethora of colorful flowers were in bloom. Even before taking a step past the front gate, a chest-high rose bush filled with coral colored flowers exploded in front of my eyes. The colorful roses beckoned me to come in for a closer look and fully sample their heavenly aroma. A few feet in front of me, purple iris reached up from their dark green foliage seemly to smile at me with pursed lips.

All this beauty, all these fragrances, it was all so wonderful being surrounded by so many splendors that I had to vocally reach out with praises to our Great God!

We all have so much to be thankful for and so often do not take the time to not only smell the roses but thank the one who made them. There are so many things, so many blessing to be thankful to God for that we should take more time to praise Him and thank Him. Too often we offer up our prayers, our “want lists” before giving our Lord the thanksgiving he deserves for all the things in life we take for granted: life, air to breathe, water to drink.

As members of Christ’s church, we are told to have a wonderful aroma and beautiful fragrance that overflows out of our lives wherever we go. In fact, our fragrance should draw others to God through our example, the way in which we live and treat others. The fragrances we should be diffusing at all times are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

Unfortunately, many of us have one foot in the world and one foot climbing a heavenly ladder. Instead of edifying one another, our actions end up causing us to sow seeds of strife and disunity in the body of Christ. The list that follows contains things we need to avoid at all costs:  adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, drunkenness and revelries.

If we look at our lives as vessels or cups, it is easy to evaluate the things that we fill them with. What are we filling our cups with? Are we characterized by being drunk with wine, having outbursts of wrath; are we full of hatred, envy or jealousy? It is of the utmost importance that we do not stir up contentions or cause dissensions among the brethren.

Instead we must make a conscious choice to continually ask God to refill our cups. We need Him to fill us with God’s Holy Spirit, which is the only way to produce those Spirit-grown fruits.

As we empty ourselves of our own selfish ambition, God is then able to set us apart as vessels of honor. Now we are ready to be filled to overflowing with His love to the point where we are spilling out onto others around us.

It is only as we set our lives apart for God’s use that He can work through us to accomplish His will. For we are His workmanship, created for good works that He prepared ahead of time that we should walk in them. We are saved by His grace through faith and not of ourselves; salvation is a gift from God and not of works lest any of us should boast.

We are clothed in Christ’s righteousness and not by our own works. It is Jesus’ white robe that removes our nakedness, our sin from the eyes of a holy and righteous God. We are then able to come into His presence because of the work that Jesus accomplished by giving His life for us as He was nailed to a Roman cross.

So, as I walked through my beautiful garden with a full cup of coffee, I was reminded that I, too, need to be filled to the brim with all of God’s goodness, grace and mercy. I need to stop and meditate, giving thanks to God for all the fragrances that He diffuses through my life and for all my beautiful roses!

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