27, October 2002
Dakota Community Church
Drinking from the Cups of Christ
Tonight I want to talk about the challenges of following Jesus even to places we may not want to go.
Drinking from Jesus’ cups in our quest to follow Him.
1. Gethsemane’s Cup.
Matthew 26: 36-39
36Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."
39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
- All about submission.
Each of us must settle the issue of “Lordship”.
Notice that no answer came from heaven.
A.W. Tozer says that people who are crucified with Christ have three distinct marks:
1. They are facing only one direction,
2. They can never turn back, and
3. They no longer have plans of their own.
2. Leadership Cup.
20Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
21"What is it you want?" he asked.
She said, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom."
22"You don’t know what you are asking," Jesus said to them. "Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?"
"We can," they answered.
- All about service.
In God’s economy the way up is down.
Special parking spaces, honored titles, expected reverences, these are not the markings of ministry success – service is.
John 13: 3-5
3Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
3. Communion Cup.
20In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
- All about covenant.
Find out the promises and requirements of the new covenant.
If you don’t know something is yours it does not benefit you – even if someone paid a great price to make it yours.
In modern times we define a host of relations by contracts. These are usually for goods or services and for hard cash. The contract, formal or informal, helps to specify failure in these relationships. The Lord did not establish a contract with Israel or with the church. He created a covenant. There is a difference. Contacts are broken when one of the parties fails to keep his promise. If, let us say, a patient fails to keep an appointment with a doctor, the doctor is not obligated to call the house and inquire, "Where were you? Why didn’t you show up for your appointment?" He simply goes on to his next patient and has his appointment secretary take note of the patient who failed to keep the appointment. The patient may find it harder the next time to see the doctor. He broke an informal contract. According to the Bible, however, the Lord asks: "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!" (Isaiah 49:15) The Bible indicates the covenant is more like the ties of a parent to her child than it is a doctor’s appointment. If a child fails to show up for dinner, the parent’s obligation, unlike the doctor’s, isn’t canceled. The parent finds out where the child is and makes sure he’s cared for. One member’s failure does not destroy the relationship. A covenant puts no conditions on faithfulness. It is the unconditional commitment to love and serve. Bruce Shelley