Summary: A Sermon which spurs us to consider the condition of our hearts each time we approach God in prayer and devotion. It causes us to examine the state of our heart.
How Empty? How Full? How Much?
When ordering a drink at a restaurant – would you really care how clean the glass was once it was offered to you? (Have two clear glasses, one with remanents of “crud” and one that is clean. Get a picture of water. Fill both glasses and offer one at a time to a congregation member…what is their response?) Which would you prefer?
[Reveal the Need]
Often we want a life “full of God” or a life marked by “joy, peace, fulfillment, and abundance”. We desire God’s blessing in what we do – but have we ever stopped to consider what we are offering Him each day?
[Orientation to the Subject]
Jesus spoke of a glass – or cup, being representative of the condition of our hearts. He spoke very boldly regarding what we offer to God on a daily basis, or how empty our hearts can be, or how full they can be?
This morning I want to take a moment and ask you a question, since we are re-visiting the cross. How empty? Or How Full? Or How Much? Does God have control of your Heart? What are you offering Him each day - a cup that is dirty or a cup that is clean?
[Orientation to the Biblical Text]
In the moments before Christ went to the cross – He was offered a cup to drink from, which the Lord Jesus shrank from momentarily in Gethsemene – but he drank to the dregs at Calvary – that cup was the cup of our sin. Our sin was paid for once and for all…this is why we can ask Him for forgiveness when we need it.
But living in this world day to day we are susceptible to sin; however, if we will allow Him to show us what is in our cup and then give it to Him. He will cleanse us in His precious blood that still flows for that sin. Christ’s cross always cleanses from sin.
Read Text: MT 26:39 Going 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."
This morning, as we revisit the Calvary Road, I want you to reflect on the condition of your heart. How Empty is it? How Full? How much of it have you offered Jesus of yourself?
I. I First We Must Empty our Hearts of Sin?”
A. Notice Jesus in Gethsemene! “Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me!” He who knew no sin would be forced to drink to the dregs- your sin! Oh how he desired not to taste of such sin…yet He was obedient to drink from that dreaded cup because He loved us.
B. How we pray so often “Bless Me Lord!” “Answer my prayers!” Yet we do not look closely at the condition of our hearts when we lift our voices in prayer. We do not consider enough our hearts condition.
1. “Fill my cup Lord! I lift it up Lord, Come and quench the thristing of my soul!” Yet one thing that prevents Jesus filling our cups as He passes by is sin – in all its forms. The Lord Jesus does not fill dirty cups.
2. Anything that springs from self, however small it may be, is sin. Self-Engery or Self-Complacency in Service…is sin. Self Pity in trials and Self Seeking in business or Christian work – all of these were poured into the cup that Jesus had to drink from. Why would he fill hearts that have the residue of dregs that He was forced to drink?
3. Jesus’ strongest rebukes were to those who failed to acknowledge that their cups were dirty – that their hearts needed to be cleansed from sin..
a) In talking to religious people…Pharisee’s to be exact, were some of Jesus’ harshest words, MT 23:25 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”
C. If we are daily going to walk with Jesus we must daily confess our sin to him. We must daily search our hearts to make sure they are empty of deliberate sin.
1. But suppose you have let the Lord Jesus cleanse your cup and have trusted Him to fill it to overflowing…then something comes along (a touch of anger, a smudge of envy, the residue of resentment). What happens? Your cup becomes dirty and it ceases to overflow.