Summary: Let us think of some cups which never run over. If ours runs over, why it does so? And then, thirdly, what then if our cup runs over? (Outline and material adapted from Charles Spurgeon at: http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols19-21/chs1222.pdf)
Charles Dickens book, Oliver Twist, is about an orphan who at the age of 9 goes to a workhouse. Oliver, who toils with very little food, remains in the workhouse for six months. One day, the desperately hungry boys decide to draw lots; the loser must ask for another portion of gruel. The task falls to Oliver, who at the next meal tremblingly comes up forward, bowl in hand, and begs Mr. Bumble, the head official, for gruel with his famous request: "Please, sir, I want some more." From this a great uproar ensues. This is the opposite of the picture we have in Psalm 23 of our cup overflows.
The cup that is talked about here is not a physical cup but our lives that are filled to overflowing
Beautiful, descriptive verse of the Christian life.
a. “you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,” 1 Peter 1:8, NIV.
b. “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding” Philippians 4:7, NIV.
c. “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10, NIV.
Thesis: Let us think of some cups which never run over. And then consider, if ours runs over, why it does so? And then, thirdly, what then if our cup runs over?
Some cups that never run over.
A. Fill their cup with the world. We live in a society today that says the following: “If it feels good do it – then do more of it and more of it and you will then find true meaning in life!” But this is a lie and many have testified to that fact. We find this message being flashed on the TV, Movie screens. It comes across in advertisements in papers, magazines and even from the radio and the internet. You see it on T-shirts, bumper stickers, bill boards. It is blatant and even subtle but you hear it promoted even in musical songs. This world says “We might as well live to party because that’s all we get out of life!” “I thought in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. “Laughter,” I said, “is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?”” “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure...everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind” Ecclesiastes 2:1, 2, 10, 11, NIV.
B. Fill their cup with material things. When is enough ever enough? Billionaire John D. Rockefeller was asked that question, and his response is the famous line we've heard before: "Just one more dollar." “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 5:10, NIV.
C. Fill their cup with envy. Take an envy self-examination. Do we compare our life, our home, our spouse, our kids — even our lawn — to other people’s? This exam may reveal some surprises and show us that there are more important things to do than compare ourselves or what we have to others. “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30, NIV. “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” Psalms 23:1, NIV. God provides what we need and because of this our cup can overflow. There will always be someone with more this or that, be content with what the Lord gives to us.
But now, secondly, WHY DOES OUR CUP RUN OVER?
Our cup runs over, first, because, having Christ, we have in Him all things. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32, NIV. The argument of this verse is from the greatest to the least. The greatest act of God’s love was to let His Son die on the cross for us. There is no other act of love that is greater. I mean, can we imagine a father letting His son die for other people? Yet, God let His Son die for me and you. Why? So that God could spend His love on us. If letting His Son die was the hardest thing for God to do, then anything by comparison is simple. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” Because of this our cup can overflow.
Our cup runs over when we give to the Lord. “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Malachi 3:10, NIV. Also in the NT: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”” Luke 6:38, NIV.