KINGDOM IN OUR HEARTS: This Cup

25 Mar

"Take this Cup" Luke 22 Good Friday Devotional

LUKE 22:17 (MSG) | Taking the cup, [Jesus] blessed it, then said, “Take this”...

MEDITATION

I sat on the edge of my bed, tears streaming down my face as God gently said to me, “Take this cup.”

“Really, God? Is this really the cup you have for me, for my family? No. This can't be the cup. I don't know if I can drink from it, how to drink it!” my heart cried out.

My husband, Julio, and I had been in Caracas, Venezuela for five days.

It was an exploratory trip.

We met many Christians doing great things in this massive, violent, beautiful, unstable city.

The invitation was repeatedly extended to come join them, to work together in the building and repairing of God's people.

Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, “Take this…”

There is so much brokenness here.

We sat and listened to several Venezuelan mothers tell us, “For the good of my children, given the current unrest here (political and economic), we are leaving this country.” Their eyes seemed to question our judgment, our parenting, as we sat and listened to them, and considered moving to this country with our children.

Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, “Take this…”

We began to question our own judgment as we stood in line at the airport watching entire extended families with their belongings leaving this country to relocate and start a new life elsewhere.

Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, “Take this…”

And so here I, the mother of three small daughters, find myself struggling to fully “take this cup,”
to grab it with both hands in full surrender and confidence and joy, to drink deeply and trust that this is God's good and perfect will for me, for my family.

Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, “Take this…”

I cried for days as I repeatedly sensed God's invitation to take this cup—to join in what he is doing in Caracas, Venezuela.

And then my eyes were opened; I began to see the beauty of the cup.

Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, “Take this…”

This cup represents community.

It's an invitation to join what he is doing among a community of believers in Caracas. It's an invitation to step into relationship with people who need a Christ-centered “us” to belong to. “God's Spirit is on me; he's chosen me (us) to preach the message of good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18 MSG).

Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, “Take this and pass it among you.”

This cup represents redemption, freedom and healing.

It's an invitation to share the cup of Christ to those in the midst of pain, poverty, addiction, violence and loss. It's an invitation to drink deep the river of living water that frees and heals and restores. “God's Spirit is on me to see the burdened and battered free” (Luke 4:21 MSG).

This cup represents sacrifice and surrender.

It's an invitation to go enter into what God has for our family. It's an invitation to let go of loved ones here in order to find new loved ones there. It's a surrender that grieves yet rejoices in the uttering of Jesus' prayer in the Mount of Olives, “...If you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” It demands a complete surrender, as we take ahold of “this cup” with both hands and move forward, and as God works to bring his Kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.

This cup represents confidence.

Confidence that God has us in his hands. Confidence in him at work in us, at work in Caracas.
“God's Spirit is on me to announce, 'This is God's year to act!’” (Luke 4:21 MSG).

This cup is beautiful.

The beauty of the cup unfolds when it is shared and together we see God's transformation in our hearts, in our community, and in our world.

QUESTIONS FOR APPLICATION

    1. Have you ever asked God to remove “this cup” from you? What was the situation, and how did he respond?
    2. Are you experiencing any places of tension in your life right now, things you have struggled to accept? Do you sense God inviting you to “take this cup”? What would that look like?
    3. Have you ever waited on God and asked him to transform a place of struggle for you? Try taking your “cup” to him and asking him for eyes to see the beauty within it.

 


This reading is part of our "On Earth as It Is in Heaven" devotional series. You can also sign up to receive these meditations by email.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Melanie Avila, her husband Julio and their three daughters serve with InnerCHANGE in Caracas, Venezuela. The ministry focuses on discipleship, addiction counseling and trauma work with children, families and schools that suffer much violence and loss in the urban slums.