Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Washing the Inside of the Cup - part deux.

This post will make more sense if you read Part Un first.

I was so tired last week that I couldn't finish the post I started. After all, it was 3 am while I was typing. I've somewhat lost the train of thought I had rolling, but I'm going to attempt to pick up where I left off and finish the thoughts I had and tie it all together. Without further ado...

So, God was beginning to apply more sledge hammer teaching from these verses...

Verses 37-41 ~ 37When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first wash before the meal, was surprised.

39Then the Lord said to him, "Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41But give what is inside the dish [a] to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.

Perhaps it was not so coincidental that I didn't finish that post until now. Tonight during youth group, I got slammed again, right between the eyes on the very next part of what I was going to say. The poor.

See, once the inside of the cup is clean, this means that God has made you clean and your relationship with him is restored (well, you as in me, not you as in you, but you too, you know, if you were talking about you. haha!) then He can fill *me with the Holy Spirit. And the evidence of the Holy Spirit is according to Galatians 5:22-23, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and (TAH-DAH) self-control. Are self-control and self-discipline synonymous? Could be, in some ways they are definitely related, though maybe self-control is more all-encompassing.

If I pour out what is in me to the poor now, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control then Jesus said, everything will be clean for me. Inside and outside.

Two things: A) the poor. They can be the monetarily poor, poor in spirit, poor in love, poor in just about any way imaginable. I'll get to this more in another post (yep, looks like this cup washing is going to take 3 posts, sledge hammer, I tell you!). and 2) If you think this means I'll finally be S-Q-H, maybe not so much. What it means is I'll look more like Jesus to those who look at me. Will I have a perfectly clean home, yard or children? The answer is, who cares! I'll be more sensitive to living my moments for my LORD and maybe that will translate to serving my husband better, spending less time on my laptop, being more present with my children, but my motive WON'T be the pride of looking like S-Q-H in the eyes of others, it will be the love of the relationship between me and my heavenly Father. Big difference, Big, HUGE!

But wait. I've been a Christian since I was 13. Wasn't I clean before now? Didn't I get clean when I made the decision to follow Jesus, ask his forgiveness and ask him to come into my heart? Yep! Sure did. Without a doubt. I became a new creation that day. February 3, 1983. How's that work? I'm so glad you asked. Following Jesus is a journey. A daily walk. A relationship. It happens all at once and over time. As I walk with Jesus, learn about Him, who He is, and what He wants me to do, He shows me stuff. Last year about this time I learned about my unforgiving heart. So Jesus and I cleaned out that closet. Right now He is teaching me about my lack of self-discipline and self-control. It's a tough lesson because I'm deeply entrenched in hanging onto doing what I want to do when I want to do it. I've never been self-motivated and I don't want to give up "who I am". But I REALLY want to obey my LORD, and so Jesus and I, we're cleaning out this closet now too. It's a very BIG walk-in closet, so it's going to take some work, but He is going to be LORD of this closet too.

to be continued...