February 18, 2014
Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Up to this time you have not asked a single thing in My Name (as presenting all that I AM); but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete.”
John 16: 24
“You cannot think of prayer so large that God, in answering it, will not wish that you had made it larger. Pray not for crutches, but for wings!”
“If Alexander gave like a king, shall not Jehovah give like God?”
Today’s Study Text:
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my (brimming) cup runs over.”
Psalm 23: 5
Psalm 23 Part 22
“My Brimming Cup” Part A
“It is a rare person who, when (their) cup frequently runs over, can give thanks to God instead of complaining about the limited size of (their) mug.”
Bob and Rusty Russell
What do I think it means to have a cup that is “brimming over”?
In what areas of life do I feel as though God has provided me with a cup that overflows?
“There is no grudging in God’s benevolence; He does not measure out His goodness as the apothecary counts his drops and measures his drams, slowly and exactly, drop by drip. God’s way is always characterized by multitudinous and overflowing bounty.”
F. B. Meyer
“My cup brims with blessing.”
Psalm 23: 5
The Message Bible
I don’t think there is any young child that at some point in their life didn’t take a glass and try to fill it to the brim. As youngsters, my sister and I certainly took our game of “filling our glasses” to a new level, much to our mother’s frustration.
However, there was an added challenge to our little “game” for as my sister would sip from the very edge of her glass, I‘d stand by her side pouring more liquid into the glass, trying my best to keep whatever juice or pop I was pouring, right up to the very rim of the glass. For two young girls, our antics were a recipe for disaster. However, we became rather proficient with out trick and rarely did a spill take place.
I share this story because it contains a visual image that David chose to use when he wrote about the way his heavenly Shepherd’s generosity was so grand that He laid out a table – a banquet feast – for him, right in the presence of those who may have questioned why David would rely on a God he couldn’t see or touch. But it wasn’t just the sumptuous table, laden with everything that could please the palate that made David exclaim in an overwhelmed manner regarding what writer John Trapp calls the, “Abundance and redundance” of our Shepherd, who doesn’t just fill our cup but makes certain it is overflowing.
“And how,” I asked myself, “are we able to partake of a cup that is overflowing with such bountiful blessing?”
We get a better understanding from the words of Jesus, who when in the Garden of Gethsemane, said, ‘Father, if Thou be willing to remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done” (Luke 22: 42, K.J.V.). Commenting on this passage, Pastor and author F. B. Meyer shares this powerful insight, “ Consider the ingredients of Christ’s cup – the shame and spitting; the pain and anguish; the physical torture; and, above all, the bitterness of our sins…the guilt of our curse, which He voluntarily assumed, the equivalent of our punishment…If we may so put it, the human race stood in one long line, each with a cup of hemlock in his or her hand; and Christ, passing along, took from (each of us) our cup and poured its contents into the vast beaker which He carried…Thus our lives brim with salvation, because His brimmed with condemnation. Our cup is one of joy, because His cup was one of sorrow. Our cup is one of blessedness, because His was one of God-forsakenness…Whatever blessing is in your cup, it is sure to run over. With Him the calf is always the fatted calf; the robe is always the best robe; the joy is unspeakable; the peace passes understanding; the grace is so abundant that the recipient has all sufficiency for all things, and abounds in very good work.”
Indeed, our cup runs over with the blessed grace of our Redeemer and Friend. Our Shepherd who willingly laid down His life for the sheep He so dearly loves.
The poet Mary Ruch, in describing what our Shepherd shares with us, penned these touching words, which call upon us to let the bounty, which causes our cup to overflow, to be shared with those Christ asks us to care for too:
Feed My Sheep
And drink is offered us;
And are fed;
All that is proffered us
Who suffered, bled.
He feeds and cups
The starving soul
Witholds no crumb or drop
Yet for His hunger
All we give
Is husks, and sour sop.”
Our cups are filled to overflowing by our loving Shepherd so that we, too, may fill the cups of those around us. In the words of hymn writer Charles F. Deems:
“I shall not want: in deserts wild
Thou spread’st Thy table for Thy child;
While grace in streams for thirsting souls
Thro’ earth and Heaven forever flows.”
My Soul Thirsts For God
“I thirst, but not as once I did,
The vain delights of earth to share;
Thy wounds, Emmanuel, all forbid
That I should seek my pleasures there.
It was the sight of Thy dear Cross
First weaned my soul from earthly things
And taught me to esteem as dross
The mirth of fools, and pomp of kings.
I want that grace that springs from Thee,
That quickens all things where it flows,
And makes a wretched thorn like me
Bloom as the myrtle or the rose.
Dear Fountain of delights unknown!
No longer sink below the brim,
But overflow and pour me down
A living and life-giving stream!”
“Oh, that men and women would praise and confess to the Lord for His goodness and loving-kindness and His wonderful works to the children of men. For He satisfies the longing soul.”
Psalm 107: 8, 9
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. During the coming weeks, gifts which are sent to Transformation Garden will help us honor requests for God’s Word, as shared through our bookmarks, with God’s children in India, Russia, Pakistan, Australia and here in the United States in women’s prisons and for Domestic Abuse Shelters. I thank you so much for the gifts you have chosen to send – Praise God! Your generosity is helping us share God’s Word in countries where the bookmarks are accepted as beautiful artwork but they carry the message of God’s saving grace. Thank you again!!
My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, and www.Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You may also call Transformation Garden at 480-349-8619.
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For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.