The book of Nehemiah has always been fascinating to me. God used a cupbearer, a man who was a high ranking servant and lived in a palace. He traveled hundreds of miles to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem, and had a heart that was willing to work. I'm sure his hands were not calloused when he began to pack for his journey. I'm quite certain his skin was not burned from the sun and wind as he left on his mission. But, I know things changed quickly for him, and he returned a different man.
A cupbearer was probably the most trusted servant in the palace. They were granted the opportunity to speak to the king daily. Each possessed great influence because of the nature of their required duties, and access to the king. The job was of utmost importance, and at times the ultimate sacrifice as they tasted the king's drink first to ensure its safety.
Their job description was simple: they presented the best to the king.
I've always loved Nehemiah's story. I've wanted to be a wall builder, but as I have studied his life I realized his first role was a cupbearer. In order to be a builder of the Kingdom, we need to start in a sacrificial and servant role as Nehemiah.
What we present to God in our cup should be the best. Our life is the drink we are offering to Him. Just as Nehemiah gave the king the finest, we are to do the same. I've heard many say, "I'm doing the best I can", but are we? So often we get caught up with the pressures of life and we fail to be aware of our service for the Kingdom.
What is in my cup that I'm presenting to God?
Is it old or stale?
Is our only testimony something we did years ago?
A cupbearer would never give the king a drink that had sat opened on the shelf for a week. Why is it that we give God things that are old? You may have gone on a mission trip a few years ago, that is wonderful and sacrificial, but what did you do last year- last month- last week? Our service to God should be fresh and new each day. We should bear good fruit- Every. Single. Day. That doesn't mean that we schedule monthly mission trips, it means that we should serve God in the little things as well as the big. It means that we surrender all to Him.
Paul totally surrendered his life to Christ. His cup was filled with good things he did for the Lord. He did not fill it with self-fulfillment, but with continual service to God. He lived a life of humility as he served in chains. Often, we live a life in chains as well, but we are chained to things that keep us from giving God our best. There are some things that can sneak into our heart and fill our cup with impurities.
Often, it is the little things that can cause the biggest issues! You know, the little foxes spoil the vine-- overlooked issues can ruin the most valuable things. Let's open our eyes and search our heart and take a good look at what's in our cup.
How often do we find fault in others, but fail to see our own?
Have you ever sat at Sunday service and thought in your heart the sermon applied to others more than you?
Have you ever thought,
I'm so glad she is here- boy, she needs to hear this!
Have you ever failed to see the wrong in your life?
Jesus put it this way in Luke 6:41:
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye
and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
It is time to lay it all before the Lord. Ask Him to reveal anything hidden so we can present to Him our best.
Our daily offering to God is our life.
It should be our utmost gift, unparalleled to what we give to anyone else.
Let's fill our cup with the best!