The Armored Cup
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. Matthew 23:25-26 (ESV)
As our Tuesday night get together was getting intense, I wanted us to stop a take a moment with my Starbucks coffee mug. Jak and Amy, along with my wife Kathy, took it in stride and let me have the floor. All though my mug had been recently taken out of the dishwasher there was scuff marks on the outside of it from being used by me. The dishwasher in my house doesn’t always get this mug 100 percent clean, so every once in a while there is grit stuck on the sides of the inside of my Starbucks mug. So here was my point at that moment. Do you want to appear to be a Christian or do you want to be a Christian?
Jesus hammers the Pharisees during His 7 Woe’s dialogue in both Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospel account. They were spending so much time making themselves appear so put together well that they never once thought about their spiritual standing with YHVH. They were content to rest on being “Abraham’s Children” and since they were leaders in the Jewish community it was more than enough to stand before people and say that the world around them hadn’t defiled them because of their perceived position with El Elyon. Jesus calls these men “Hypocrites” (actors) and instructed them to clean their insides out first then their outside, that the world sees, will be clean. I call what the Pharisees do in this case as “being plastic” and plastic people are a drag!!!
So it doesn’t matter how clean my Starbucks coffee mug is on the outside (you can’t pour coffee into the outside of a mug can you) I will drink what is poured inside. And if that has grit in it my Starbucks coffee won’t be right and I won’t want it no matter how much Starbucks has a reputation for being a good coffee. YHVH will do the same to us when He wants to have what’s on the inside of us. If we are gritty or lukewarm, no matter what our reputation for good, He is spitting us out of His mouth. Case closed right? Well it wasn’t until my drive into work when I got hit with something else…the armor!!
We all know about the Full Armor of God don’t we? It is meant to put on when going out into a world and encourages us to STAND against the enemy. Well, if we aren’t exactly wanting that armor to get all dirtied up then what is it protecting? Who is really wearing that armor? What’s inside that helmet; what’s behind that breastplate; who is wearing those shoes and more importantly what kind of person really is holding that sword of the Spirit? If what is inside of a Pharisaical Starbucks coffee mug is inside that Armor of God then that armor stands for nothing good. Woe to you Pharisees and Scribes indeed.
So here is the crux of a Starbucks freshly baked muffin…if you can’t wear something that has a use in entirety then it is eternally useless, period. It doesn’t matter how pretty the outside of our Christian existence is, if the inside of it is flawed and never being cleaned out and refilled, then its lukewarm and gritty and deserves to spit out by The Almighty, period. And I, myself, fall short in this everyday but I am told there is no quitting in the race…only finishing. That means “winning” aint’ important either, just finish well, that’s all. I just think I could do it in style…perhaps an armored plated Starbucks coffee mug to commemorate the event? We’ll see if YHVH shares my sense of flair when I cross the finish line. Amen? – Chris Hughes is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger
Think About This:“In the work of God today things are so constituted that we have no need to rely upon God. But the Lord’s verdict upon all such work is uncompromising: “Apart from me ye can do nothing.” Such work as man can do apart from is wood, hay, stubble, and the test of fire will prove it so. For divine work can only be done with divine power, and that power is to be found in the Lord Jesus alone.”—Watchman Nee
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my Savior. My God is my rock. I can run to him for safety. He is my shield and my saving strength, my defender and my place of safety. The Lord saves me from those who want to harm me. 2 Samuel 22:2-3