"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, March 22, 2013

*CUP OF SUNSHINE

Matthew 12:34 (NIV 1984) "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks."




I entered the downstairs bedroom to retrieve an item when I heard water trickling.  Maybe I forgot to close the lid on the washer, I thought, as I went to inspect the noise.  

Immediately I felt the squish of liquid between my toes.  I was standing in a water!  Not just any puddle; it was more like a creek going down the hall, into the bathroom, under the wall and into the living room, saturating carpet as it traveled.  Wading my way to the washing machine I turned off the overflowing beast.  Blankets and towels became sponges and mops.  Who said laundry was a nuisance?  It isn't everyday we get to splish-splash in our basement, right?  If it were up to my boys we would have whipped out our goggles and tarp and had our own indoor Slip-n-Slide.

This mess took days to clean up.  Why did the washing machine overflow?  It's not like I don't have forty-five other things on my "to-do" list. This is not one of them!  Finally I relented my perturbed attitude and began to ask, Alright Lord, show me what You want to teach me through this.  Help me see the bigger picture and not get cranky over soaked carpet and an appliance bill.  Conviction from the Lord cascaded forth:  Hester, what overflows from your life?  When you spill over, what saturates the lives of those around you?

These questions required honest self-examination.  I would like to tell you my life gushes with sunshine, love, joy, forgiveness, kindness and patience.  But honestly, this isn't always the case. Sometimes I spray my boys with short and sarcastic responses. Other times I drench my husband with demanding requests.  Even still, when I am overwhelmed and too much is going on, a sweet spirit can be drowned in an effort to conquer my list.  Uugghh!  This is not how I want to live.

Accountability for those who desire to overflow with good things is found in Matthew 12:34. Jesus tells us, "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." The next verse says, "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him."  What fills us up will spill out of us.  What is in our heart will proceed from our mouth.  Earlier in verse 33 Jesus teaches, "For a tree is recognized by its fruit."  Just as a tree is recognized by its fruit, our words and actions testify to what is in our hearts and on our minds.

Showering others with positive qualities requires intentional daily choices.  To offer others a cup of sunshine versus a porcupine on a platter, we must fill our hearts with God's Word and His truth.  This is of utmost importance in our effort to overflow with His likeness.  If God's principles are not in us, they won't spout forth from us either.  

We must also recognize our tendency to operate out of our flesh and ask God to help us live according to His Spirit.  The Holy Spirit enables us to live beyond our human nature and equips us to bubble over with godly fruit.  Of course we're not perfect, but this is why we need a constant filling of His Word into our hearts and continual reliance upon His Spirit to assist us with our weak points.  

The overflow of our lives saturates those around us, good or bad.  Each day we either surge others with thankfulness, kindness, love, forgiveness, and grace, OR we soak others with bitterness, discontent, complaining, impatience, and a sour attitude.  Let's choose to flood others with a graceful cup of pleasurable sunshine today.


Heart Work:
Evaluate your actions, reactions, and interactions with others.  Acknowledge and repent when your behavior is unbecoming and sinful.  

Ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen you beyond your own ability to overflow with love to others in your life circumstances.

Heart Exam:
What overflows from your heart?  Be honest.  How does what spills out of you saturate the lives of those around you?  Is this the kind of impact you want?

When do you feel like porcupine on a platter?  If sunshine isn't in your cup, what is?

How does submitting to the Spirit and resisting the flesh enable you to offer sunshine to others.

Heart Transforming Word:
Matthew 12:33 "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit."

Romans 8:26, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness."

Galatians 5:22 "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."




Copyright 2010 by Hester Christensen.  Edited 2013.  All rights reserved.