Broken cups

My aunt’s mom (my great-aunt) passed away about a week before Christmas.  Later when my aunt was at her mom’s going through some of her things, cleaning up and all, she was washing dishes and came across my great-aunt’s favorite coffee cup.  This was a cup that my great-aunt had apparently had for quite a long time.  At this point, it didn’t even match any of her other dishes she’d had it so long.  But it was her favorite.  She almost always drank her morning coffee from this cup.  The oddest thing happened however.  My aunt said she went to pick up the cup to wash it and the handle just came right off in her hand.  She said it was almost like if her mom was saying I won’t be needing this cup anymore, you can let it go now.  What a sweet moment I thought that was. 

Not long after that, I was getting a coffee cup down for my son to put some goldfish in (we were out of small bowls.  yes they were all dirty.  don’t judge me.) and as soon as I got the cup in my hand, the handle came off.  Immediately I was reminded of my aunt’s story and I felt God asking me, child don’t you have some stuff you’ve been holding onto that you need to let go of?  Psh, me?  Nah, God.  I’m good.  And I put the handle inside the cup and pushed it into the corner on the kitchen counter.  Behind the paper towel holder.  Ahem.

I happened to notice that cup again tonight.  And was I reminded of God’s question for me.  And I slid the paper towel holder back over. 

But as I’m sitting here thinking this thing through as I’m typing, I do in fact have a few things that I could toss.  But you get so accustomed to life being a certain way that it’s just easier to keep on going with it than it would be to try and change it.  The father of lies will tell you that this is just “how it is” and well, sometimes we believe him.  Don’t feel too bad about falling for his lies…he’s really good at what he does.  Especially when it comes to making living in misery seem better than the pain it would cause us to try and rise up out of the ashes. 

Because there is a cost.  For us to truly live in the freedom that Christ died to give us, there are some things that we will have to let go off.  To truly embrace our identity in Jesus, we must sacrifice some things that cause our vision to become skewed.  And the crazy thing is – the stuff God’s asking us to let go of is stuff that is really serving no purpose for us in the first place.  It’s stuff we don’t need.  It’s stuff that keeps us from being the person we’ve been called to be.  It’s stuff that causes a separation between us and our precious Lord.

And that stuff isn’t necessarily tangible things, although it most certainly can be.  That stuff could be bad habits.  That stuff could be addictions.  That stuff could even be undesirable relationships with certain people.  And you know, all that “stuff” is based on a lie of some kind.  Either that this bad habit isn’t really all that bad.  Or that I’m not really addicted to this thing…I can quit whenever I want.  Or I know my relationship with this person isn’t God honoring, but I just don’t want to be alone.  Lies.  And the biggest lie underneath all of that?  This is as good as it gets.

No sir it is not

We have a Mighty Warrior in heaven who has done battle for us.  He fought and sacrificed Himself to give us victory.  He overcame death so that we might have life.  He completely disarmed the devil, triumphing over him by the cross (Colossians 2:15).  And it sure wasn’t so we could keep holding onto broken cups.

Nope.  It sure wasn’t.  Excuse me if you will…I’ve got a cup in the kitchen that I need to throw away.

Do you have some stuff that you’ve been holding onto?  Ask God to show you those lies in that broken cup you’ve been holding onto and then ask Him to give you the courage to throw that thing away. 

Holding you before the throne of grace and mercy tonight,

~J

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What’s in a name?

One of the songs we sang at church this past weekend was called Break Every Chain by Will Reagan and United Pursuit BandIt’s a pretty simple song but with an incredibly powerful message…

There is power in the name of Jesus

There is power in the name of Jesus

There is power in the name of Jesus

To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain…

There’s more to the song than that – you can listen to the rest here – but just that part was playing through my head this morning and it got me thinking.  Power in the name…the name, the name, the name…Jesus.  What is it about the name of Jesus that is powerful?  I mean, it’s just a name isn’t it?  How can a name have power?  Well, let me tell you how.

In Hebrew, Jesus’ name was Yeshua which was a shortened version of Yehoshua (Joshua)…sort of like Bill would be short for William.  His name really wasn’t that uncommon for the Jewish people.  So what then would make the name Jesus of Jesus Christ have power that some other person’s name Jesus wouldn’t have?  Well, first I thought about what His name means…Yeshua in Hebrew means God is salvation.  But Yeshua is sort of a combination of two root words – Yehovah and yasha.  Now I’m guessing you already know what Yehovah means – God or Lord.  According to the Strong’s concordance yasha means to save or be saved, to be delivered, or to give victory to.  So there IS power in the name of Yeshua – God’s power to deliver us.  His very name is a reminder that in God we have victory.

In Revelation, we see Jesus in His returning glory and specifically in Revelation 19:13 we are told that His name is called The Word of God.  Well, now if there’s power anywhere to break chains, it’s in God’s word for sure!  Jesus is the Word made flesh.  All authority has been given Him in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).  And the Bible tells us that the Word of God is alive and active (yes He is!) and sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12) – certainly sharp enough and strong enough to separate us from our strongholds.

There is power in the name of Jesus – Yeshua, the Word of God – to break every chain…yes there is.