Psalms 23:5 (ESV) You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
When is the last time you enjoyed the overflow?
David assures us in Psalm 23 that our cup CAN overflow! It is one of the benefits of staying close to the Shepherd and following His counsel, even when it means sitting down with our enemies, counting on Him to settle the score rather than take vengeance, and looking to Him to heal our wounds. The benefit is He causes our cup to overflow and the overflowing cup is a sign of ultimate satisfaction.
We have times at a thanksgiving meal when we have enjoyed a meal to the point where we feel like we could overflow at any moment! We sometimes get so excited about an athletic activity that we overflow with excitement. When is the last time you overflowed with hope, love, or joy? These are more than mere emotions. This is called the fruit of the Spirit and they are indicators that the Lord Jesus is present even in the midst of what seems to be an “unfruitful situation.”
Galatians 5:22–23 (ESV) — 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
This is the overflow that is ours as followers of Christ who stay close to the Shepherd – no matter what the circumstances. Let’s unpack this concept of overflow a little more.
First consider the source: Jesus not only came to give life but life abundantly (overflowing).
John 10:7-18 (ESV) So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
Jesus’ laying down His life for us opens up God’s storehouse of blessings.
Ephesians 2:4-7 (ESV) But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
John 1:16 (ESV) 16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
The channel of God’s blessings is Jesus Christ and through Him we receive as the Bible says, “grace for grace.”
Let’s consider some of the long lasting abundant or overflowing blessings.
Romans 15:13 (ESV) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 (ESV) Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
John 16:24 (ESV) Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Hope, love, and joy are some of the overflowing blessings that come by staying close to Jesus, the great Shepherd, which results in being “filled with the Spirit,” which in turn produces the “fruit of the Spirit.”
Romans 14:17 (ESV) — 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Back in Psalm 23 then we’ll notice that during the uncomfortable moments when He calls us to sit down with those who have hurt us, or to walk through dark valleys, He has promised to be there with us and to satisfy us so that our cup will overflow.
Is your cup overflowing? If not, it’s a signal to focus on being close to the Shepherd through His word, prayer, and fellowship with other believers in the church. By the way, it would be good to remember the capability of our Shepherd to make our cups overflow.
Ephesians 3:20–21 (ESV) — 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
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