April 7, 2013

“And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:52

I have a large, brown coffee mug.  It is my favorite.  It comes straight from Yosemite National Park and has a big white bear on the side.  I don’t think the creators of this mug realize the level of perfection that they achieved in their creation.

My Coffee Mug 002I think that it might be the perfect coffee mug.

It has the perfect volume.  It is large enough without being too large.  My study is in our basement.  The coffee pot is not.  A mug that is too small will result in excessive trips to the unholy, pre-dawn surface.  A mug that is too large will waste coffee because the coffee at the bottom of the mug will lose its wonderful warmth before I get to it.  My coffee mug is the perfect balance between volume and heat loss.

It has the perfectly sized handle.  I can get a full, four-finger grip on this mug.  This is not a dainty, two-finger tea cup.  I always feel like I lose a couple credits on my man-card every time I have to sip from an undersized sissy cup.  This is no sissy cup.  My mug has some heft to it; I get a little bit of an arm workout when I undertake my morning brew and my masculinity is intact for at least a couple more hours.

My coffee mug is the perfect color.  The interior of my mug is white, which is the perfect color for the art of coffee alchemy; that mixing of pure white cream and deep black coffee into the exquisite blend of milk-chocolate colored goodness.  A white interior is essential so as not to interfere with the science of a true blend master.

My mug’s exterior is a dark brown, which is also the perfect color.  Dark brown is ideal because it masks unpleasant residues.  The transfer of coffee from mug to mouth relies upon the sip.  The sip relies upon the delicate seal between lips and rim.  This is not a consistently perfect seal.  The unfortunate result of periodic seal imperfections is a slight loss of wonderful coffee infused fluid down the exterior of the mug.  This can be very unappealing on a white mug.  A dark brown mug is perfect at hiding the unsightly indicators of uncleanness.  I know that is a little gross but it is the truth.

As you can plainly see, I have the perfect coffee mug.

However, my affections for this coffee mug will be dashed if it fails in one vital aspect.  If my coffee mug were not to retain coffee then I would not love it.  This mug’s greatest value is realized when it is doing what it was made for; brimming with coffee.  A coffee mug that does not hold coffee is something other than a mug.  Some mugs are more ornamental so they might have another lesser use if they could not hold coffee.  My mug is large and brown, with a white silhouette of  a bear.  My wife has not pinned my mug as a decorating idea on Pinterest.

My mug’s value is associated with the fact that it can be filled.

God has made mankind with a unique capacity.  It is a capacity to be filled.  There is no other creature in God’s creation that was designed with this capacity.  God created us in a way that allows us to be filled by His own Spirit.  It is an amazing function when you consider it.  We were designed to be filled by the Spirit of God.

It is only when man is filled by the Spirit that he is able to reach his greatest purpose.  Man’s chief purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  That is only possible when he is filled with the Spirit.  Paul tells us in Romans 8 that we cannot please God if we are in the flesh and not in the Spirit.  The Spirit of God must dwell in us for us to live by the Spirit and please Him.  We must be filled with the Spirit of Christ.  It is only then that we can fulfill our greatest purpose.

The eternal value of the work of my life is directly associated with the fact that I am filled by the Spirit of Christ.

Those who seek meaning in this life apart from the indwelling Spirit of God are like a coffee mug that cannot hold coffee.  They cannot know true meaning and fulfillment because they are empty of what they were designed to contain – the Spirit of God.  They may be the perfect blend of form and function; ideal intellect, talent, and physical ability that come together to do one task extraordinarily well.  However, that task will always be secondary and of no eternal meaning because it is absent the essential ingredient of God.

Where are you seeking your meaning in this life?

We will only know true joy and satisfaction when we are brimming with the goodness of God’s wonderful Holy Spirit.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for giving me your Spirit.  Thank you for giving us your Spirit to bear witness with our spirit that we are children of God.  Lord, fill me to the brim with your Spirit.  Make me overflow with the goodness that comes only from You.  Help me set my mind on you and the things of your Spirit.  May I glorify and enjoy You in all that I do for all of my days. . . Amen.


  1. […] reading, my coffee cup has drawn my eye.  I have written of my love for my coffee cup before (Filled for Purpose).  We all understand that the value of this wonderful cup resides in its orientation.  Attempting […]

  2. http://romans813.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/the-necessity-of-baptism/
    Filled with the Spirit!

  3. agree! also a coffee lover, I always think of myself being “warmed” by God for His purpose. If the mug stands idle and is only a decorative piece, it will never serve its purpose. wonderful insight!

  4. Loved this! Great post and great coffee mug!

  5. Love this–“We will only know true joy and satisfaction when we are brimming with the goodness of God’s wonderful Holy Spirit.” Love the analogy to coffee -well, love anything to do with coffee! 🙂

  6. Great post ! Along with the spiritual application of the “vessel” imagery, I’ve got to go assess my coffee mug!

  7. Fill me up Lord Jesus . . . ~ Blessings ~

  8. The only issue with this post is that I am now focused more on coffee and vessels for liquid than *being a vessel* for, and in, and with God. Too perfect a description of the perfect cup!

  9. Great post. I’m looking forward to following your blog. Stay the course. T

  10. love this. I remember when I first came to Christ and the realization that I am a vessel to be filled and not the source. I still have so much to learn and experience but it is an incredible journey!

  11. I agree. nice prayer.

  12. Perfect!

  13. I want that cup!

  14. Thank you for the encouraging reminder as we savor the Sabbath and prepare for the coming week . . . fully equipped to meet whatever challenge in His strength. Praise Him!

  15. Lord, I want to be a perfect coffee cup too – or maybe a hot chocolate cup!

  16. Love this!

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