Read Philippians 2:17-18 in your personal Bible or at the link provided.
Paul concludes this week’s passage by saying that the true source of joy isn’t being constantly filled up; it’s pouring ourselves out as an offering to God. The term “liquid offering” refers to the Old Testament sacrificial system, where they would pour a drink offering over the burnt offering to enhance the flame and create a billow of smoke moving upwards toward God. Paul says that when we do this – when we empty our cups and chase after the Lord – then and only then will God fill us.
So often we get this backwards. We think the key to joy is to be fulfilled, so we look for someone or something else to “fill our cup.” But the truth is, it’s no one’s responsibility to fill our cups. Only Jesus can. Our responsibility is to run after Him, let Him fill us, and prioritize the most important things so we can empty our cups through serving, leading, and loving. We’ll never experience joy if we’re all about filling our cups rather than emptying them. Joyful people pour themselves out and look to Jesus to fill them.
• Empty your cup. Who are you intentionally pouring your life into? If you’re older, pour into someone younger. If you’re single, pour into someone near you. Husbands, pour into your wives. Wives, pour into your husbands. Parents, pour into your kids. Students, pour into your friends. Church attenders, pour into the Body of Christ by jumping in and serving. Whoever you are and wherever you are, ask God to show you one way you can “empty your cup” on a regular basis, and take a step to do so this weekend.
Use your Philippians Guidebook to reflect and respond. For a digital copy of the guidebook, visit tpcc.org/rebels-guide.
Want to go deeper? Look up the following verses for another instance where Paul described his life as being poured out as an offering. How did he describe what he would receive in return? Note what you observe and then continue with your time of response.
• 2 Timothy 4:6-8