The Cup That Jesus Drinks

Convincing the church to sell Christianity as a way to achieve benefit, rather than offering Christianity as a way to be a benefit to others, is Satan’s most insidious deception.

Jesus did not die just for you – he died for everyone. Jesus invites you to participate in his death and resurrection. Baptism and Communion aren’t symbols of receiving a crown, being seated on a throne, and being given a mansion. Baptism and Communion are symbols of Suffering, Sacrifice, and Service. They are symbols of our participation with Jesus in the redemption of a world of people who are lost, and dying, and broken.

“I am crucified with Christ…” (Galatians 2:20)

“Buried with Christ in Baptism…” (Romans 6:4)

“Are you able to drink from this cup I drink?” (Matthew 20:22)

“Drink of it, all of you.” (Matthew 26:27)

“The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve.” (Matthew 20:28)

“Follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)

Being a servant – that is, following Jesus – isn’t popular or comfortable. Following Jesus won’t make you one of the Cool Kids. To be sure, following Jesus has its blessings, but they are the blessings of satisfaction, not the blessings of luxury. They are the blessings that come from hard work, not the blessings that come from relaxing. Following Jesus is work, then rest – not rest, and more rest. Jesus will reward you richly – but first, following him will cost you everything.

Are you ready for this kind of Christianity?

–Bob Young
[6/13/2017]

Books by Bob Young
http://www.amazon.com/author/bobyoung

 

Take Communion

20150816 Take CommunionLet me start by saying “thank you” to every church where I have ever participated in Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper. It’s a humbling, awe-inspiring experience to come before God, confess our sins, ask for forgiveness, and rise up with the confidence that we are, indeed, forgiven.

My gratitude for sharing in the Communion service is the essential starting point for this article…

But…

There are some who are missing Communion because they’ve had disappointing – even harmful – experiences with various church congregations.

My goal right now is to convince you to take Communion this Sunday, even if you take it at home, even if you take it alone or with family, or with a small group of friends.

Here’s how to participate with the Church, the body of Christ, around the world, as we all participate in the Lord’s Supper on the Lord’s Day.

In preparation, you will need to get some wine and unleavened bread. Alternatively, you can substitute grape juice for the wine, and/or ordinary bread for the unleavened bread. Then, just follow the steps below. It is divine, it’s a spiritual experience, it can’t be explained in human terms. It is beyond understanding.

The Communion Service – The Lord’s Supper

Step 1: Pray to God, silently or out loud, and confess your sins to him. Most people prefer to do this silently, but if you’re alone and feel confident that no one but God will hear you, then you may find it comforting to confess your sins aloud. I recommend that you be as specific as possible. Instead of just saying, “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned,” tell God exactly what you did: “I lost my temper and yelled at my child without cause.” “I was lazy at work.” “I ignored my parents.” The prayer continues in the next step…

Step 2: Ask God to forgive you.

Step 3: Read these words, silently or aloud.

For I delivered to you that which I also received, that Jesus, on the night when he was betrayed, took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take, eat. This is my body, which is broken for you.”

Step 4: Eat a bite of the bread. Don’t hurry. When you’re done, go to the next step.

Step 5: Read these words, silently or aloud.

In like manner also he took the cup after supper saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. For I tell you truly, I will not drink again of this cup until that day when I drink it new, with you, in my Father’s kingdom.

Step 6: Take a sip of the wine or grape juice.

Step 7: Thank God for forgiving you. Spend as much time as you need in this prayer. It is a joyful, healing thing to be forgiven. Bask in it. Let it soak in. God has heard your prayer of confession, and your request for forgiveness. Jesus has died to pay the penalty for your sins. But, after dying for you, he rose again – Jesus rose from the dead. Death cannot hold him. And death can no longer hold you, because even though the wages of sin is death, Jesus paid the penalty for you.

When you finish thanking God for forgiving you, the Communion service is over.

And you are ready for a new beginning.

(Footnote: the Lord’s Supper is a time of looking forward, as well as a time of remembrance. Here are a couple of passages that describe what it is we look forward to when we take Communion.)

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah!
For the Lord our God
    the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
    and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
    and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
    with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
(Revelation 19:6-9, ESV)

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
(Revelation 22:17, ESV)

–Bob Young
[8/16/2015]

Books by Bob Young
http://www.amazon.com/Bob-Young/e/B00E6Z8PKW

Interested in having me speak? It’s easy! Click on the “Schedule Me To Speak” link at the top to find out more.

 

A Prayer Of Forgiveness

Here’s a recording of my prayer of forgiveness during a Communion Service on March 17, 2013.

Are you thinking that my prayer was only for the people in the room?

No… my prayer is for you, too. I knew from the start that I would post it online. For you.

God is merciful, and he longs to renew his relationship with you.

Here is your prayer.

A prayer of forgiveness.

–Bob Young
[3/17/2013]

Books by Bob Young
http://www.amazon.com/author/bobyoung

A Side Effect Of Forgiveness

A Communion Meditation for Sunday Morning Worship
July 8, 2012

A side effect of forgiveness is confidence.

This is the reason we can enter the Holy of Holies,
Through the torn veil,
Boldly!

There is nothing I can do or say to make you feel forgiven.

It takes the power of God himself to cause you to understand forgiveness.

Father, let this be the day
When the most fearful and wounded
Of your children
Comprehends your forgiveness.
In Jesus’ name I ask it,
Amen.

Books by Bob Young:
http://www.amazon.com/Bob-Young/e/B00E6Z8PKW

Unbreakable

A Communion Meditation presented on May 27, 2012

God’s love for you doesn’t depend on how you behaved this week.

God’s love for you doesn’t depend on how much faith you had this week.

God’s love for you doesn’t rise and fall with the fluctuations of your emotions.

The love of God is unbreakable.

Father, I have sinned this week.
Again.
Repeatedly.
I repent.
I want to be more obedient to you, and I ask you to forgive me. Thank you for the gift of your son, Jesus, and for the sacrifice of love.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

You Feel Like Your Heart Is A Mess

Communion Meditation for Issaquah Christian Church
January 29, 2012

You feel like your heart is a mess.
You hate something or someone that you shouldn’t hate.
You’re afraid of something that you shouldn’t be afraid of.
You love something you shouldn’t love.
You have tried to change something inside you, only to discover that you can’t.

You cover it up pretty well.
Only you and God know the real condition of your heart.
Even though he knows that your heart is a mess, God loves you so much that he wants to heal the brokenness inside you.

And that is why Jesus died.

Your sins are forgiven.

Father, we thank you for your unstoppable love and unrelenting grace.
Thank you for forgiving us.
We ask you to change us this week.
Do the things in us that we cannot do ourselves.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen!