week in our bulletin I used the analogy of a cup
of cold water.
This week I want to expand upon this analogy from
God's word, to motivate us even more.
Jesus And The Phrase
On two occasions, the Bible records Jesus using the
phrase "cup of cold water" (Matt. 10:42; Mk. 9:41).
The first time, Jesus is giving the apostles instructions
before sending them out to preach.
- "'He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives
Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet
in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's
reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the
name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous
man's reward. And whoever in the name of a disciple
gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold
water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose
The second time Jesus uses the phrase, John asks about
someone they didn't know who was casting out demons
in Jesus' name.
- "But Jesus said, 'Do not hinder him, for there
is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and
be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. For he
who is not against us is for us. For whoever gives
you a cup of water to drink because of your name as
followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not
lose his reward.'"
To give someone a cup of cold water is to serve
that person, as God would have us to do.
A song we sing, Room In God's Kingdom, illustrates
Just a cup of cold water in His name given
May the hope in some heart renew;
Do not wait to be told, nor by sorrow driven
To the work God has planned for you.
Notice the analogy between water and serving people
as God's children:
- Both water and being served by Christians are blessings
- Both water and being served by Christians fulfill
- Both water and being served by Christians refresh
- Both water and being served by Christians aid
in providing life.
Along the same lines of the water / service analogy,
remember that Jesus did not come to be served, but to
serve. He gave His life a ransom to give us the water
of eternal life (Matt. 20:28; Jn. 4:10-14; Rev. 22:1).
In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus tells us about judgment,
explaining that we'll be judged by whether we serve
In describing the faithful, Jesus shows their service
to His brethren. They fed the hungry, gave drink to
the thirsty, invited in strangers, clothed the naked,
and visited those who were sick and in prison.
In other words, the faithful are those who gave a
cup of cold water to their brethren. They were
doers of the word, and not merely hearers (Jas. 1:22-27).
Also in this Scripture, Jesus also tells us that when
we serve our brethren, we are serving Him. And as a
result, being faithful in all things, we have a home
Oh, The Things We May Do
There are lots of things we can do to serve our brethren.
A song we sing, Oh, The Things We May Do, makes
1) Have you lifted a stone from your brother's way
As he struggled along life's road?
Have you lovingly touch some frail, toil-worn hand,
Shared with someone his heavy load?
2) Have you spoken a word full of hope and cheer?
Have you walked with a slower pace,
Till the weary of heart who were stumbling on,
Took new courage to run the race?
3) Have you held up your light thro' the shadows
So that somebody else might see?
Have you lived with the Christ thro' the long, long
Gaining many a victory?
It's important for us to use our blessings, to the best
of our ability, to serve others.
If we do, in faithful service to God, we'll go to
heaven. But if we don't, we'll be lost for eternity.
James puts it like this:
- "What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he
has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save
him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and
in need of daily food, and one of you says to them,
'Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,' and yet you
do not give them what is necessary for their body,
what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works,
is dead, being by itself" (Jas. 2:14-17).
Are you serving others, by giving them a cup of