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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Are you a Chosen Vessel?


Chosen Vessels



  I have always loved nursery rhymes and poems of all kinds.  I especially remember the one about Humpty Dumpty.  

            Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

            Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

            All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

            Couldn’t put Humpty together again

Poor Humpty Dumpty didn’t have much of a life.  He just parked himself on that wall and because he accomplished nothing and stood for nothing he got knocked off and became little more than a cracked pot – a useless lump.

I.             Useless Lumps 

                A. What He Wants

Most of those old nursery rhymes carried a grain of truth.  Some say Humpty Dumpty was really about an English Monarch, who became an ineffective figurehead.  Because he served no real purpose with his life, he was abdicated from his throne… a shattered man, completely out of order
 

B.    What We Were

     Humpty Dumpty’s life provides a lesson from which we all can learn when speaking about ineffective lumps or bumps on unproductive logs. Before Jesus Christ came into our lives, you and I too had little purpose. In fact, we were spiritually dead.  We read in Psalm 82:54a, “They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness.  Pieces of clay with little appeal ~ waiting for that Precious Touch of God’s Hand to make us into the beautiful women we are today. 

 

C.    What We Are

When God breathed in us His breath of life, He knew exactly what He was doing.  What we have become is so much more than just women without use, value, significance.

Do you truthfully believe you are beautiful in the sight of the Lord? David prayed in the Psalms, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well…How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” Psalm 139:14, 17.  We can be more than confident that as Christians we are WOMEN who are precious to God and loved by God. There is a reason why we are all here.   

 
2 Timothy 2:21, 22 tells us that “In a great house (the church body) there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth: some to honour and some to dishonour.  If a man therefore purge himself from these he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use and prepared unto every good work.”

Being vessels for our Lord is the very essence of our faith today. BUT what kind of vessels are we? Are we seeking to be vessels fit JUST for honor or are we seeking to be fit for service unto the Lord also?  Which vessel is the most fit for use of the Master?

“If a man therefore purge himself…” In other words, God is asking us flush out of our minds those thoughts and actions that could corrupt our walks. He is asking us to withdraw from worldly lifestyles and get rid of little idols that would draw us away from Him.  We can so easily be fooled by the outer appearance of the vessel itself.  The Lord Jesus knows them that are his and he knows what his plans are for our use.   

 

D.    Possibilities 

We recognize what we were before we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We also know what we are in Christ today. But what about tomorrow? For all of us the future is hidden but not to God.  Only God holds the future for us regardless of our planning to build bigger and better, to go here or there, to become this or that.  While we wait on him to show us his will

v  He just asks that we place our lives in his hands.
v  And patiently wait upon him for those answers to our prayers.
v  Also he asks that we remain yielded vessels to him
v  Then in the New Testament he tells us to be Steadfast in our walks     2 Peter 3:17
v  But to be wary of the enemy’s devices which can so easily detract us... those little idols again.  Oh how he loves to use the enticements of the world around us.

 2 Corinthians 2:11

 

II.            Our Maker

A.    Who He Is

 

It is important to understand the Sovereignty of our God.  EXCELLENT, SUPREME in VIRTUE and POWER, UNLIMITED, ABSOLUTE, and with CONTROLLING INFLUENCE
 
And 1 John 4:8, 16 tells us That the Lord our God is our God of LOVE who never takes his eyes off you or me.  We are his living handiwork.  I appreciate knowing that he is right here watching us through every moment of peace and joy we experience, and through every frustration we face. Even in the tough times he is there.

 

B.    Just What Does He Want from you and me? 

God says not to worry, not to fret about ANYTHING.  Ah, that is so easy to say; but not always so easy to do, especially for me.  (Many of us just don’t know what the Lord is trying to do through the experiences going on in our lives.  Sometimes he is not ready to explain the details and remember he could be answering yesterday’s prayer when we are in an entirely different subject!)  Do we trust God that he will accomplish in us only those things that are meant for our good? He knows the situation.

    
I love this verse in Nahum chapter 1!  “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble and He knoweth them that are his.” Nahum 1:7   

 

Do you often wonder why God must apply more pressure on some of his clay pieces than on others?  It is so important to remember that we are all his vessels to be shaped as HE wills. Not as WE will!  Some of us need extra squeezing… he sees the end result and is working on getting us there.  (You get the most flavor from a squeezed lemon the tighter you squeeze it.  But if it is just sitting there looking pretty it will eventually get moldy.)  Do you ever feel like that lemon?

Some of us need more protracting … stretching, stretching, stretching! God sees the end result and pulls and pulls on us to get us where he wants.
    
Some of us have such unusual shapes we need a lot more re-organization while there are those of us who need real work overs because there are lessons to be learned in our lives repeatedly.

    
What shape are you in today?  Ephesians 2:10 which tells us “…we are HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”


We are HIS Workmanship…not our own.

 

C.    He Know Everything about YOU specifically .  

1 Samuel 16:7b says, “For the Lord seeth NOT as man seeth; For man looketh on the outer appearance but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

 

III.          Hidden Agendas

 
When we take the time to focus on the cross it helps us to admit to God whether or not there is something going on in our lives, that, maybe we having been trying to hide...perhaps a hidden agenda…perhaps that false idol. (Idols are ANYTHING we put before God on any given day)  But God is already aware of ALL those little things that are taking the place of HIM. He knows the feelings we even have about ourselves. In all these things, He says to let go …get rid of the hidden things you are carrying around that you think are so important.
    

This very thing happened to the Jews as God was trying to make a point to them through the mouth of Jeremiah.  They had begun clinging to their false idols, some of which were hidden, which I refer to as mud, or filth, or mire.  (Jeremiah 2:9-13) “Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the Lord, and with your children’s children will I plead.  For pass over the isles of Chittim and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing.  Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods?  (In other words they were surrounding themselves with false idols instead of the living God.)  But my people have changed their glory for that which doth no profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord.  For my people have committed two evils. They have forsaken me the fountain of living waters and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

 
When we have hidden agendas or idols in our lives that begin to take priority over him, things like a love for pleasure, or riches, or fame, or even self-glory, we become like broken cisterns ourselves with false or cracked bottoms unable to hold on to the Spiritual things of God … his stream of living water which fills us up and provides something we can share with others.

 

A.    Complaints Department

 Sometimes those things we hold on to aren’t little idols but common complaints which we don’t worry about too much.  So we mumble and grumble constantly about them to the Lord. This is just time wasted.  I believe he would have us change those mumbles and grumbles to prayers expressed in love. I share this because I find myself in this predicament often.

 

B.    Sins Revealed

 In fact there isn’t one sin that has not been first revealed to the Lord Jesus Christ. When we take them to the foot of the cross and leave them there we can once again move forward in our walk.  Are we willing to give our spot and wrinkles to the Lord when he reveals them to us?

 

C.    Unwilling Hearts
Are our hearts open to his call or closed?  The more we submit to Him and yield our lives to him, the more we will see ourselves in Him as he wants us to. 

 

IV.          His Love

 

A.    Do We Know His Love?
He says in His Word, “No one taketh it (MY Life) away from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.”  That’s His LOVE poured out for us! Aren’t you glad He actually did that for each of us?
 
B.    Learning It
I want to learn all that he wants for me to learn about that cross and what it represented for my life!  I want to experience not only the Love of God but I want to see his heart as well.

C.    Accepting It
 The best way we can show our acceptance of all he wants for us is when we allow the heart of God to beat loudly in our hearts not only this at a retreat or conference but after we leave here as well.  Then we can indeed be the chosen vessels he has called us to be. 
 
V.            Chosen Vessels
 
God selected you to be one of HIS vessels because he knew you could with your life bring Him Glory, and not be as broken cisterns or useless lumps! On his display shelf are beautiful serving bowls, vases, relish dishes, and fine china … all formed for the purpose of doing that very thing and regardless of your flaws … regardless of mine.  God knows good and well He DID NOT make a mistake in his selection process. 

 
                  A. The End Product 
Do you believe you are that Earthen Vessel?  I think you know.   “Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand…”Jeremiah 18:6b  
 

ã Connolly Freelance

Hearts For Christ Ministries

2004

     

2 comments:

  1. As my hubby would say, "There's a lot of meat and potatoes here!"

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, LoRee. I hope it ministered to you. I really appreciate your coming by.
    Blessings
    Shirley

    ReplyDelete