Jars of clay
2 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves.
We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours.
Sometimes the world looks at Christians as hypocrites because their lives do not conform to what they represent. Although we as Christians should align our lives to biblical principles frequently we slip up due to our frail human nature. When this happens, instead of being quick to point a finger, we need to remember that we are earthen vessels which carry the power of God's kingdom. Jesus said to take the beam out of our eyes before we point out the speck in our neighbor's eyes. He told the pharisees who were ready to stone the adulterous woman, he who is without sin cast the first stone. We are earthen vessels as the verse points out. As earthen vessels we are flawed carriers of God's glory. As each one of us is uniquely created, we may also have different weaknesses. We need to encourage each other and build each other up as the scripture commands us. As someone said God used cracked pots or scripturally speaking " the vessel that was marred in the hands of the potter, He made into another vessel. The book of Jeremiah speaks of God being the potter and us being the clay. God sometimes fashions flawed clay into a vessel to carry His glory. In closing, instead of focusing on each other's earthen vessels, let us focus on the glory of God that is in the vessel. We ought to look at one another as glory carriers. After all it is Christ in us the hope of glory. Amen.
I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
I read this morning regarding tension in vines causing incredible flavor in the wine. I copied the paragraph below.
If you've visited the Okanagan Valley in both summer and winter, then you understand first-hand the extreme weather the region endures. The highs and lows in temperature, coupled with its situation on the 49th parallel, push viticultural limits and cause tension. When vines experience tension, it adds to the wine's terroir in a positive way. Although the limits of Okanagan vines are tested, stressful conditions bring out their best.
The above paragraph reminded me of John 15. The whole chapter illustrates that we are the branches and the Father is the husbandman. The Father prunes the branches in order for them to bear more fruit. Although the limits of Okanagan vines are tested, stressful conditions bring out their best. The same can be said about our Christian life. Although we are tested, the stressful conditions and tension bring out the best in us. The Bible says God does not tempt us. We are tempted when we are led astray by our own lusts. However God uses this testing to strengthen us and develop our character. God wants the best for us and He is more interested in us developing our character rather than being a divine santa claus delivering what we ask for. Although God has promised to supply our every need and does want us to approach Him with our desires, He is more interested in our growth and Christ likeness. There are several verses in the Bible where God fashions our character. Jeremiah says God is the potter and we are the clay. The potter fashions and molds the clay to make it a vessel of honor to carry His anointing. Check out the excerpt on Clay pots and torches from the buried treasure section of the blog. Also Job refers to God being a refiner fire where the impurities are removed from precious metals. "A diamond is just a piece of coal that handles stress extremely well " anonymous. The Lord wants to bring out the diamond within us. He allows us to experience stressful situations in order to refine our character and to increase our flavor. In closing, in the words of Job, we can say when He has tried me I will come forth as gold. Finally, do not be under the circumstances, however like an eagle during a storm, fly above the turbulence. May your life shine as a jewel in the crown of the Master. Amen.
Thirst no more
KJV But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Phillips "Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I will give him will never be thirsty again. For my gift will become a spring in the man himself, welling up into eternal life.”
We live in a thirsty world where people are looking to material ways to satisfy a spiritual void. People turn to alcohol, drugs, illicit sex, workaholism and every other thing to try and satisfy their spiritual needs. However these are two different realms. The material realm can never satisfy the hunger of the spiritual realm. The verse above is taken from a passage where Jesus was conversing with a woman who had been married five times and yet was not satisfied. She turned to men to try and fill a spiritual void. In the words of my pastor " there is in the heart of men and women a God shaped vacuum which only a relationship with Christ can satisfy". In the words of Jesus quoted above, drink of this life giving water and you will never thirst again. Instead this water will spring up within your spirit to satisfy the thirst of multitudes. Jesus satisfies our thirst and makes us people who direct others to the source of our joy, Christ Jesus our Lord. Just writing a quick reminder to turn to Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. The Lord will perfect that which concerns us. An urging to turn to Christ with child like simplicity and forsake a life of bondage to satan and live in the freedom offered by Christ. Let us pray: Father we come in Jesus name and ask you to direct our steps. We repent of all wrongdoing and disobedience to your Word. We thank you for purchasing our pardon on the cross. Cause us to walk in paths of righteousness for your name sake. Guide and direct our lives. In Jesus name we ask this. Amen.
I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.
5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds[a] of wheat for a day’s wages,[b] and six pounds[c] of barley for a day’s wages,[d] and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.
The above mentioned verses were written by John the revelator to depict the state of the world prior to Christ' return. When we see the daily news, these events seem to be taking place before our eyes. It seems like plague and famine seem rampant and people fighting each other, earthquakes and other natural disasters seem to be skyrocketing, economic downturn and all kinds of climatic events which are blamed on climate change. Matthew 24 refers to these events as birth pangs prior to Christ' return. We see the world events are fulfilling Bible prophecy and we are poised to welcome our King and God. The Bible cautions us the love of many shall wax cold. We need to ensure that our lamps are lit and we have oil in our lamps. We need to be ready for the Bridegroom's return. With churches closed in many places, believers and unbelievers have to turn directly to their God. They have to fan the flames of their faith and rely on the Holy Spirit to guide and direct them. The world events point to Christ's return and we who are His should be found working for the advancement of God's kingdom when He comes. There will come a day of reckoning for the world and we as God's children need to be clothed in Christ's righteousness. God is releasing His Spirit in an attempt to reach the world. God is good and His love endures forever. Even when His judgment is poured over this world His ultimate goal is to reach people and cause them to turn to God. In closing, call unto God while He may be found. Today is the day for salvation. Take His yoke upon you as His yoke is easy and His burden light.