Saturday, June 26, 2010

Earthen Vessels

It’s one of two biblical references to earthen vessels. Other translations call them clay jars, the terra cotta we see in different places around the world. The reference is to us. Made of the earth, even as God made Adam of the earth, these vessels hold a treasure familiar to Paul.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. [2 Corinthians 4:7 KJV]

That treasure is explained, too.

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; [2 Corinthians 3:18 - 4:1 KJV]

One Wednesday Pastor discussed 2 Corinthians 4, all verses. There are so many lessons in these 18 verses, but today I’ve been thinking of these earthen vessels.

The other earthen vessel reference is:

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. [2 Timothy 2:20 KJV]

I’m pretty certain my vessel is not gold, nor silver, not even wood – simply an earthen vessel, working hard for it to be of honor, being used by the Master.

If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. [2 Timothy 2:21 KJV]

Some of the preceding verses speak of what needs to be purged. There are many things the Bible tells us are wrong, that we are to shun. So often we fail to do so. We never can do it alone. Living within God’s will must include involving Him in our daily lives.

I read someone who wrote that while there may have been a creative supreme being, he could not accept that being has spoken to mankind. I differ with this gentleman. God speaks to us daily through His word and through answered prayer. Problems ensue when people expect their prayers to be answered 1) immediately and 2) in the affirmative. We’ve never been promised we’ll get all we want. We will receive answers to all of our prayers, even the desires we request that are not in His will, though the answers may be “No,” or “Not now.”

The examples in Luke are a stone for a fish, a scorpion for an egg. If what we’ve requested will not feed us, or it will destroy us, God will not provide what we want. Instead, He knows what we need.

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? [Luke 11:13 KJV]

Spending some time in prayer asking God about the ministry He has chosen will not only keep our earthen vessels purged, but put them to good, honorable use in His service.

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