“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8)
If you ever visit a potters home any of us might be surprised to discover what is the favorite vessel, among his collection. It is easy to imagine many thinking that the newest vessel would be the pick. Most likely the very opposite.
Truth is there is always that old vessel which the potter would settle on. It has seen days. Once it was broken and the potter had to glue it all back together. Over the years it has endured all kinds of storms- it was once misplaced and thought lost, only to surface back again. As it has aged it has also yielded a certain mature taste once it holds water. The potter holds on to this vessel above others because he has been with it through and through.
And, by the way, this experience is not only restricted to potters. All of us in our lives have that object we treasure for we have walked with it for years. It could be a piece of cloth we can never part with because we know of its strength. Maybe it is that hardened vehicle in out in the parking shade we will never sell. Sometimes it’s an old seat made of certain furniture, steady and durable, once broken but still standing, that we would never let go.
In similar manner, God also has his favorite vessel- and know what, this is one which has been beaten up and broken, but is still there. It is a vessel God can rely on for better or worse, than any new one, for it has tasted times and is reliable. God looks down on it with pride for it’s a dependable vessel.
In life, as it we were, we can pass through all sorts of trials that leave us broken. Yet God lifts us up and mends us to be of greater service to Him. Perhaps we can wonder why He even lets these challenges come our away- when we should be His favorite. But only through such do we mature to be of greater service to Him. In other words our brokenness is what God needs to pick up vessels He can use. Do you want to become God’s favorite! How about also becoming a broken vessel, ready and available to be picked up by God for golden service.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, if I want to grow in your service I pray to accept being a broken vessel, for that is when your hands lift me and mend me, to be the vessel you need, this I pray in Jesus’s name
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!