Summary: It’s not the vessel of beauty and art that is honored in God’s house. It’s that vessel that bears the scars of battle and of service that God honors most.
The Honored Vessel
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Pastor Jim May
I want to be an honored vessel in God’s House. It’s a privilege and an honor to be used by God in any fashion. I thank him for allowing me that chance. But before I can become a vessel at all there has to be a change in me.
Before I can become a vessel, God had to find me in the pit where I was nothing more than an impure lump of clay.
The Bible says in Psalms 40:2, "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings."
That’s what the potter does when he begins to bring to pass the new creation that he has in mind for me to be. I’m not anything special, but I am a chosen lump of clay. I didn’t look any different from all of the other clay that was in the pit with me. All around me there were other people, other lumps of clay, we all looked the same. All of us were just dirt, lost in sin, stuck in the mire where there was no escape for we were are dead lumps of clay with no hope and no future to speak of. Some of those other lumps of clay, at least to my own point of view, would have been a lot better pick for the Master’s House. They had a lot more to offer than I did. But in God’s sight, he is no respecter of persons. The only thing God looks for in the clay he chooses is whether that clay will yield itself to his design.
Praise God! He chose me. God’s hand reached down into that pit, scooped up this old piece of clay, examined it and said, “Now here’s a lump of clay with promise.” He saw something in me that I couldn’t see.
There’s a song that I once sang and that Aunt Virgie and others have sang that says it this way, “Nothing good have I done to deserve God’s own Son. I’m so unworthy of the stripes that he bore. Yet he chose the road to Calvary to die in my stead. Why he loved me, I can’t understand. Roll back those curtains now and then and remind me dear Lord, remind that I’m just a lump of clay and that without your hand leading me, guiding me, molding me and making me, I would be nothing more than a useless piece of dirt, unfit for the Master’s House.
I am reminded of the word of the Lord to the Prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 18:1-4, "The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it."
The clay didn’t make the choice to jump into the potter’s hand. It was the potter that chose the clay.
John 15:16, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
God chose me, and God chose you! The Great Potter, maker of all vessels and the one who will give honor to whom honor is due, chose us for his House!
Who are we to now question what God wants to do with our lives? Why do we strive against the Potter’s hands? Why do we think that we know more about ourselves than the Potter who forms us, creates us, molds us and has a design for us?
Yet every day I see the clay as it argues with the Potter! God, I can’t do what you have called me to do. Mr. Potter, I can’t bend that much; I won’t stretch that much; I can’t stand the pressure; I want to be a vessel; I want to be used; but why does it have to be so hard all the time? Can’t you mold me a little easier? Can’t you be a little more gentle; after all, I’m just a lump of clay.
Well, if you are just a lump of clay, then you need to shut up and let the potter have his way. The clay can’t mold itself. A pot doesn’t just form all by itself one day. It must come under the hands of the Creator before it can be anything other than just clay. But somehow we have convinced ourselves that we know more than God and we start trying to tell the Potter that we know more than he does.