Summary: There are different kinds of vessels in the house of God. So you will do well to examine what kind of vessel you are. Let me clear one thing before we go deeper into this message: God will not accept any excuse from anyone for not being a useful vessel.
Our message this week, is what I call “The thorns of life.” Genesis 3:17-19 says, “And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee saying, thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
WHAT IS A THORN?
It is possible that many city dwellers have never seen thorns in their lives. But try and picture a plant with sharp needles on its body. A thorn is a prickle or a sharp pointed growth on the branch or stem of a plant.
The passage above is what the Bible calls the curse of thorns. Thorns were not meant to be a problem until this curse was issued. Carefully interpreted, thorns and thistles mean hard labour or hard life. A life of thorns and thistles, if not rescheduled, can cause other problems.
Matthews 27:29-30 says, “And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.” This occurred before Jesus was crucified. What is known as a crown of thorns with sharp needle-like objects was placed on His head, causing blood to come out. They put the crown of thorns on His head to mock Him. It was also to give Him headache. But unknown to them, they were fulfilling a divine purpose. The kind of plants used for the crown of thorns was known to be poisonous. So, apart from the headache, the poison from the plant used for the crown also entered the blood of the Saviour.
WHY WAS HIS CROWN MADE OF THORNS?
His crown was made of thorns because He came to cancel and break the curse of the thorns of life. He wore the crown for you and for me and carried away the curse and spiritual poisons that made life a hell. When there are thorns in a life, the purpose is to cause worry, trouble, temptation, annoyance, pain, humiliation and persistent attacks. But since Jesus has suffered and shed His blood to remove these thorns, life will offer only two things: Thorns or flowers; depending on what you personally choose. The Bible says, “Behold, I place before you this day blessings and curses, life and death, I advise you to choose life so you may live.”
WHAT DETERMINES WHETHER A PERSON PICKS UP THORNS OR FLOWERS?
What will determine what you pick up is the kind of vessel you are made of. A vessel is any material that may be used for any purpose. A vessel may be a tool, an implement, a weapon or something you use to perform a particular function. Romans 9:21-23 talks about one particular kind of vessel. It says, “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.”
2 Timothy 2:20-21 says, “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. 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.”
There are different kinds of vessels in the house of God. So you will do well to examine what kind of vessel you are. Let me clear one thing before we go deeper into this message: God will not accept any excuse from anyone for not being a useful vessel.
Recently, a man of God preached to an unbeliever to accept the Lord. He listened attentively and after the message, he said to the man of God, “You are talking about heaven and that at the end of the day we shall all go there.” The preacher said yes. The man queried further, “You say that there is enjoyment in that place and that eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, and it has not come into the mind of men what the Lord has prepared for His people.” The preacher said, “That is correct.” Then the man asked, “One final thing before I decide whether I will give my life to Christ or not. Will my wife be there?” The preacher replied that if she was born again, she would be there. Then the man said, “In that case, I do not want to go to heaven because I do not want to have anything to do with her whether in heaven or anywhere else.” This man did not know that even if his wife was the worst woman that ever lived, God would not accept such excuse from him.