Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church

VESSELS

                                Vessels

                                     April 6, 2014

 


II Corinthians 4:7-12 NKJV

 

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We  are  hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we  are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.

 

One of the things we are forgetting in this life is how to simply be what God made us to be....that being a vessel.

 

Perhaps man sees being a vessel a lower station in life, or maybe his constant exposure to the single use, recyclable, insignificant, throw away container has seared his heart into not understanding the importance, not of man’s consistency, but of God’s containment.

 

If the vessel is not carrying God, then how lessened is the value of the container? Seeking to be a vessel of God is not about being the most attractive bottle, but that the bottle is the carrier of His Glory....

 

 

 

Weaker and Stronger

 

I Peter 3:7 NKJV

 

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

 

 

II Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV

 

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

The misconception of “weak” and “strong” is nearly as underestimated as the concept of the vessel itself. For generations, we have thought of weak and strong as the yardstick of capability. If someone is weak, then we almost assume that they are also incapable. If they are strong, we also launch headlong into the presumption that they are practically invincible.

 

God’s kingdom is not made up of logic, but of God. The minute we think we have him figured out is just when we are farthest from understanding anything.

 

Like the concept of woman being the “weaker” vessel. Just as in 1Peter 3:7 here. We see the word “weaker” and we automatically go into “submission mode”....this is not a word classifying woman as inferior in any way...quite to the contrary, it simply means different. Just as a clay mug is different from a bone china cup...it simply indicates a difference in refinement.  Both will smash to a million bits if dropped.

 

 

 

Honor and Dishonor

 

Romans 9:19-24 NKJV

 

You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it , “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

 

 

Romans 9:19-23 AMP

 

You will say to me, Why then does He still find fault and blame us [for sinning]? For who can resist and withstand His will? But who are you, a mere man, to criticize and contradict and answer back to God? Will what is formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus? [Isa. 29:16; 45:9.] Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same mass (lump) one vessel for beauty and distinction and honorable use, and another for menial or ignoble and dishonorable use? What if God, although fully intending to show [the awfulness of] His wrath and to make known His power and authority, has tolerated with much patience the vessels (objects) of [His] anger which are ripe for destruction? [Prov. 16:4.] And [what if] He thus purposes to make known and show the wealth of His glory in [dealing with] the vessels (objects) of His mercy which He has prepared beforehand for glory,

 

 

 

II Timothy 2:20-23 NKJV

 

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.

We read these scriptures and the first thing many of us presume is some kind of weird “predestined to be inferior” trip. Nothing could be further from the truth. This scripture is not about God’s finger of fate, but about the willingness and brokenness of the vessel. It is about the heart of the vessel to be formed and fashioned by the hand of the potter and not the will of the clay.

 

“The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.” (Pr 16:4 NKJV)

 

 

Understanding the sovereignty of God is a life lesson in knowing the power of His will. We cannot tell God anything. We do not instruct God as to anything, we approach him as a child.  The Bible tells us that unless we come to him as a “little child” we cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven.  (Matt 18:3)

 

 

2 Timothy goes on to tell us that our fate is not sealed, but conditional to us cleansing ourselves to avoid the latter....the dishonorable...not by works but by our relationship with Jesus.

 

Romans 9:23 sums it up by telling us that God prepared us beforehand for Glory. It is not about the value of the vessel, but about how willing the vessel is to contain the glory of God. We get all caught up in vessels....weaker and stronger....honor and dishonor...tall and short....skinny and fat.....rich and poor...those things are flesh evaluations and have nothing to do with a vessel that will YIELD itself to the glory of God. God will inhabit what will yield unto His Spirit, not what is “attractive”.

 

 

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