We are God’s Vessels
God alone draws, saves, convicts, and reveals His Word to people so they can understand it. This process begins with repentance and rebirth by God’s Holy Spirit. In John 3:5-8 Jesus teaches a man named Nicodemus about this saying, “Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: So is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
In new birth, a work done by the Holy Spirit, people come to know their need for Jesus Christ, and they come to Him to ask forgiveness for their sins, and to invite Him to come and live in their heart and be their Lord and Savior. Now, it’s important to note that our Jesus Christ is not the same one that the Muslims teach about in their faith. Our Jesus is the Son of Yahweh, the one true, living God. When people ask for forgiveness and invite Jesus into their hearts, God comes to live in their hearts and make them new creations in Christ Jesus. This “new man” has a new spiritual heart and the mind of Christ. Spiritual new birth brings an inward change in people’s’ hearts and minds, which in turn, causes an outward change in their lives. Only God can bring permanent, lasting change in someone’s life.
In Ezekiel 36:24-27 scripture tells us, “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you unto your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”
Scripture also tells us, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
After being born again the new man should be disciple with the Word of God. He (or she) should be instructed about Christian living and the things that help them grown and mature in Christ. As the new babe in Christ matures, He (or she) is weaned from the teacher and begins to walk their own walk with God. God will lead them down the path He has for them. We all become vessels for God’s use and purpose.
God calls some to be pastors, teachers, and others to speak forth His Word to people everywhere. He makes us vessels or instruments for His holy purpose–so He can, by using us, build up His family, the church, and shine His glory into this lost and dying world. As we accept God and His Work in our lives, we become members of His kingdom and His Spiritual household, on earth and in heaven.
As God’s people preach and teach His Word, the Holy Spirit plants it deep, penetrating the hearts of people who are willing to listen. In this way the Holy Spirit works out repentance, salvation, sanctification (setting us apart for His purposes) and life in those who are willing to accept and receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
Reading God’s word, learning it, and teaching others is a critical part of the growing and maturing process in a Christian believer’s life. The Word of God is the foundation upon which Christians should base and live their lives. Therefore, we should do what we can to encourage others to learn and share God’s Word. It should be a joy–not a drudgery!
As Christian workers we need to guard our hearts and minds against outside influences and busyness that seem to so easily rob us of our time that we should be spending in God’s Word and in relationship with Him through prayer. We need to do this to develop a personal one-on-one relationship with God so we can get to know Him and help guard our heart from growing cold.
We also need to encourage, love and minister to others. We need to do our best to reach those whom God has placed in our lives. We can’t save them, but we can speak God’s word to them and share our testimonies with them. When we minister to others we are vessels being used by God.
In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus tells us, “(…) All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
I pray that we will allow God to come into our hearts and lives and make us into vessels that are used by Him to fulfill His great commission and bring glory to Him here on this earth. But God will not violate our wills and force Himself on us. We have to, with a sincere heart, open the door and ask Him to come in! If we do this, He will do His part!
Evil is Everywhere, But Where are God’s Children?
Evil forces in this world creatively and passionately express their desires for their causes. They work hard and go to great expense to make their views known. Just turn on your radio or television and you can find these dark spiritual forces at work.
In contrast, I ask you, “How often do you hear a great radio broadcast or see a great television program that makes you want to run out of the house to go get Jesus? How often do you find a dynamic electronic or computer game that excites you about God’s word or His kingdom? How often do you see a news program that reports good things such as families being restored or someone saving another person’s life? How often do you hear about miraculous works God does through His people? How often do you hear about those people who are out in the world helping and/or giving their lives for someone else?
People, something is wrong! Where are God’s children? Where are God’s people who can make wholesome programming for national, regional or local television or radio stations? Where are the Christian stations that have enough courage to stand for what they believe and play Christian programming? Where are those who can make exciting tools for Biblical instruction or wholesome Bible-based games and computer programs for entertaining our young people?
I know there are many of God’s people out in the fields working. However, it appears that evil is in the spotlight and God’s message is hidden behind the closed doors of our homes and our churches. Have we, as Christians, let the devil keep us so bound up with fear, hurts or sin that we are no longer effective in our Christian work? Have we let Satan intimidate us to the point that we are overwhelmed with fear and don’t have the courage to step out and use of Spiritual gifts for God’s kingdom? Have we fallen into the great apostasy, where the Bible tells us that many will fall away from the faith? Have we become blinded to the awesome power of God so that we don’t trust His ability to take care of us? Or perhaps we are so flooded with trials, temptations or persecution that we’ve lost all hope that God will deliver us, and that God uses these things to equip us for service? In Romans 8:28 the Bible reminds us, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
People, we must remember that God is bigger and stronger than Satan and his whole army! We must trust God to take care of us during these last days. We must not let Satan or evil men keep us from doing God’s work. We must also remember 1 John 4:4 which says, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” So take courage brothers and sisters in Christ, and step out into the work God has called you to do!