Saturday, August 03, 2013

Earthen Vessels

[Hat tip for photo:  Dwelling in the]

I have always appreciated the fact that Scripture often metaphorically describes believers as "earthen vessels" or "jars of clay," and God as our Divine Potter.

The potter-clay image shows up so frequently in Scripture --beginning in Genesis 2:7 where "God formed man of the dust of the ground."

This theme is a simple one:  God is the potter and humanity is the clay.  It is another way to express God's sovereignty over all humanity; a way to express our need to yield to His divine plan; a way to encourage us to find the purpose for which we have been made; a way to accept the divine purpose for all of God's handiwork.

We can learn four lessons from the biblical imagery of the Divine Potter and His clay:

1.  He has a plan.

2.  There is variety in what He makes.

3.  There is an ultimate purpose for God's pottery.

4.  There are no imperfect pots. (In other words, God wants to fill us all with Himself!)

Think of Jesus' collection of a dozen common, chipped, cracked, leaky earthen vessels (the disciples) with which He would change the world.  He poured Himself into those vessels regardless of the shape they were in.  As we know, one in particular substituted the treasure of Jesus for thirty pieces of silver that was ultimately used to buy "the potter's field" - a burial place for strangers (Matthew 27:1-10).

Even though you and I are imperfect, even damaged earthen vessels; our Divine Potter ultimately has shaped each of us for a purpose and we can rejoice that God wants to fill us with the treasure of knowing Jesus!

The metaphors and imagery of Scriptural descriptions like these are not lost on those who believe.  They serve as proof of what kind of "vessels" God has meant for us to be!  We need not despair over our earthly size, condition, shape or lot in life.  We can ALL rejoice for the same purpose and with the same exact reason!

As earthen vessels - imperfect as we all are and often damaged in this life - we instinctively know that the Divine Potter, Jesus Christ, has shaped each of us for a purpose.  We may have differing "purposes" in this earthly life, but our Beloved Potter has one, ultimate purpose for each and every one of us.

This ultimate purpose has to do with Jesus' question (that each of us need to answer before we die) when He said, "Who do you say that I am?"

We know that Peter got it right in Matthew 16:16.

Mat 16:16  Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

We are all shaped for a purpose.

 And the Divine Potter's purpose is this:

He has filled us with the treasure of knowing Jesus.

  2Cr 4:1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.

  2Cr 4:2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

  2Cr 4:3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,

  2Cr 4:4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

  2Cr 4:5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake.

2Cr 4:6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

  2Cr 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

Hat tip:

"Earthen Vessels" by David Jeremiah in August 2013 Turning Points magazine and devotional.

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