Saturday, March 14, 2015

Vessels of Purpose

goblet from http://www.mangumpottery.com
It's Saturday, our usual day where almost anything can show up here.  Today, that's Melanie Baker-Nash.  Or at least an original post by her.  If you're not familiar with the name, we met by becoming co-moderators for the Google+ Christian Bloggers community.  Since then, we've become as close friends as we can be with a separation of thousands of miles.  But I've come to admire, trust and rely on her honesty and her heart after God.

I asked Melanie to do this week's guest post and she asked for a topic.  I thought of Romans 9:21 as a continuation of the thought pattern from the previous posts.

Our illustration comes from Mangum Pottery.  In fact, the link will take you right to the page where that's available.  I saw the picture on the web and thought it looked like a vessel of honor.  So, we thought we'd include a link.  To get us going on today's thought, here's Romans 9:21 in the Amplified version:

Romans 9:21 (AMP)  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?

Think about that as Melanie shares her thoughts on that verse.

Romans  9:21  ‘Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one object for special use and other for ordinary use?’ (NRSV)

Upon first reading of Romans 9:21 we should realize The Potter is God, our creator and we, His created beings, are the clay.  Furthermore if God as The Potter forms and shapes us, He has the right as the maker, to DECIDE the purpose of the vessel He is constructing…

While this verse is not challenging for some as they simply accept that God is indeed both SOVEREIGN and GOOD…Therefore conclude He ALWAYS makes the right decision.  There are many who could read this verse and say, “Well how is that GOOD or FAIR?  If God is sovereign above all and LOVES us all, why does He make some people special for Himself and reject others?”

This is actually what chapters 9 through 11 in Romans discuss (the election of Israel and Salvation for ALL of God’s children).  These chapters discuss some REAL and RAW questions some people in their struggle to comprehend God may have, and DEEP theological TRUTHS, check this out:

‘This means that it is NOT the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as descendants.’ Romans 9:8

‘ So it depends NOT on human will or exertion, but on God who shows mercy…So then he has mercy on whomever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomever he chooses.’ Romans 9:16;18.

“Why then does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” Romans 9:19b

‘For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.’ Romans 10:10

  ‘O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!’ Romans 11:33

Romans truly is a God-given book of fantastic Christian theology and I would encourage anyone to do further study on Romans for their own personal journey.  While I have studied Romans theologically at college, I am not a theological, exegetical blog post writer…I feel there are enough published commentaries that one should seek for this type of reflection.  Rather when I blog, I write from my heart, reflecting upon my own personal journey with Christ as Number One.  That out of the way let me continue with my reflection on this section of Romans…

I BELIEVE what may seem as intellect to many is actually a very real stumbling block for many people surrendering themselves to CHRIST as Number One in their own life and finding true peace.

I know I can personally struggle with OVER THINKING things I cannot explain logically…And while science is a wonderful endeavour (with some things discovered making my jaw drop) it leaves me short on understanding spiritual experiences and even on the deepness of the human experience of LOVE and GRACE.

The truth I’ve discovered is that God’s ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours…that no matter how SMART we think we are…no matter how many degrees we may have, or accolades we may somehow achieve our human knowledge is simply that, just human, not Divine…That MY thinking on my own, without revelation from the blessed Holy Spirit is actually FOOLISHNESS. (Isaiah 55:8-9; 1 Corinthians 3: 18-20).

I think of our relationship with the children in our lives…our society EXPECTS children to ACCEPT that we adults are WISER…For what do we say when we see a child accept the direction of their parent without questioning?

Don’t we say, ‘What a sensible, mature young person!

This is because we have a HIGHER understanding from experience – we know the child is SMART to obey their parent without having their knowledge…Yet as adults we STRUGGLE with simply accepting we can’t always grasp EVERYTHING intellectually!

But I tell you, there is so much PEACE when one comes to a place of simply accepting – giving up the attempt to put OURSELVES in the position of God we have no qualification to fulfil…for God is INDEED The Potter and we are His clay.

I have even personally struggled with accepting who I am as an individual made by God…with HIS PURPOSE for me.

But you know what?  God UNDERSTANDS this as our creator and as our loving Father is so very patient with us…

I have actually been on a journey for the past DECADE learning who I am created to be and actually ACCEPTING it!!!

I have peace now knowing I have been shaped and moulded by my loving Father for His good purpose…

If you hear Him KNOCKING on your heart today…don’t be surprised…He’s probably knocked many times before…

Will you accept His calling on your life or procrastinate through analysis?

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If you liked that, you can find Melanie's blog at Life of an ordinary Aussie woman.

Think about what Melanie shared.  The truth is that God's heart for us is that we all be vessels of honorable use.  It's our choice whether we are or become otherwise.  If what's been shared, today, speaks to you, then the next step is either to accept Christ into your heart or recommit to walking with God.  There are no special ritual, no predetermined set of words, just tell God that you're making a commitment to Him.  How ever you say it, He already knows.  It's more so you have a reminder of the decision you made.  

Then, as soon as possible, connect with a local pastor.  Let him explain to you about all that you've done by that one simple decision and how it will change your life in wonderful ways.  That pastor can help you to learn and grow more.

And, finally, if you made that decision, we'd love to hear about it.  You can email us at billsspiritualmusings@gmail.com

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