Vessels come in all shapes and sizes and are used to house various types of things. The material that the vessel is made of determines what can be stored inside of the vessel. There are several definitions for the word vessel, but the last definition in dictionary.com says a vessel is “a person regarded as a holder or receiver of something, especially something non-material: a vessel of grace; a vessel of wrath”. Grace is defined as favor or goodwill, and theologically grace is also God’s enabling power. So what does it mean to be a vessel of grace? To answer that question, we need to understand how vessels are made.
In Jeremiah 18, we learn about the vessel made of clay. A key trait about this vessel is that it is pliable and the potter is able to mold it and shape it into the type of vessel he desires. We also see, that if this vessel gets marred in the process, the potter will start completely over. This is because it’s important for the vessel not to have any cracks before it goes into the fire. The fire is what hardens the clay. If there is a crack in the vessel once it’s been hardened, the contents that are poured into it will leak out. As believers we are vessels of clay and have the water and the oil on the inside of us. The water represents the word and the Holy Spirit and the oil represents the anointing. It’s God’s desire that we are healed and whole. We must be clothed with the armor of God, but if there is a crack in our armor the water will begin to leak out causing us not be able to stand against the enemy. It is only by God’s grace that we are able to maintain our armor. As we practice abiding in Jesus according to John 15, we are able to be the vessels of grace that God desires. We must remain pliable, teachable and moldable. We must be willing to allow God to refine our character, even if sometimes he has to allow us to go through the refiner’s fire.
Glass vessels are also shaped with the use of fire, so again we can’t avoid or fight the process God uses to mold and shape us. As others look at the beauty of the glass, they should see the Christ in us. Ephesians 4:29 reminds us that our words should “minister grace to the hearers”. So we can’t be so quick to spout off or respond harshly, even if someone is treating us that way. It is God’s grace, his enabling power that allows us to ensure our words are seasoned with salt and full of grace (Colossians 4:6). Ultimately, God wants our character to truly look like his since he created us in his image (Genesis 1:26).
I challenge you to do a self evaluation this week. Check your character. Check for cracks in your armor. If you find anything that’s out of order, go to the potter and allow him to mold and reshape you. Until next week…
Be blessed, but first comes obedience!