Read: 1 Kings 17: 7-16; 2 Corinthians 4: 7; 2 Timothy 4: 6-8; Philippians 2: 16-18
In your journal, write any phrases/thoughts that speak to you from this selection of Bible verses.
Ladies, I'm overwhelmed again by the lessons brought to us by the leadership team this week. I am a visual learner, and these pictures of pottery have not disappointed. What a beautiful way to see scripture. I'm praying that today's picture and the scripture it accompanies will continue what the Lord has begun in your heart through the lessons of this week.
At the start of each new year, I pray for God to give me a word during my time alone with Him. Every year, He is faithful to bring to the surface a single word that I claim for the year. I never know why that word is going to prove to be mine for the given year. Last year, God very quickly uncovered the word receive. As soon as I began to ask for Him to guide me to the word for 2017, receive began to pop up everywhere. I had such a hard time claiming it, because it just seemed so selfish. I felt like writing out the word meant I was telling God it was time for Him to give so that I could receive. I'd been praying for God to use Scotty and me in the lives of others; yet, He was leading me to pray to receive. I was confused.
As it turns out, 2017 IS the year that God began to open doors of ministry for both of us individually and together. Within a few short months, we were busier than we'd been in years and being called to give more of ourselves than I felt like we had to give. Then, I remembered my word, receive. The reality of God's Truth hit me fully..... Until we RECEIVE from God, we can't GIVE to others for God. But, the purpose of receiving from Him is ALWAYS to pour out for others. When we operate in His perfect plan, we love with JOY.
We have this treasure in jars of clay, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from man.
2 Corinthians 4:7
Jars of clay are imperfect. They break and crack, but they can be repaired. Often, the repairing makes them even stronger than before. As Chris Baxter pointed out, sometimes the repairing makes the vessel even more beautiful than it was. And, always, the repairing and the filling make it possible for the vessel to DO what it was designed to do, transfer liquid to another vessel.
You and I aren't so different. We were made to receive from God in order to be filled with the Living Water that is Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Then, we get to be the vessel that takes that life giving water to everyone we meet. I believe a life well lived is one that reaches Heaven wrung out and emptied for the Gospel of Christ. I can't think of a more worthy goal.
Take a few moments of quiet time this morning to consider the ways God is allowing you to be His vessel of sacrificial love; in your family, your job, and in your witness to the lost.
Heavenly Father, I pray right now that You'd fill us with the fullness of Your strength and power. Shock and amaze us with Your beautiful presence. We want to be always aware of Your activity in our lives. God, I'm asking that You'd show us where we are attempting to operate in our own strength. That's a foolish attempt, and I confess that to You. Uncover our neediness, our brokenness, and our foolishness and force us to stop and receive all that You have for us. Then, show us all the ways we can give that away today. We want to live lives that are poured out like a drink offering for those that You love. In reality, You are powerful enough to do every bit of the work of salvation completely on Your own. But, You allow us to participate. Thank you for that gift. Amen.