Romans 9:20-23 humbled me to view myself, my life, my ministry, my vessel as a metaphor for God’s mercy. While pondering that passage of Scripture, I kept spinning on the thought of being God’s vessel (KJV) or object (NIV) of mercy. I receive the benefit of his loving-kindness.
Vessels are containers. What is in me that makes me who I am? With what do I fill myself to become who I was intended to be?
We are lumps of clay molded for God’s pleasure and perfect will. Clay is a soft substance on the potter’s wheel that is turned continuously yet slowly, not rushed. The potter pushes and mashes it to transform it into its envisioned shape. Clay is shaped, molded, and heated or fired to become what the potter has in mind. Some vessels are treasured as collectors’ items while others have useful functions. Some pottery fits noble purposes and others serve common use, verse 21. Either way, they start out as a vision of the potter that has been twisted, hard-pressed, and fired.
What if God showed his wrath and made his power known so that those he created would recognize the riches of his glory? What if we see ourselves as vessels he prepared in advance for the work of ministry? What if we recognize ourselves as objects of his mercy?
In grammar, the object in a sentence receives action done to it. The object is involved in what the subject is doing. We are involved in what God is doing. We are spiritual beings created in God’s image. Nevertheless, we are objects created by God.
Praise the Lord that we are vessels of mercy. We never graduate from that slow and steady process of being molded, from growing. We are always evolving, always in a state of becoming. So that we can grow on, God forgives repentant hearts. We might be beaten up by life’s circumstances. However, we can choose to see ourselves as God’s metaphors molded for ministry to him and for him, vessels of his mercy.
And so we grow … grow in grace, which is God’s special favor.
Point to Ponder: How are you being remolded or refined?
I’d like to hear from you.