MINISTRY AS A METAPHOR: Vessel of Mercy

We are God’s objects involved in what God is doing.

We are God’s objects involved in what God is doing.

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.

Beyond Discipleship to Relationship Video

www.barbaraafbrehon.com

MINISTRY AS A METAPHOR: Instrument of Righteousness

Be an instrument for God.

Be an instrument for God.

Does my ministry to Lord play a sweet melody as an instrument of righteousness? Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. Romans 6:13

What would make a person even want to be an instrument of sin? Why does evil enter into the heart of a person? I decided that rather than try to figure that out, I would focus my ministry on the father who made me a vessel of mercy.

I decided that I want to be an instrument of righteousness. If I do what I was created to do, touching those whom the Lord places in my path, I position myself to let God handle the evil. Knowing evil and sin abound, yet repentantly seeking the favor of the father, frees my ministry from chaotic tangents. I cannot do it all.

While I care about injustice and others’ suffering, I must handle those concerns the way God directs me to function. I am a spiritual body builder. When I do otherwise, I find myself swallowed up. Then, who purges or spits me out? As God’s instrument, he leads, guides, protects, strengthens, nurtures, and loves me. I must trust him to take care of me.

If my life, my ministry, plays a melody bringing peace to someone’s spirit, will I have fulfilled at least a part my purpose? Lord, am I an instrument of righteousness?

And so we grow … grow in grace, which is God’s special favor.

Point to Ponder: What kind of instrument are you?

I’d like to hear from you.

Beyond Discipleship to Relationship Video

www.barbaraafbrehon.com

CHOICES

The choice to see Jesus in any situation is yours.

The choice to see Jesus in any situation is yours.

You have choices every day. I must admit a spiritual war is going on inside most people. So, when I have inner conflict, I should not think I am the only one who has felt that way. My faith in the Lord must make me grateful and make choices to serve him with peace in my mind.

Spiritual war is real. Romans 7:23-25 “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin… O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me…? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then, with the mind, I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

I can choose to see any emotion my circumstances conjure or I can choose to see Jesus in everything. Every day choices abound. 2014 Pumpkin Emotion

Read more Beyond Discipleship to Relationship, page 27.

 And so we grow… grow in grace, which is God’s special favor.

 I’d like to hear from you.

Point to Ponder: What’s your choice?

Beyond Discipleship to Relationship Video

www.barbaraafbrehon.com

REFOCUS

Reaffirm your spiritual posture by making a statement that is your declaration of your faith. I will do what God wants. I am a minister and ambassador for Christ. I am a spiritual bodybuilder for the Kingdom. I will press on.

Go in the direction God is leading you through his Holy Spirit.ReFocus Not everybody can go where you are going and you cannot go where everybody else is going.

If everybody you encounter is aligned with where you are, your mindset, how could you grow? You would be stagnant, the same people, the same places, the same methods, the same thing the same way all the time, never growing, never moving out of your familiar.

There is nothing new under the sun, but whatever it is, it is new for you. Go ahead and try it God’s way. He did not change his mind when he called you and told you what to do and how to do it. Others may not understand it because God gave the vision to you and not to them.

And so we grow … grow in grace, which is God’s special favor.

I’d like to hear from you.

Point to Ponder: How do you reaffirm your spiritual posture?

Beyond Discipleship to Relationship Video

www.barbaraafbrehon.com

 

GROWING IS A PROCESS

Growing Takes Time

Growing Takes Time

I planted marigold seeds and was pleased when they blossomed after nurturing them. Why would I expect the process of growing spiritually to be different? Why would growing in ministry be different?

Not all marigolds are the same size or color yet they grow according to God’s plan. It took time for the seeds to gestate and to be nurtured to maturity. It took time for the seeds to be able to produce more seeds for more planting. It also takes time for Kingdom growth. The timeline belongs to God. And so we grow…

Point to Ponder: Have you had trouble gestating or developing slowly? I’d like to hear from you.

… grow in grace, which is God’s special favor.

www.barbaraafbrehon.com

Book video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmqgggxgDMo&feature=youtu.be

PEACE

Blossom 4 Jesus

Blossom 4 Jesus

 

 

I get such peace in simple things. I woke up to this budding house plant today. My family got it when my father slipped into eternity in 1998. This is the first time I’ve seen it bloom. It’s commonly called a peace lily (Spathiphyllum). Since I want to continue to grow in God’s grace, I decided to name the bud #blossom4Jesus.