THE CHOSEN VESSEL

By R. Cornwall


The Master was searching for a vessel to use;
On the shelf there were many--which one would He choose?
Take me, cried the gold one, I'm shiny and bright,
I'm of great value and I do things just right.
My beauty and luster will outshine the rest
And for someone like You, Master, gold would be the best!

The Master passed on with no word at all;
He looked at a silver urn, narrow and tall;
I'll serve You, dear Master, I'll pour out Your wine
And I'll be at Your table whenever You dine,
My lines are so graceful, my carvings so true,
And my silver will always compliment You.

Unheeding the Master passed on to the brass,
It was widemouthed and shallow, and polished like glass.
Here! Here! cried the vessel, I know I will do,
Place me on Your table for all men to view.

Look at me, called the goblet of crystal so clear,
My transparency shows my contents so dear,
Though fragile am I, I will serve You with pride,
And I'm sure I'll be happy Your house to abide.

The Master came next to a vessel of wood,
Polished and carved, it solidly stood.
You may use me, dear Master, the wooden bowl said,
But I'd rather You used me for fruit, not for bread!

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay.
Empty and broken it helplessly lay.
No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,
To cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.

Ah! This is the vessel I've been hoping to find,
I will mend and use it and make it all Mine.

I need not the vessel with pride of its self;
Nor the one who is narrow to sit on the shelf;
Nor the one who is bigmouthed and shallow and loud;
Nor one who displays his contents so proud;
Not the one who thinks he can do all things just right;
But this plain earthy vessel filled with My power and might.

Then gently He lifted the vessel of clay.
Mended and cleansed it and filled it that day.
Spoke to it kindly. "There's work you must do,
Just pour out to others as I pour into you."

 --Author Unknown
========================
A man can counterfeit love, he can counterfeit faith, he can counterfeit
hope and all the other graces, but it is very difficult to counterfeit
humility.
   Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899)
--------------------------------
After crosses and losses, men grow humbler and wiser.
   Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Always take the lowest place, and the highest will be given to you, for high
structures require a solid foundation. The greatest, in the judgment of God,
are the least in their own opinion; the more worthy they are, the more
humility will be seen in them.
   Thomas À Kempis (C. 1380-1471)
----------------------------------
Humility is a divine veil that covers our good deeds and hides them from our
eyes.
   Climacus Saint John (570-649)
-----------------------------------
Humility is a most strange thing. The moment that you think you have
acquired it is just the moment you have lost it.
   Bernard Meltzer
----------------------------------
Humility is nothing but truth, while pride is nothing but lying.
   Vincent De Paul (1580-1660)
----------------------------------
Because Christ Jesus came to the world clothed in humility, he will always
be found among those who are clothed with humility. He will be found among
the humble people.
   A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)
-----------------------------------
When I was an atheist, trusting in my own power, I was proud and proud of
it.
When I became a Christian "religious" person, I was proud and blind to it.
First proud in Egypt (flesh), then proud in Babylon (soul).

We need deliverance (salvation) from both in order to see the finished work
of the Cross of Christ. The works of religion are often the greatest
barriers which prevent us from conforming to the humility of Jesus Christ.
"Religious" people never trust in the finished work of Christ and therefore
cannot enter the "rest" from dead works that they might enter into the
"labor of the Lord." The word "religion" comes from two Latin words
"re"=return and "ligare"=to bind (see ligate, ligation, ligature). Religion
causes us to produce works which bind us to self-righteousness rather and
blind us to our hypocrisy. RELATIONSHIP with Christ continually reminds us
of the fact that apart from Him, we can do NOTHING. Relationship produces
humility--religion with its creeds, rites, rules, etc. produces pride in the
works it demands from us and ends up killing our relationship with Christ
through the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth. Religion kills!

Many of us on the road to full salvation, our full inheritance in Christ
Jesus, get sidetracked and often spend considerable time in Babylon. (Some
never come out in this lifetime.) After being born from above by grace
through faith, a gift from God, we begin to try to finish the job with
religious stuff, Babylonian stuff, that is, dead works. Instead of becoming
mature sons of God (Rom. 8:19-21) through the Spirit of Truth, we follow
"traditions of men which make the Word of God of no effect." (John 15:6-9)
While thinking we are doing the works of God, we actually produce the works
of the traditions of men which breed death. Thinking we are alive, we
actually become twice dead, carnally-minded (Rom. 8:6) and twice the sons of
hell (Gehenna, the Jerusalem city dump) as we were when we were in the
world. (Matt, 23:15)

Paul warned us with tears of this great pit on the path to full
salvation--but it seems most of us fall into it, at least in some measure
for a season. Denominational religious works brings praises from men and
women while the works of the Holy Spirit prepared for us to walk in from the
foundation of the world produces joy and thanksgiving--two entirely
different types of glory.

The glory from the works of the law ended nearly 2,000 years ago--yet
millions of Christians still lust after it. Honor from men is mere vain
glory--it tarnishes almost immediately. But the Glory which comes from the
finished work of the cross which allows us to cease from our vain attempts
to glorify ourselves through fearing men and seeking their approval--this
glory, the glory of the Savior of the world--this glory whose weight flesh
cannot carry--this Glory--the Glory of the Son of God is eternal.

"Oh foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the
truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as
crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by
the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having
begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? (Gal
3:1-3) Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,
and do NOT be entangled again in a yoke of bondage....You have become
estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by the law; you have
fallen from grace." (Gal. 5:1, 4)

Thousands of denominations of Christianity attest to the fact that many have
fallen from grace. There is only ONE BODY OF CHRIST. All sects, divisions,
denominations, cults, etc. which divide the body from each other through
traditions, rituals, teachings, different kinds of "law," etc. have created
confusion which is not from God. (Babylon represents religious confusion.)
There are many voices in Christendom each saying they have the true way to
salvation; each have different creeds, articles of faith, rituals,
denominational by-laws, initiations, membership requirements, etc., etc.
"What!! Is Christ divided!?" Paul asks. (1 Cor. 1:10-31; 1 Cor. 3:1-9; 1
Cor. 3:21-23) Christendom answers back, "Yes, and we prefer it that way! We
want the name of Christ but we will do things our way, by our traditions. We
want the name of Christ AND we want the name of men. We want to be
Christians AND we want to be Lutherans, or Campbellites or Baptists, or
Pentecostals, or Roman Catholics."

Let us put off the "works of the flesh (Egypt) which are evident, which are:
adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred,
contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions,
heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like..." (Gal.
5:19-21) and let us also put off the works of religious mysterious Babylon
which is done in the name of the true God, but which are twice as foul as
the works of Egypt/flesh. (Ezekiel 16, Rev. 18)

"Let no one boast in men (which cause divisions like "Lutheranism,"
"Calvinism," "Wesleyanism," etc.). For all things are yours: whether Paul or
Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or
things to come--all are yours. And you are Christ's, and Christ is God's."
(1 Cor. 3:21-23) There will be NO divisions, sects, denominations in heaven.
Why not begin to bring to earth that which already is in heaven. "Thy
kingdom come, they will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matt. 6:10)
Are there thousands of denominations in heaven? I don't think so. So why
don't we practice what we pray? Why do we remain hypocrites? It is this
divisiveness which prevents the unity of the body of Christ from manifesting
which would bring healing to the nations. When will we humble ourselves and
give up our "traditions" in exchange for the power of God?

In religious Babylon we often mistake pouring out on the world the dead
religious works of our denominations with the pouring out of the work God
created for us to walk in which was prepared by Himself "from the foundation
of the world." (Eph. 2:10) They are NOT the same thing. The former produces
religious pride--a pride twice as evil as regular pride. (Ezek 16) The works
of God led by the Holy Spirit prepared long ago produces true humility in
the believer AND deliverance to the captives of this world. The white robe
of righteousness which Jesus wants us to wear will cost us our Babylonian
denominational garments. Jesus had one garment with no seams. It is time to
humble ourselves and burn those other religious garments which bring
confusion to the world.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and
pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear
from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2
Chronicles 7:14


Lord Jesus, bring us all into the fullness of all that you have purchased
for us on the Tree of Crucifixion. Let us receive the fullness of our
inheritance in You. Let us leave Egypt and Babylon behind that we may enter
YOUR gates with thanksgiving in our hearts and praise on our lips. Let us
enter into YOUR labor which will bring us all into oneness in You. Let our
labor truly be a labor of Love, a labor which does not produce
self-righteousness, pride, resentments, prejudices, jealousies, and other
forms of evil which the dead religious works of sectarianism produces. Let
us be filled with Yourself. Let us pour ourselves out to You. Let us empty
ourselves of our sectarian ways that you may pour Yourself into One Body so
that Your Life may flow through us to the inhabitants of this world. Give us
the grace to empty ourselves of the things that bring us into the bondage of
Egypt and Babylon. Then fill us with the power of Your Resurrected Life that
we may bring glory to your Most Precious Name.

You seek humility in your people. Oh Lord, do to us what is needed to bring
about a humble people clothed only with your robe of righteousness. Give us
the strength and courage to cause us to put off our Babylonian garments of
divisiveness. Religion binds us with its thousands of laws. Free us, oh
Lord, of the lawyers of religion and bind us together with your Love, Amen.
GA


{A Song of degrees of David.} Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for
brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the
beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of
Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
Psalm 133:1

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another
in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your
calling;

One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above
all, and through all, and in you all. Eph. 4:2-6


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