By Tonya Allen
A few years ago, I was listening to one of my sorority sisters, Rev. Dr. Wendy Coleman, preach a sermon entitled, “From Container to Vessel”. The text used was from II Timothy 2:21-25. One of the points made was that the world has enough containers, the Lord needs more vessels to pour out goodness. II Timothy 2:20 reminds us that all of God’s vessels have value, some have honor, some have dishonor. Society tends to honor and brag on the good vessels while we frown at the vessels filled with dishonor. We dishonor the vessels that pour out negativity and never have anything nice to say.
The Lord uses us all as vessels, but the question is are we vessels of honor or dishonor? Have you ever had a friend or coworker that over the years you have decided to no longer associate with? Every time they open their mouths to speak, it is always negative and loaded with complaints. A true example of container to vessel is a friend who is a container filled with complaints, negative comments, jealous actions, that pours out of a broken, vile vessel. Is that you? Are you the container that holds all negative vibes and use your vessel to pour out hatred and discourse? Are you the family member that everyone hates to see coming? Are you the church member that no one asks to work on their committee? Do you frown all the time and never find an opportunity to laugh or smile?
What type of vessel are you in your home? Do your children and spouse seek you out for advice or comfort? So, how do you become a vessel of honor? II Timothy 2:22, tells us to flee from youthful lusts and follow righteousness. More importantly, we should cry out to the Lord out of a pure heart. Being a positive vessel begins with what is your container. Your container should be filled with hope, faith, love, and peace. Verse 23 says that once it is time to be a vessel, we must avoid foolishness and pray before we speak. Always think about what you are about to say, even when speaking truthfulness, it must be done so in love.
In verses 24-25, we are told to be gentle unto all men, being ready to teach and be patient, being mild and meek towards those who oppose you. Even when our vessels are filled with holes, we must continue to seek God’s guidance so that we use his grace to patch those holes. A vessel filled with holes cannot pour into another vessel. Even when we are being mistreated, when they are treating you the worse, God requires that you have to treat them the best. When a gallon of milk spoils, seldom do we discard the contents and keep the container. We pour out the spoiled milk and consider the container tainted, never to be used again. The contents and the container are both discarded. But when the milk is fresh it is a container that turns into a vessel of goodness with nutrients. Its contents contribute to so many of our favorite dishes. It enhances every dish by providing richness and smoothness.
We are vessels unto God. Remember what Romans 9:21-23 tells us? When God created us, he formed man as a vessel. A vessel of clay. A vessel of honor. A vessel of glory. A vessel of mercy. So, I ask you again, “What kind of vessel are you?”
Tonya can be reached at [email protected] Tonya and her husband Robert were Married Couples Ministry leaders for 16 years at Freewill Missionary Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama.
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