Mary E. Maxwell, 1837-1915

If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
II Timothy 2:21

A vessel He will make of you,
if small or great, 'twill surely do--
Great joy and peace will always fill
the one who's yielded to His will.
~Author Unknown~

To be a channel of the purposes of God is the highest calling in life. Every believer has been given at least one spiritual gift for this work (I Peter 4:10). When we use that gift, our own lives are blessed and enriched by God as we bless others. For instance, after a visit to a nursing home or an invalid person, we often come away spiritually rejuvenated. Ministering to the needs of others is one of the best remedies for self-centeredness and joyless living.

Our ministry to others, however, is always based on what we have first received and experienced through our personal relationship with God. We can never give out spiritual nourishment until we have first taken it in ourselves. Our experiences of suffering can be used to equip us to help others who suffer as we do. Difficulties can either make us bitter or they can fill us with a compassion and sensitivity for the hurts of others. People who are hurting can sense when we really understand and care for them in Christian love.

Our Lord is seeking representatives who realize their insufficiencies but are willing to be a channel filled with His power and love. That's the vessel He can use.

How I praise Thee, precious Savior,
That Thy love laid hold of me;
Thou hast saved and cleansed and filled me
That I might Thy channel be.

Emptied that Thou shouldest fill me,
A clean vessel in Thy hand;
With no pow'r but as Thou givest
Graciously with each command.

Witnessing Thy power to save me,
Setting free from self and sin;
Thou who boughtest to possess me,
In Thy fullness, Lord, come in.

Jesus, fill now with Thy Spirit
Hearts that full surrender know;
That the streams of living water
From our inner self may flow.

Channels only, blessèd Master,
But with all Thy wondrous power
Flowing through us, Thou canst use us
Every day and every hour.

*For Today*: Romans 6:19; II Corinthians 4:1-7; Galatians 5:13; II Timothy 2:14-26; James 1:22

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you your particular gift in being a channel of God's love to others. Share an encouraging, comforting word with someone you know is hurting.

Music url: The CyberHymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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