Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Building and Being Vessels of Honor

We recently had our annual Mother/Daughter Banquet at church.  I love the theme that was chosen this year.  Vessels of Honor.  A great topic for such an occasion.  I was asked to help decorate for the occasion and as I thought about this theme, the Lord laid some thoughts on my heart that I want to share. Though these thoughts are geared toward mothers, I believe everyone, regardless of race, color, sex or creed could benefit from them.  I want to talk about "being and building vessels of honor".  These are a few random thoughts but the message in each one is very powerful.

Our mother/daughter banquet decor 2012
see more at http://beyondtheportico.blogspot.com/
A Vessel in the Hands of the Potter---

When I was a child in school I had the privilege and opportunity to take part in a pottery class.  I got to watch the teacher as she showed us how to make a vessel on a potters wheel.  She made it look so easy and her pot turned out so beautiful.  The shape and curves were perfect.  She then gave each of us a chance to use the wheel and make a vessel of our own.  I was so excited.  I took the lump of clay she gave me and threw it down on the wheel then began to make the wheel spin.  I started to mold the clay into a vessel, or at least I tried, but let me just say that it takes much skill and practice to be a true potter.  My vessel didn't look quite like the teachers.  It was lop sided and not very pretty.  I'm not sure where that pot is today.  It was probably trashed long ago, but I want to talk briefly about a vessel in the hands of the potter.

But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter: and we all are the work of thy hand.
                                          Isaiah 64:8

The bible tells us that God is like a potter and we are his clay.  Of course, that is if we allow him to be, and when we allow him to be, he can make something honorable out of us.  It is a privilege to have God take this lump of a life and shape and mold it into something special and useful for him.  As mothers, God has given US a job as potter as well.  God gave us our children, precious little unshapen lumps of clay and gave us the duty of shaping their lives into something of beauty, value and honor.  Yes, I know they have fathers too, but a mother plays a special part in the lives of her children to nurture and train them.  As mother, we are the first to get our hands on those little lumps.  We are the first to hold them, the first to talk to them and he put them specifically in our care to give them shape and purpose.  He gave us the choice of what we want to make out of their lives.  The way we instruct, guide and live in front of our children, and the way we handle those little lumps, will determine how they turn out.  This job of potter is so very important and though it takes much practice and patience, we must dedicate ourselves to that work in the same fashion as God has dedicated to shaping our lives.  God is doing his best to make us into the perfect vessel for his service and we must do our best in shaping and molding our children into honorable vessels too.

Don't worry though if you have made some mistakes along the way.  We all have!  However, I like what the bible says in Jeremiah when God sent him to the potters house.  The potter wrought a work on the wheel and it was flawed in his hand, but the potter didn't throw the clay away, he picked it up and started over.  If you are reading this today and you haven't always been the best parent or the best example in your childrens lives, it'll be okay.  From today on you have the opportunity to start over.  You can become a vessel of honor yourself and you can reshape your children into something good as well.

Now for the younger people out there, you have a responsibility here too.  As clay you must be shapeable.  Pliable.  Allow your Godly parents to teach and train you.  They know what's best for you.   Godly parents, although they make mistakes, really do care for your well being.  Not only physically but spiritually as well.  Don't be rebellious.  Listen to them and learn from them.  Let them help shape you into godly, honorable vessels.

Definition of Vessel---

We are going to switch gears a little here, but still talk about being and building vessels of honor, just in a different sort of way.

The more I thought about this word vessel, I decided to look it up in the dictionary.  Now I know that it means something capable of holding liquid or another substance but there was another definition that I was particularly intrigued by..

...it says, a vessel is a person into whom some quality (such as grace) is infused.

This definition sparked something in me and put a vision in my mind of how this infusing takes place.

The Fountain---

There's a garden fountain at Lowe's that I would love to have for my yard.  It to me is the perfect illustration of this definition of vessel.  As a matter of fact this fountain was the first thing that came to mind when I was asked to help decorate for the banquet.

I even asked if maybe there was someone in the church who had one of these fountains we could use, but there wasn't.  I considered buying one but they are very expensive ($179.00)...besides, it probably wouldn't have made it to the banquet anyway.  It would be sitting in my yard somewhere looking pretty instead.  LOL

The fountain resembles three earthen, clay vessels stair stepped in size.  Like in the picture above.  One large, one medium and one small.  As the water begins to flow through the fountain, the large vessel is the first to be filled.  Once it is full to the brim it spills over into the medium sized pot and that one then spills over into the smallest pot.  Let's imagine these pots represent us (because isn't that what the bible likens us to, earthen vessels).  We mothers (parents) are the largest vessel, and so on down the line.  The teenagers are like the medium vessel and the smallest pot is like our little children.  We, like these vessels, are pouring out of our spirits into each other every day.  Starting with the adults and working it's way down into the smallest of people.  It's important now that we talk about what it is that we are pouring into each other.

Let's imagine if you will,  two vessels....both bottles.  Just plain ol' bottles, nothing to look at and not really important.  It's what's been put in them that is important.  The first is a bottle of water.  Now we know that water has the power to hydrate, to heal and to give life.  Our second is a bottle of Spectracide, which is a poison with the potential to kill everything it touches.  As mentioned above, we as people pour into each other.  Every word that spills out of our mouths, every action or deed that pours out from us will spill over into and influence or affect someone else.  It's important that we pay much attention to what is filling up our vessel.  We need to make sure we stay full of the right stuff.  If all we are taking in is negativity, vulgarities, lies, impurities and gossip, then that's what we will pour out into other people all the while poisoning them.  As my one sunday school student would say, "garbage in, garbage out".  For our children's sakes or for the sakes of those younger or smaller than we are, we need to make sure we are filled up on the good things of God.  We need to stay full of the Holy Ghost and God's word.  We must commit to living righteous, wholesome lives, listening to and reading godly, holy materials because everything we take into ourselves, whether we realize it or not, is going to pour out into someone else.  Within each of us, simply by what we take in, lies the power and ability to either bring life and healing to others or poison one another.  Always be mindful of what you are taking in and what you are pouring out.

Okay, I know I have jumped around a bit.  We've talked about being like a potter and molding our children.  We've talked about being a vessel that pours out of our spirit into someone else but now I have what I feel to be a few words of encouragement to those out there who are older mothers who've already raised their children.  Perhaps you are feeling lonely.  The house is pretty much empty and maybe you feel as if your purpose in life has been filled, your job is done.  Perhaps you feel is if you are just no longer important or useful to those you love.  The following is a story I found on another blog I read (155 Dream Lane) a few weeks ago and thought was very fitting for you. (amazingly enough, it is almost the exact same story that the guest speaker at our mother/daughter banquet shared with us on Saturday, so this must be meant to be).

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots,
each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect
and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house,
the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily,
with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection,
and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure,
it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.

'I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side
causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.' 

The old woman smiled,
'Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path,
but not on the other pot's side?'

'That's because I have always known about your flaw,
so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path,
and every day while we walk back, you water them.'

'For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.'

'Without you being just the way you are,
there would not be this beauty to grace the house.'

So for you older ladies who feel as if you no longer have anything to give to this world, you will never know just how incredibly important you are.  Yes, you may be somewhat worn out.  You have some visable wear and tear but you add so much beauty and value to our lives.

To some of you others, perhaps who have just made some mistakes in your life and you feel as if you are cracked, flawed and of no value to anybody, you too, in the right hands (God's hands) can be a vessel of honor bringing beauty and grace to others. 

Well, I know this was somewhat of a hodge podge of thoughts, but I hope that something shared here today will inspire you to be a better mother, a better person and most importantly a vessel of honor.



  1. thanks for sharing such a wonderful message. its very helpful as am preparing a message on Children being vessels of honor.

  2. Wow this is something truly edifying for me. Praise God, for His perfect use of His vessels.



This blog is dedicated to all things inspirational, with it's basis solely from the infallible, inerrant word of God. Unless otherwise posted all scripture references will be taken from the Kings James version of the Holy Bible. Some biblical material and docrinal views on this blog may be controversial in content. I ask when viewing this type of material that you open your heart solely to the word of God and allow his truth, as written in his word, to teach and guide you.
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