Mary E. Maxwell, 20th century
If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. (2 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.
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 (1 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 from 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 pow’r 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 man may flow.
Chorus: Channels only, blessed Master—but with all Thy wondrous pow’r
flowing thru us, thou canst use us ev’ry day and ev’ry hour.
For Today: Romans 6:19; 2 Corinthians 4:1–7; Galatians 5:13; 2 Timothy 2:14–26; James 1:22
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you your particular gift in channeling God’s love to others. Share an encouraging, comforting word with someone you know is hurting. Use this musical message to help—
Osbeck, K. W.
- I speak after the manner of man, because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have given your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity, to commit iniquity, so now give your members unto righteousness in holiness. Romans 6:19
- Therefore, seeing that we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not: But have cast from us the cloaks of shame, and walk not in craftiness, neither handles we the word of God deceitfully: but in declaration of the truth we approve ourselves to every man’s concience in the sight of God. If the gospel be then hid, it is hid from them that are lost. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds, that is, of the infidels, that the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, which is the image of God, should not shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servant for Jesus’ sake. For God that commanded the light to shine out of darkness, is he which hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of that power might be of God, and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:1–7
- For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty: only use not your liberty as an occasion unto the flesh, but by love serve one another. Galatians 5:13
- Of these things put them in remembrance, and protest before the Lord, that they strive not about words, which is no profit, but to the perverting of the hearers. Study to show thyself approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, dividing the word of truth aright. Stay profane, and vain babblings: for they shall increase unto more ungodliness. And their word shall fret as a canker: of which art Hymenaeus and Philetus. Which as concerning the truth have erred from the mark, saying that the resurrection is past already, and do destroy the faith of certain. But the foundation of God remaineth sure, and hath this seal, The Lord knoweth who are his: and Let everyone that calleth on the Name of Christ, depart from iniquity. Notwithstanding in a great house are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth, and some for honor, and some unto dishonor. If any man therefore purge himself of these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Lord, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also from the lusts of youth, and follow after righteousness, faith love, and peace, with them that call on the Lord with pure heart, And put away foolish and unlearned questions, knowing that they engender strife. But the servant of the Lord must not strive, but must be gentle toward all men, apt to teach, suffering the evil, Instructing them with meekness that are contrary minded, proving if God at any time will give them repentence, that they may acknowledge the truth, And come to amendment out of that snare of the devil, of whom they are taken prisoners, to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:14–26
- And be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22