Only Vessels of Clay, But Grace…

Published by Deborah Negron M.A.

February 11, 2019

I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. Ecclesiastes 1:12‭-‬14 ESV

Yo el Predicador fui rey sobre Israel en Jerusalén. Y di mi corazón a inquirir y a buscar con sabiduría sobre todo lo que se hace debajo del cielo; este penoso trabajo dio Dios a los hijos de los hombres, para que se ocupen en él. Miré todas las obras que se hacen debajo del sol; y he aquí, todo ello es vanidad y aflicción de espíritu.
Eclesiastés 1:12‭-‬14 RVR1960

Well did the preacher say.
His position meant nothing.
His experience meant nothing.
For all his toil and effort, he still had no control.

For everything we do ultimately will be weighed by the Lord. All our effort is measured by the condition of our hearts.  The Lord tries the hearts of all to have us know our motives.

What drives us, the reasoning behind all of our actions and reactions will be measured. In light of this, our best consideration then, is to be humble. At my best, my righteousness is as filthy rags. At my best my efforts are fruitless if the condition of my heart is motivated by self.

The Holy Spirit moves us to seek God. The Holy Spirit drives us to truly have the scales over our eyes fall in order that we may see our sinfulness and surrender to Christ.

On our best day, we are still dust. On our highest moment, with all the wealth and all the positions and all the accolades gained, we are just mere humans.

The God of heaven loves us enough to make us understand that the only thing that makes us valuable truly, is the value God has placed on us. We are precious in his sight.

The blood Jesus shed on the cross for us is reason enough for us to surrender. The sacrifice and mercy God affords us is reason enough for us to bow down and acknowledge we are broken and needy and have no hope outside of God’s grace.

The Bible says we ought not have a higher opinion of ourselves than what we ought to have. David considered himself as a worm.

In today’s society self esteem seems to be the most highly proclaimed characteristic people believe to be needed to develop well. I beg to differ.

I believe we need a “God Esteem”, a term used by a preacher I once heard.

Self esteem is secondary to God esteem. How I esteem God, will determine how I treat my fellow man. How I am surrendered to Christ Christ Jesus will demonstrate who I truly am in Christ. This is not a competition of who makes it first. It is a position of humility and a brokenness of spirit that clings to the mercy of God. Outside of ourselves we recognize we can do nothing.

God holds all things in his hands. Yet He made himself lowly for us. Our very lives are under his control. His breath is in every living soul.

The Son of God was not arrogant. He did not come in the form of some divine authority and claim to save by destroying his enemies or forcing his will. He came as a Lamb to be slaughtered.

His motives were simple and clear. No deceitfulness nor imposing authority to gain his desire. No, he made himself an offering, he gave himself in our place. He redeemed us by taking our penalty for sin on himself. To suffer for the sake of saving humanity is what he did.

The apostle Paul writes,

“Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves]. Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others. Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:] Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!”
Philippians 2:3‭-‬8 AMPC

Looking at all of it, my conclusion,
I am but at his mercy. Our lives are but in His hands. Without faith and Repentance we have no hope. But through the cross and blood of Christ we have access to Redemption. We can come to His throne of grace and ask for him to intervene in our affairs. He becomes our comfort, our hope, our peace in life’s struggles. He is our deliverer and our Savior. He is the one who lifts up our heads. He is the one who rebukes the enemy as we live in obedience to his word.

Oh, there is nothing we really have to offer except our humbled hearts.
Lord, thank you for your love and mercy. Such a sinner, you are willing to save. Such a price you put on our heads. You consider us worthy to hold within the Treasure of Heaven in these vessels of clay.

Thank you Lord for your mercy and your grace.

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