2 Corinthians 4:7-18 (NKJV): But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.
And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Joshua 6:15-19, 23-25: But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times. And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: “Shout, for the LORD has given you the city! Now the city shall be doomed by the LORD to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the LORD; they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.”
And the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, her mother, her brothers, and all that she had. So they brought out all her relatives and left them outside the camp of Israel. But they burned the city and all that was in it with fire. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
2 Timothy 2:20-21: But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
Isaiah 29:15-16: Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the LORD, And their works are in the dark; They say, “Who sees us?” and, “Who knows us?”
Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; For shall the thing made say of him who made it, “He did not make me”? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?
Isaiah 64:4-8: For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him. You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, Who remembers You in Your ways. You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—In these ways we continue; And we need to be saved.
But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. And there is no one who calls on Your name, Who stirs himself up to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us, And have consumed us because of our iniquities. But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.
Jeremiah 18:1-11: The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.
Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the LORD. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant that I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it. Now therefore, speak to the men of Jerusalem, saying, “Thus says the LORD: “Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.
Matthew 13:47-52: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”
Romans 9:21-24: What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
Ephesians 2:4-10: But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Colossians 1:13-23: He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
And you who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which, I, Paul, became a minister.
GOD LOVES US, enough that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, and He sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.
GOD loves us with an EVERLASTING LOVE that is patient and kind, that does not envy or boast, that is not proud; it does not dishonor others; it is not self-seeking; it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. His love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth; it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. His love never fails.
In this GREAT LOVE, GOD CREATED US, in HIS IMAGE, according to HIS LIKENESS, and we are HIS WORKMANSHIP, created in CHRIST JESUS for GOOD WORKS, which GOD PREPARED BEFOREHAND that we should WALK in THEM.
We are THE CALLED according to GOD’s PURPOSE, and OUR WILL is to do the WORK of the LORD, for we are GOD’s EARTHEN VESSELS who are CHOSEN for SERVICE and HONOR, who are SET APART and MADE HOLY, who are PURIFIED, SANCTIFIED, and CONSECRATED to the LORD through the redemptive BLOOD of JESUS CHRIST, and because JESUS was RESURRECTED, and HE LIVES, we are RECONCILED to GOD through HIM, and we have ASSURANCE through the HOLY SPIRIT that we are BORN of GOD, that we are SONS and DAUGHTERS through CHRIST JESUS, because of the FULL PRICE JESUS PAID on CALVARY’s CROSS.
So, we are CHOSEN VESSELS for GOD’s GLORY and HONOR: we LIVE LIFE LOUD for JESUS CHRIST the SON; we’re SOULED-OUT for GOD the FATHER; and we’re AVAILABLE for the HOLY SPIRIT, because we’re GOD’s AMBASSADORS, we’re the BODY of CHRIST, and we’re the TEMPLES of the HOLY SPIRIT. We’re SURRENDERED VESSELS who LOVE GOD like ADDICTS with ALL OUR HEART, SOUL, MIND, and STRENGTH, and we LOVE OTHERS like ourselves, because GOD is LOVE, and GOD is in our SPIRITUAL DNA, and this LIVING GOD is UNCHANGING; He’s ETERNAL, and He’s EVERYTHING, the SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY, and FOREVER.
GOD is our SOURCE, our CREATOR, our FATHER, our KING.
GOD is our LORD, our SAVIOR, our REDEEMER, our DELIVERER, our PRINCE, our BRIDEGROOM.
GOD is our COUNSELOR, our ADVOCATE, our HEALER, our PROTECTOR, our PROVIDER.
GOD is our TEACHER, our COMFORTER, our SEAL, our GUARANTEE.
GOD is our HOPE, our FAITH, our LOVE, our PEACE.
GOD is our REFUGE, our CORNERSTONE, our STRONG TOWER, our ROCK.
GOD is our GOOD SHEPHERD, our TRUE VINE, our BRANCH, our GATE, our DOOR.
GOD is our LIGHT and our SALVATION; GOD is our STRENGTH and our SHIELD.
GOD is ALPHA and OMEGA, the BEGINNING and the END.
GOD is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our FAITH.
GOD is our VICTORY; GOD is OUR WORD.
GOD is the KING of KINGS and the LORD of ALL, and JESUS, the SON of GOD, is the WAY and the TRUTH and the LIFE, and NO ONE comes to the FATHER except THROUGH HIM.
Without GOD, we can do nothing, for we were created through and for GOD, and in CHRIST JESUS, we are REPURPOSED for HONORABLE and EVERYDAY USE in a ministry of reconciliation. And here are the real questions that will help us gauge where we are on our spiritual journey: Are we vessels for HONORABLE or DISHONORABLE use? Vessels for GOD or vessels for the adversary? Who do we serve--GOD or Satan? Who’s our Master? Who do we love more?
If we died today, where would we spend eternity: in the presence of the LIVING GOD in the kingdom of LIGHT or with the adversary, outside of GOD's presence, in a kingdom of darkness?