We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:7
I grew up in a pastor’s home and taught the mission was not complete without loving God, and loving people. Problems, struggles, sickness, death, joys, were all part of life. Pointing people to the cross was the first response in care; Jesus was and is the answer.
Growing up I observed my parents living life while giving away heaven’s priceless treasure.
Amazingly, day in and day out they loved, taught, and freely gave others what they had been given. Spending time with the Father in prayer filled them to overflow. Standing determined to reflect Christ in every circumstance, they were faithful. My Dad’s voice, thick with truth, would instruct, “Karen, just love people and pray about their struggle. We do not wrestle against humanity. We fight against the spirit not flesh.”
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
No matter the situation my parents responded in prayer. Giving all the pain to God, who mended the broken heart and offered unending peace in the midst of the storm, they returned good for evil. The Word of God was alive and active. Through their authentic example, I learned this lesson.
"People in pain, store wounds and overflow hurt onto others."
It is not easy to say, but it is the truth. Every person at one time has responded to evil by throwing evil. Even followers of Christ are guilty of responding to pain by inflicting more pain. Sadly, choosing this path glorifies satan not God. But today I want you to know there is another way. We cannot profess to follow Jesus and live life modeling the world.
As an adult I walked through many circumstances in which people wanted to hurt others because they couldn’t carry all the pain inside. Sick at heart, when the heaviness weighed them down, they gave the hurt away.
Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. 1 Peter 3:9
Remarkably, the same principle applies no matter what we choose to store. Everything is weighty. When we carry the living water, we overflow joy, peace and patience.
Similarly, holding entitlement, un-forgiveness and offense covers our words and laces our actions with irritation and anger. Bitterness springs forth and splashes onto others. This cycle alleviates pain for a moment, but the open sore never heals without the power of the Holy Spirit binding the wound and mending the heart.
"True healing transforms the wound into a well overflowing with hope for the hopeless."
Storing up bitterness, envy, and strife becomes unbearably heavy and it weights our words and distorts our purpose. Steps become strong with destruction and instead of overflowing with kindness we crush others with cruelty.
The creator formed vessels to pour His perfect will into the world. The Fruit of the spirit should be evident in the life of a believer, as we grow more like Christ. Satan knows when we take our eyes off Jesus; we no longer have the power to pour God’s goodness into the world.
“Jesus said when referring to false prophets, “You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act” (Matthew 7:16). We have an enemy seeking to steal and destroy our identifying fruit.
As devoted followers of Christ we carry the responsibility to fill up with God’s ways and words, not the worry and wickedness of the world.
“A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” Luke 6:45
"What we store in our earthen vessel we pour into the world."
Our response to the world is an outflow of the devotion of our heart. Time in the secret place with the Father or the busyness of the world, shapes our vessel and determines what we pour.
Romans 12:12 says “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Focused followers carry the power to turn hearts back to God and influence culture. People are watching what we represent by our response. Modeling what is good and pleasing and perfect returns prayer for pain as God transforms what satan meant for evil into His divine purpose. God awaits our surrender and longs to fill us to overflowing. We must decide. Will the vessel pour what is pleasing to the Father or return evil into the world?
Isaiah 44:3 says “For I will pour out water to quench your thirst and to irrigate your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children.”
God streams into us water destined to quench our thirst. He works through us to drip living water onto the world. The lesson remains. What we store inside our earthen vessel, we will pour into the world. Which will we choose?
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