Earthen vessels

Church bulletin:

Before ascending, the Lord Jesus met with His disciples at a pre-appointed time and place. He then commissioned them – All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (19) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;.” Amen.” (Matt 28:18-20).

Who did Christ call to undertake this global evangelistic ministry – those who had it all worked out, those who would never fail, those who were secure in gifting and knowledge, those who were oozing confidence? Not exactly. Let’s go back a couple of verses. Matt 28:16-17, Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. (17) When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.”

Some doubted. Not all of the disciples were convinced they were standing in the presence of the resurrected Christ. There was uncertainty. They had questions. Their faith was not what it could have been or should have been. They were not wallowing in the valley of abject disbelief, but neither were they riding the wave of robust assurance. What did Jesus do? He told them to go into the world preaching and baptizing with a view to making more disciples. He did not tell them to hold off until they had sorted themselves out.

It is with doubts, questions, uncertainties, and insecurities that God sends forth His people. The fact is, we never get to a point in life whereby we have everything sorted out. The fact is, in order for God to use us productively, we don’t need to have everything sorted out. Even after the in-filling of the Spirit at Pentecost, Peter had his failures. He acknowledged the difficulty of understanding all that Paul taught. He knew he was not Paul’s equal. Nevertheless, God used Peter mightily. God uses pastors, Sunday school teachers, youth workers, people in outreach, people ministering to the needy, all of whom exist in the midst of doubts and questions; all of whom are works in progress and still learning and growing; all of whom don’t get everything right.

Obviously, some people are not suited to minister in some situations. They may have doubts to the point of being crippled, they may be too insecure, they may not be gifted in the right way or they may not be mature enough. Nevertheless, God works through earthen vessels – vessels with chips and cracks, vessels not yet finished. If we think that everything needs to be in place before we can be of any use in God’s kingdom, we won’t do anything.

The success of the ‘Great Commission’ did not rest with the disciples, but with Christ. All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore………… and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” They were His instruments, and He would use them in His work. Christ was with them, and He is with all believers – to the end of the age. Do not be taken up with your inadequacies, doubts, past failures, etc. be taken up with His sufficiency.