Sunday, June 14, 2009

Treasure in Earthen Vessels

...Take Mark...he is profitable...for the ministry.

2nd Timothy 4:11

When John Mark decided to take time off to visit his family, it didn’t sit too well with Paul.

Later when Barnabas wanted to take John Mark on their next missions trip, Paul exploded! The contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul chose Silas (see Acts 15:38-40 NKJV).

But the story doesn’t end there. Later, an older and wiser Paul who had learned to add grace to his grit, writes:

10For Demas has deserted me for love of this present world and has gone to Thessalonica; Crescens [has gone] to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very helpful to me for the ministry.

2nd Timothy 4:10-11.

There are three important lessons here for you:

  1. Always be willing to give someone a second chance. After all, that’s what God does for you. Now, in extending grace you can get hurt and disappointed. However, if you’re going to be Christ-like it’s a risk you must take.

  2. Don’t measure everybody else by your standards and goals. The truth is, they may not be called to do what you’re called to do. Or they may have been called to do it in a different way. Don’t make your personal preferences a precondition for loving, accepting and working with someone.

  3. When you look for the best in others, you usually find it. The Bible says, “...We have this treasure in earthen vessels...” (2nd Corinthians 4:7).

So every time you meet the treasure, you’ll bump into the earthen vessel. Don’t allow that to devalue the treasure, or your responsibility to look for it. Motivated people will rise to meet your expectations.

Pastor Ng Francis

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