Mary E. Maxwell, 20th century
If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. (2 Timothy 2:21)
A vessel He will make of you, if small or great, ’twill surely do—
Great joy and peace will always fill the one who’s yielded to His will.
To be a channel of the purposes of God is the highest calling in life. Every believer has been given at least one spiritual gift for this work (1 Peter 4:10). When we use that gift, our own lives are blessed and enriched by God as we bless others. For instance, after a visit to a nursing home or an invalid person, we often come away spiritually rejuvenated. Ministering to the needs of others is one of the best remedies for self-centeredness and joyless living.
Our ministry to others, however, is always based on what we have first received and experienced from God. We can never give out spiritual nourishment until we have first taken it in ourselves. Our experiences of suffering can be used to equip us to help others who suffer as we do. Difficulties can either make us bitter or they can fill us with a compassion and sensitivity for the hurts of others. People who are hurting can sense when we really understand and care for them in Christian love.
Our Lord is seeking representatives who realize their insufficiencies but are willing to be a channel filled with His power and love. That’s the vessel He can use.
How I praise Thee, precious Savior, that Thy love laid hold of me;
Thou hast saved and cleansed and filled me that I might Thy channel be.
Emptied that thou shouldest fill me, a clean vessel in Thy hand,
with no pow’r but as Thou givest graciously with each command.
Witnessing Thy pow’r to save me, setting free from self and sin,
Thou who boughtest to possess me, in Thy fullness, Lord, come in.
Jesus, fill now with Thy Spirit hearts that full surrender know,
that the streams of living water from our inner man may flow.
Chorus: Channels only, blessed Master—but with all Thy wondrous pow’r
flowing thru us, thou canst use us ev’ry day and ev’ry hour.
For Today: Romans 6:19; 2 Corinthians 4:1–7; Galatians 5:13; 2 Timothy 2:14–26; James 1:22
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you your particular gift in channeling God’s love to others. Share an encouraging, comforting word with someone you know is hurting. Use this musical message to help—