Monday, January 30, 2017

The Anonymous Cooking Pot

It was one of those moments when I had to pull back and remind myself that being nameless is more valuable than taking credit. If you love people; if you ever meet needs or reach out to hurting people, you know what it is to be appreciated. And in those moments, I try to remember the pots in Zechariah... you don't know those pots? Let me introduce you:

"On that day HOLY TO THE LORD will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty..." (Zech. 14:20-21).

A good Bible student might say, "But we're not going to be pots in Jerusalem," and he would be right. We won't be pots, but we will have Jesus' name written on our foreheads (Rev. 22:3-4).  People, bells, pots. It's all for Him, to Him, from Him.... Can you imagine? We will be set apart, designated, identified by the name of our Creator, Owner, Redeemer, Purchaser. That's our brand.

As I thought of Jesus' words, "your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) I wondered if it's possible to live like that now--here on earth--as it will be in heaven? What if we, God's people, wore His name instead of their own? Lived His life instead of theirs?

What if it didn't matter who we were, by name, as much as who we represented? What if my life was designated, "HOLY TO THE LORD?"

Because it is.

"The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.... You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." (1 Corinthians 6:13, 19-20)

If my life is His, my name and my body are His--does it really matter if people know who I am?Wouldn't it be better if people said, "Somebody helped me. I don't remember who, but they reminded me of Jesus." And the question that checks my heart is this: does it matter if they know my name? Does it matter if they get it right? Or did I love and serve in a way that God might receive the credit and glory?

If I can serve anonymously, if no one remembers who I am, but they think Jesus was nearby, I'm exactly where God wants me.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:7-18 NIV)

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