PREPARING THE VESSEL GOD USES Part 2
Pastor Wole Gbogboade
Text: Phil. 2:1-8
It is true that the Bible refers to converts or God’s children as Sheep. If you look at the Sheep, it has many things in common with the Donkey: The Sheep is not a talkative but humble, gentle, submissive, obedient, harmless, perseveres even to death etc. And we found all these characteristics in the life of Jesus the Lamb of God who humbled Himself to death.
But the Lord had told His disciples many times that He was going to die on the Cross. “if I be lifted up, I shall draw men unto me.”
Another time He said, He would be in the womb of the earth for three days like Jonah in the belly of the Whale; yet another time, He said the son of man would be crucified. He told the Pharisees, “destroy this Temple and I shall rebuild it in three days.” On His last journey to Jerusalem to face crucifixion, He decided to use a Donkey with a natural cross on its back, rugged, humble, loving, peaceful, harmless etc to teach His disciples in practical terms the way of the Cross which all His disciples must go through. John 12:24.
The message of the Cross is best illustrated with a cross bearing donkey that carry natural cross on itself and literally serve mankind as a beast of burden without complain. The cross is on the spine of the donkey and right across its two shoulders just as the Lord would carry the cross and as He was nailed on the cross!
The only time in the bible we see a donkey complain was in submission to the Lord who gave it a man’s voice to explain to a back sliding prophet why he continued to beat it when it never disobeyed him. The Lord then opened His prophet’s eyes to see the angel standing on Balaam’s way.
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Isa. 53:3-7 (KJV)
That explains why The Lord said, anyone who wants to be His disciple, must be willing to deny himself and carry his/her cross daily to follow Him. Luke 14:27, 33. When we truly carry our cross to follow Jesus, we will really be like Him.
Secondly, Jesus lived a word-patterned life; His life is dictated by the word of God absolutely. Many a time, Jesus would say, “as it is written of me.” Often, the Bible would quote a scripture just to confirm His action like the case of riding on the donkey.
“Jesus found a donkey and rode on it, just as the Scriptures say, “People of Jerusalem, don’t be afraid! Your King is now coming, and he is riding on a donkey. “At first, Jesus’ disciples did not understand. But after he had been given his glory, they remembered all this. Everything had happened exactly as the Scriptures said it would.” John 12: 14-16 (GNB)
In Matt. 5:17 Jesus said, “I have not come to do away with the law but to give them their full meaning (fulfill the law). (GNB)
The bible made us to know that people honoured the colt because of the Rider, Jesus Christ. That is a lesson of humility leading to honour. People of the world can never imagine the King of kings and Lord of lords leaving Chariots and horses known for its prestige, to come and ride a donkey used by the commoners. Jesus Christ is the epitome of humility and His lifestyle is good example to follow by whoever claims to be His disciple. Phil. 2:1-5.
Paul the Apostle went through a lot for the sake of the gospel yet, as a true disciple, he did not fail to preach the gospel even at the point of death.
“Instead, in everything we do we show that we are God’s servants by patiently enduring troubles, hardships, and difficulties.We have been beaten, jailed, and mobbed; we have been overworked and have gone without sleep or food. By our purity, knowledge, patience, and kindness we have shown ourselves to be God’s servants—by the Holy Spirit, by our true love, by our message of truth, and by the power of God. We have righteousness as our weapon, both to attack and to defend ourselves. We are honored and disgraced; we are insulted and praised. We are treated as liars, yet we speak the truth; as unknown, yet we are known by all; as though we were dead, but, as you see, we live on. Although punished, we are not killed; although saddened, we are always glad; we seem poor, but we make many people rich; we seem to have nothing, yet we really possess everything.” 2Cor. 6:4-10 (GNB)
“They strengthened the believers and encouraged them to remain true to the faith. “We must pass through many troubles to enter the Kingdom of God,” they taught.”Acts 14:22 (GNB)
God specializes in honouring what men despise; what men reject, God exalts; common men like fishermen whom the people labeled as ignorant men, God made them to speak in unusual wisdom. He called the foolish men to confound the wise and turn the wisdom of the wise to foolishness.
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: Who did not sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: Who, when He was reviled. Reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously…” 1 Peter 2:21-24 (KJV)
God uses ordinary men who submit their lives to Jesus to do extra-ordinary things and natural men to exhibit His supernatural might. Therefore, as we make ourselves available for the Master’s use, He will make us an instrument of grace for His glory in these last days.
We must not forget that the way to the top is from down. Eph. 4:10. The Lord Himself first went down to be able to reach the height in God.
As we humble ourselves to go through the School of the Holy Spirit, He will teach us, guide us in the knowledge of the truth; He will reveal deep things of God to us and reminds us those things we have been taught by the Lord in His word.
Remember, Jesus Himself refused the crown without going the cross. Just as we must lay down our lives and be willing to pay the price for God to use us.
Word of Salvation Publication
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