Focus Passage: “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.” (Ephesians 4:2-4, NLT)
Two of our core values at Vessel United are that people are our priority and unity is our pursuit. Loving people is what we do, because God first loved us (1 John 4:19)!
As C.S. Lewis said, “He loved us not because we were loveable, but because He is love.” There are so many times when we fall short of perfect love and unity as the body of Christ, but God’s love is strong enough to hold us together and make us more like Him.
Before we can be united vessels with a healthy purpose, we must learn that wholeness can never be found in people or things, but only in Jesus.
So how can we be united vessels?
1. Empty your vessel.
What needs to be removed from your life? What is blocking your vision or obstructing your relationship with Jesus?
It’s not always sin that needs to be emptied out. Sometimes it’s just unnecessary things that block our vision to be kingdom-minded and productive for the King we serve.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8, NLT).
We need to remove toxic thoughts and ideas like unforgiveness, pride, greed, selfishness, and unholy views of ourselves and others.
Allow the Holy Spirit to show you what needs to be emptied out of the vessel of your life.
2. Restore your vessel.
This speaks of preparation for future use. If you have brokenness or holes in your life, it’s important that you go through the process of restoration in Jesus in order to be prepared for what is coming next.
To restore means to repair or to renovate, or to double one’s value. Restoration of any kind comes with restrictions.
Think of a construction site. Workers who are restoring or renovating buildings use hard hats, safety glasses, caution tape, safety cones, safety vests, and more. These items may somewhat restrict their production, but they are needed to keep the workers safe while the site is under construction.
God’s plan is not to harm you with restrictions but to protect you. He provides spiritual restrictions that are meant to restore us to a focused and flourishing relationship with Him.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9, NLT).
But you don’t need to do this work alone. Kingdom family is in it for the long haul! We don’t just throw vessels away because they’re cracked or broken; we put the time into letting the Holy Spirit heal us, restore us, and make us new.
Be open and honest about where you need help. We will build each other up!
3. Refill your vessel.
Once you’ve been emptied out and restored, your vessel can carry contents in a healthy way. You should refill your life and your heart with God’s Word, which is the key to right thinking, right talking, and right relationships.
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God” (Ephesians 3:18-19, NLT).
When you fill your vessel with God’s Word, you can grow in humility, patience, love, peace, joy, kindness, gentleness, and unity. You can find a whole new place in the family of God!
Because you’ve gone through the process of being emptied, restored, and refilled, you’re ready for the Master’s powerful anointing. You’ll be able to pour it out in a healthy way to those around you: your spouse, your kids, your friends, your church community, and beyond!