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Acts 9:15-16. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name‚Äôs sake.
John 15:16. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Luke 14:26. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Acts 20:24. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
‚ÄúThe Lord said unto him, ‚ÄėGo thy way, for he is a chosen vessel unto Me to bear My name. For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name‚Äôs sake.‚Äô‚ÄĚ I‚Äôm sure we were all greatly moved by sister Riccio‚Äôs word this morning, when she kept repeating, ‚ÄúO Jesus, we need You. Jesus, we need You. O Jesus, give us a revival. Jesus, how we need You!‚ÄĚ We are in school, and we certainly are in school.
But I would like to turn that around. I think that we‚Äôll find a shortcut to a revival when we turn that around and find out that Jesus needs us. Jesus needs me, and until I see that it isn‚Äôt so much my needing Him as He needing me‚ÄĒor my wanting Him but He wanting me. He purchased me. He says, ‚ÄúYou‚Äôve not chosen Me; I have chosen you.‚ÄĚ But you know, the reason we choose Him and the reason we want Him is because we want to get something out of Him. You‚Äôll find that the great bulk of Christians everywhere in all churches are situated that way. They want God for what they can get out of Him: salvation, forgiveness of sins, healing, oh, and all kinds of blessings. And that constitutes our whole experience, our whole Christianity.
But that doesn‚Äôt satisfy Him. He purchased us that we might be ‚Äúvessels unto honor, sanctified and meet for the Master‚Äôs use.‚ÄĚ And the reason we don‚Äôt listen to that ‚ÄúI‚Äôve chosen you‚ÄĚ is because He says, ‚ÄúI‚Äôll show him how much he must suffer.‚ÄĚ That‚Äôs where we back down. But He says, ‚ÄúYou cannot be My disciple‚ÄĒyou can‚Äôt follow Me‚ÄĒas long as you love your own life.‚ÄĚ
Now, that‚Äôs simple gospel, and that‚Äôs sound doctrine, and nobody likes it! Nobody likes it. Oh, how we love our lives! How we love them! And as long as we have what we want, and God blesses our lives, and God blesses us with health, and gives us enough to eat, and gives us clothes, and gives us a comfortable life of following Him, why, He‚Äôs okay. I tell you, Jesus is okay‚ÄĒHe‚Äôs alright, He‚Äôs nice, He‚Äôs wonderful. And we sing ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs wonderful.‚ÄĚ But let Him cut a little bit deep, let Him begin to cleanse us and purify us and demand of us to give up, to repent, to quit ourselves. Oh, how we hang onto ‚Äúour own lives also.‚ÄĚ
Oh, beloved, we talk about other churches; let‚Äôs talk about them lovingly. Maybe in the sight of God, they‚Äôre doing far better than we. There‚Äôs just one standard‚ÄĒjust one standard: it‚Äôs Jesus.
How is this Potter ever going to get a ‚Äúvessel unto honor‚ÄĚ so that the ‚Äúprincipalities and powers in the heavenly places‚ÄĚ will be astonished at the riches of the wisdom and the goodness and mercy of God? That‚Äôs what He‚Äôs chosen us for!
And I‚Äôm so happy this morning that I don‚Äôt have to ‚Äúchoose Him,‚ÄĚ and I don‚Äôt have to tell Him how to sanctify me and how to finish me. But one thing I must do: surrender, submit absolutely, ‚Äúhate my own life also.‚ÄĚ He wants my life!
Oh, Paul was given to Jesus. Jesus Christ, have You chosen me too? Do You want me too, Jesus? Do You want me, Lord? Oh, do You really want me? Then bake out of me that self love! Jesus, make me love You; make me want You‚ÄĒnever mind what anybody else does. Oh, give me eyes anointed with eyesalve to see the King. Oh, give unto me ‚Äúthe Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.‚ÄĚ
They said, ‚ÄúWell, God can‚Äôt.‚ÄĚ But Caleb and Joshua, they had a different spirit with them. That‚Äôs what made the difference. Beloved, you and I need to have a different spirit; we need to have a Spirit who is Lord and Master‚ÄĒwho controls us absolutely.
I wish God could rub it under our second chin this morning that we‚Äôre not nearly as spiritual as we think we are and as we ought to be. Oh, that God might put into every one of our hearts a cry, ‚ÄúOh, that I might know Him, and the power of His resurrection!‚ÄĚ That‚Äôs what we‚Äôre here for. That‚Äôs what Jesus chose us for.
The work of a potter. ‚ÄúNow, that vase was not only put in the fire, but it was masoned into an oven. They had no door to it. It was put in the oven, and then bricks were cemented right around it. And there, that poor vase was lost in the fire‚ÄĒcouldn‚Äôt think of getting out‚ÄĒhad to stay in that furnace.‚ÄĚ (from 5:14)
Comments on seminaries. (from 11:15)