Hi everyone. Welcome to week 22 of The ABC’s of Contentment. Today we’re on the letter V and V stands for Vase. I told you I’m going to give you a condensed version of what I did for my Awana girls about how becoming a Christian is like becoming a Vase and give you a gospel message, so that’s what I’m gonna do. Here we go. First, here’s all the pieces that I made when I learned how to make a Vase. Again, this took 11 weeks, and all these pieces could represent how even when we come to the Lord and start becoming a Vase, growing in the Lord and getting to know Him is a process. It doesn’t just happen overnight like things do in the movies. Here’s the finished product that I made, and here’s a yellow one that my friend Jessica made. The reason I’m showing two different colored Vases is to show that not every Vase, not every life, is going to be the same. Sometimes we’re going to have different experiences and learn different things, even as Christians; but that’s okay. The important thing is that we grow in the Lord and get to know him; and when our time comes, we get to meet him face to face in heaven. The question is: are we ready for that? I once saw something on Facebook that a friend of mine had said, “Christians are people who are walking each other home.” That’s so true. Our goal is to help each other along. If we were all the same, relationships would be boring because we would have nothing to learn from each other. We’d all be robots. God never intended for us to be robots. Instead, he intended for us to be Vases. I’m using the Vase analogy because I thought it was appropriate. Remember Romans 9:20-21 that says, “Lord, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” There’s a lot about pottery in the Bible, so I thought it was appropriate; here we go. Here’s the gospel. God had planned for us as humans to have a relationship with him and be together in heaven in paradise where everything would be perfect. When He created Adam and Eve, He only gave them one rule to follow. Can you imagine if you only had to follow one rule? That would be great, wouldn’t it? I think so. Anyway, they only had one rule to follow, but they fell. God said in Genesis 2:16-17, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” One thing that you learn about God and His Word is that when God says something, He means what he says. God is not a liar. Anyway, all they had to do was follow that one rule but they failed. So because of that, we humans are like broken Vases because of sin. Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of glory of God.” So the Vase (our relationship with God) has to be repaired. In order to help repair the Vases, God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” So now that Christ died for us and rose again, there’s hope! The Vase can be repaired! Yay! Acts 16:31 says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Then after we accept Christ as our Savior, we begin to be transformed into that beautiful Vase that God meant for us to be in the first place. Psalms 51:7 says, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” From the day we accept Christ as our Savior, until the day we get to heaven, God is always working on us to complete that work that He started when we first became a Christian. Until the day we get to heaven, we’re like unfinished Vases. To become that finished Vase we have to do our part; it’s not all up to God. So how do we begin to become a finished Vase? Well, like I said, we meet with other Christians and learn from each other. Read his word and pray. We actually spend time with God and get to know Him. Philippians 1:4-6 says, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Now the Bible doesn’t say anything about become a Christian and your life will be smooth-sailing. No. Just because you become a Christian doesn’t mean you won’t have problems. Look at the Apostle Paul; even when Saul became Paul, he got thrown in jail many times because he was preaching the Word of God. But he still never went back on his faith; even from inside the jail cell. He wrote letters to other believers to encourage them because he knew what it was like to be in the big bad world. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, the Apostle Paul says, “I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecution, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” See my strong muscles? Let’s face it: even though God forgives us, it’s not always easy for us as humans to forget the past. We all have things in our lives that we could look back and say, “I wish I hadn’t done that. What did I do that for?” As the Apostle Paul stated in that last verse, just because you become a Christian doesn’t mean you yourself forget what you did. The Vase may have blemishes, but it’s those blemishes that God uses in our lives to help us minister to others and show us how far we’ve come. The more you get to know the Lord (and this is why it’s so important to spend time with him in His word), the more you’ll be saying, “Thank you Lord for not removing those blemishes from my life. Thank you for what you brought me through. Thank you for who you are. Again, I could go on and on. So this is a condensed version of the gospel and if you’re interested in seeing the full lesson I did for the girls, come to my YouTube channel and look for the video titled, “How Becoming a Christian Is Like Becoming a Vase.” Thanks for watching everyone. If anybody has any questions about what I said, when I upload the video, feel free to leave questions or comments below. I’m here to help okay? Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next week when we talk about the letter W and W will be for Will. Bye everyone, God Bless.