Born To Be Pipes, Not Bowls

Jeff grace 2 Comments

For years I have used the illustration of the Christian life being that of a pipe and not a bowl. Bowls receive what is poured into them and then hold what they receive. Pipes, having an opening on each end, receive on one side and then release on the other. Pipes facilitate a flow. Jesus-followers are like that. God pours out what He chooses upon us so that we will happily release it upon others, refusing to keep for ourselves the blessings we receive from His good and generous hand. Today, I offer us a simple verse from the life of King David and then a prayer for Jesus to make us like this ancient king of Israel.

And King David said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” – 2nd Samuel 9:3

Lord Jesus, David expresses Your own royal heart with the question he just asked. Those words might have come through Your own mouth, when David asked if there was someone that he might bless. A king, in all his might and royalty, sitting in the palace of his power, and yet his mind travels outward beyond the beautiful gates, searching out a bullseye for his blessing.  This is Your heart, Jesus! This is how You are – with eyes roaming throughout the earth, seeking to show favor to anyone whose heart is upright with You.

I rejoice this morning that Your searching eye rests upon me.

I have received what You have poured out.

I have been made to come, and to sit, and to dine with You.

I have been summoned from a lower land of living to be present and welcome at Your table, and to feast as one brought into Your household.

You have made me whole, and You have made me happy. You have made me family.

King Jesus, You have shown the kindness of the Father to me.

Thank You, Jesus, for being greater than King David, yet for also being like him. Thank You that You did not leave off the welcome list all of those who were once in the house of Your enemy; You called us by name when looking for a soul to bless.  Thank You that our sin and selfishness, our pride and poverty, our ruin and our rebellion did not cause You to look in some other direction for a more fit specimen.  Thank You for coming to our own Lo Debar – that house of no bread where the offspring of Your enemy lived – and bringing us to feast at Your own table with You.  Thank You that, though we were those who lived in opposition to You, prioritizing ourselves at most every point, You continued to pursue us in grace and mercy so that You might show kindness to us. None could conceive of such a level of grace! None could expect it would find them. Surely, none could deserve it. Yet, surely enough, You have given it to us.

So, make us like You today, great King.  Move our hearts to seek out a bullseye whereupon our own blessing might fall.  Whom may we help? Is there one that You would dispatch us to, so that we might be like You as we pour forth undeserved kindness on them? We have been made to overcome, to taste victory, to rise from the dead, to inherit eternal life, to rule and reign with You, to receive manifold blessings. don’t let us live as bowls. Make us to live as Your pipes – poke a hole in our soul so that some of that goodness which You have given can freely flow forth to another.  We know we cannot save the world, but You have brought us to believe that there is someone to whom we can extend our own favor and intentional blessing. Show us that person today – that man, woman or child.

Jesus, who would You have us to bless today?

Make it clear and tell us soon. We are eager to carve out some thought-through, prayed-over blessing to release on some unsuspecting target.

We are eager to emulate You.

We even wish to be like King David who brought his enemy’s son to live in his own household – to bless someone who cannot bless us back at all. Is there someone to whom we might display the kindness of the Father today?

Move us beyond our weekly Sunday songs and sermons, and those momentary shaking of hands and quick hugs at the church building. We feel compelled to offer far more.

Today, Jesus, please give us a bullseye for our blessing.

Comments 2

    1. Best thing about being a pipe is that there is always something from God running through it! Whatever a bowl receives and holds turns stagnant in a short time.

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