Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vessels of Honor

Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work (2 Timothy 2:20–21).
God has created us to be vessels of honor. Some translations loosely translate ‘vessels’ as ‘pots.’ How appropriate.

From this passage I get two basics thoughts that will help us in our Christian walk. First, God has created each of us to be unique in his “house”. No two of us are the same. Some of us have long hair, some have short. Some of us are smarter in math; some are smarter in English. Paul’s point here is that in God’s church there are all sorts of people. No two people are alike and this is for a reason. God wants to do things through us that he can only use us to do. He can do anything he wants of course, but he has ordained that he wants to use means to accomplish his goals.  Creating us in the way he created us was done for an eternal purpose. For example, do you have a friend who doesn’t know the Lord and you are his only Christian friend? God cannot bring that person closer to himself through someone who is not you. He has placed you in your friend’s path, because you are who you are. He’s got a plan.
You are the way you are because God thought it important to make you that way. You may not become the next Billy Graham or the next president but, you have been created to do what you do like no other person. Instead of being bummed because you aren’t as smart as another person, you should be rejoicing in your status because God has given you the ability to know and live with people that other person will probably never get to know and lead to the Lord.
Let me give you an illustration of what I mean. I know a man who is brilliant. He is a hydraulic engineer and he works for a company that sells valves and piping to nuclear power plants. And yes, he does make oodles of money. There was a time when I envied him and his brains until I realized that he was never going to be able to meet the people I meet every day in the situation in which God has placed me. My friend is in a completely different world. He can’t touch my world, and I can’t touch his. God has created each of us to be completely equipped to minister in the areas where we are functioning.
Now, having said all this let me hasten on to mention the second point Paul is making in our passage. Just because God has made you to be who you are does not mean that he is satisfied with who you are. He has made you to be vessels of honor. This means that you are to be doing what he has created you to do and that takes hard, concentrated work. It means that you have to realize that you are in a war (Ephesians 6) and that you are in a race (Hebrews 12). Vessels of honor strive to maintain spiritual purity. That means you are constantly growing in grace and in obedience to the Lord God. You need to abandon everything that would separate you from God so that you can do what he has created you to do with honor, bringing glory to his name. You cannot be content with immaturity or with mediocrity. You must be striving to grow and develop what God has given you. If you are to be good earthen vessels or good gold plates, you must be honorable vessels and honorable plates.  You must cleanse yourself of the things that would bring dishonor to God and to his son Jesus.

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