IT IS OUR PRIORITY IN LIFE TO BE VESSELS OF HONOR FOR OUR LORD
October 27th, 2002, Sunday Morning
"Vessel for Honor"
Being clean within results in being clean without and ready for God's use
OPENING: 2 Timothy 2:20-23
- It is the Lord's work to make us as he sees fit for a specific purpose
- Romans 9:20: We should not question why we were made or put on earth.
As it's written, the pot will not say to its molder, "why did you make me?"
- Romans 9:21: Doesn't the potter have the right to make one vessel (person)
for honorable work and another for common tasks?
- We have no control over how we've been made for this life
- Some pots (representations of people) are silver and gold
- Some are wood and "earthenware"
- Some people in this world are more gifted than others--but for a reason
- Each vessel plays a very important part in the house--no matter how insignificant
- (i.e., a flower vase is small, insignificant and can only perform one task--but who more
powerful can do the task better?)
- A vessel is made according to God's plan for His church
- 1 Timothy 6:8: The world offers so many ways to change you: make your skin look young; dress and
act like others... But this is the world's way; God says to rejoice in who YOU are!
- Don't view life with suspicious or envy of others--else you're just living for yourself
- 2 Timothy 2:21: We have been told by Paul to work to make ourselves a
vessel (person) that is clean. Only then will the master (God) use us
- Paul tells Timothy, his student and successor, that now is the time to make certain he's
cleansed from the wickedness of the world
- "Cleansed": another word for clean, used at the church of Corinth when they were told
to clean out the old leaven (which symbolizes sin)
so that a new lump of dough can be refined
- The problem for Timothy is that he is not handling life well at this moment--with all
the additional responsibilities being piled on him by Paul, not to mention Paul is going to leave him
alone when he dies
- There are over 30 commands given to Timothy--all have implied that Timothy needs to re-focus
and walk in a manner pleasing to God
- The difficulty of life and his job has caused him to be side-tracked. Remind you of you?
It does me--every day.
- He has been assured that the path he will continue to walk will lead to further difficulties
- God created each man and woman for a purpose that he/she may not fully understand.
We need to make certain that we keep our life clean and accept those who are leaders over us.
- 1 Timothy 6:4: If man gives in to unwholesome words and conversation,
"He is proud, knowing nothing," and takes a morbid
interest in controversial questions and disputes which do not lead to accepted solutions but to envy,
strife, abusive language, etc.
- Numbers 16:1-33: God created Moses to be the leader of Israel but Korah
wanted to be the vessel that led Israel; He was filled with bitterness, resentment, anger and therefore
was critical and attacking of Moses. For this, his end was pre-mature.
- Lack of contentment with what we have in the world opens the danger to the love of money
- These are people who love to argue and talk about everything except what's spiritual in life
- It is these types of actions in life that ruin our lives.
- Being a saved Christian doesn't make us any better
or less vulnerable to sin. In fact, as Christians, we are expected to sin less than lost people.
- Examples of what to stay away from: envy, strife, bad/hurtful language,
lack of contentment in life, arguments.
- Repentance is crucial
WHEN YOU MAKE YOURSELF A CLEAN VESSEL THEN YOU'LL FIND LIFE REALLY WORKS
- You will be a vessel for honor--no matter how you're made
- Remember that the vessel can be gold, silver, wood, or earthenware. What it's made of
does not dictate whether it receives honor or dishonor.
- What makes a deceiving vessel that is clean only on the outside?
- Matthew 23:25: The scribes and Pharisees
of the New Testament: the religious sect who told others to live according to every written law.
They walked around as if they were better than others and didn't follow the law themselves.
- Matthew 23:26: As Jesus says, clean the inside of yourself first then the
outside of the cup (body) will be cleansed automatically. It's not a two-step process. It's a one-step,
- What brings honor?
- Proverbs 11:16: A gracious woman
- Proverbs 20:3: A man who ceases and stays away from strife.
- Proverbs 15:33: Humility comes before it.
- Proverbs 21:21: Pursue after righteousness, loyalty and mercy
- You will be a sanctified (holy) vessel
- Holy not in the context of a sinless priest (which there is no such thing--not even a saint)
but in the context of "being set aside" from participating in the sinful activities of the world
- The Lord will set you apart (make you holy) for the purpose he created you
- God's grace will set you apart forever if you're
- Many never realize God's hand at work in their life because of the anger, frustration and
disappointments that come from wrong expectations in life (i.e., man making his own plans instead of
relying on God to direct him daily)
- You will be a useful vessel
- A vessel has to be clean on both the outside and inside to be useful to God
- When we walk in a manner pleasing to God, we are useful to God
- No greater joy than to know that you're fulfilling your duty in life
- Don't blindly believe what others say you're good or not good for in life
- Others do not dictate your usefulness--you do
- Psalm 19:7: God uses those for great purposes who themselves believe are too weak,
small or young
- Moses (Exodus 3:11; Exodus 4:1,10)
- King Saul of Israel (1 Samuel 9:21)
- King David of Israel (1 Samuel 16:11-12)
- You will always be prepared for every good work
- Prepared: perfect tense word--always ready
- Ephesians 2:10: We will do good work because we are God's workmanship,
"created in Christ Jesus".
- 2 Timothy 3:17: And further that we are equipped and adequate to perform
those good works
- THE KEY IS READINESS: You never know when God will open an opportunity for you to be the
one to do the good work
- What have you done this week to be ready to be used by God?
- When you walk by faith in the Word of God,
you will be a clean vessel that God will use to bring Him glory (the primary goal)
and to you: honor, peace and joy; Thus you'll know you're fulfilling God's purpose in your life.
OUR RESPONSE TO MAKE OURSELVES READY FOR USE IS SIMPLE:
- Run from your youthful lusts
- 2 Timothy 2:22: "Youthful lusts" are not harmless indiscretions but can
be life-altering decisions that can destroy your life (i.e., unexpected fatherhood--especially out of wedlock)
- Paul tells the young man Timothy to run towards (pursue with intensity) that which has value in life
- Run towards righteousness (Jesus Christ) and His "Fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-23)
- Notice the pursuit is never done alone
- We are to join company and pursue Christ with others--especially your
saved brothers and sisters in Christ.
- Romans 12:5: Remember--we're not "alone on an island" because we,
saved together, are of one body--the Body of Christ
- To pursue the things of God alone is selfish and wrong
- Your continued pursuit, as a faithful church member keeps your pastor faithful and
motivated to walk with Christ
- Refuse to live by speculation
- We live on the sure foundation on the teachings of the apostle Paul and the prophets
with Jesus Christ being the cornerstone and the Bible where comparing scripture from both ends of
the book only reinforces and does not contradict
- Life is too short to be in a constant arena of disagreement--especially with the Bible
because it wasn't written to be debated upon but rather to wholly live by
- What have you been pursuing this week?
- Are you living by speculation or the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ?
- What does your heart truly desire?
You are not strong enough to make it through this world without anyone else's help.
You require God, at a minimum (Philippians 4:13), and the encouragement
(exhortation) of your saved
brothers and sisters in (the body of) Christ
Quit wishing to be someone else. This translates to God: "I don't like what you've made me!"
Come the Rapture, what a sad day it will be if God tells you--when you look at Him
face to face for the first time--"Come on in. Wish I could've used you more on earth." as opposed to, "Well done,
good and faithful servant!"