A Useful Vessel for God
Are you a useful vessel for God? My prayer is that we all be useful vessels for God. Let’s start our discussion today at the beginning of our Christian walk.
When you became a Christian, did you grow quickly and reach maturity? Not me. In my life, I have had times of growth and times when I felt I was almost backing up. I prayed to receive Jesus at age 6, but I really began getting serious about being a Christ follower at age 20. I do not think I had any real growth until then. Even after that, I had times when I was growing and times when I was dry and not growing.
At age 20, when I got serious, is when I really realized that God’s purpose for saving us is not only to keep us out of hell and to let us into heaven. He saves us for His glory here on earth as well. Once He has saved us, He begins to sanctify us so that as we become more like Jesus. As we become more like Him, we will be more useful vessels, able to bring Him glory by our witness and our service to and for others in His name. So what does a useful vessel look like?
2 Timothy 2:20-21 (NIV) Words in parentheses are from the ESV
“In a large house there are many articles (vessels) not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some for noble purposes (honorable use) and some for ignoble (dishonorable). If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.“
Today we will be focusing on verse 20 and we will pick up with verse 21 next time.
Paul, the writer of both 1 & 2 Timothy, uses the analogy of pottery in a little different way than Jeremiah did, as he explains being made different so God can use us.
Vessels hold things, right? Glasses, bowls, plates, pitchers… In Bible times it would have ranged golden goblets to chamber pots (toilets of their day). All vessels have different uses – why? At least, partly because of the material they are made of.
To Verse 20:
“In a large house…”
The large house represents the house or family of God – the Body of Christ – Christ Followers.
“…there are articles (vessels) not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay…”
Gold and silver represent purity and value in Scripture. The Bible even describes the purification process of these two metals and compares it to the sanctification process that God works in us to make us what He wants us to be. (Zech. 13:9, Mal. 3:3-4)
To refine gold and silver it is melted at extremely high temperatures. As the metal stays at these temperatures, the impurities will rise to the top and can be dipped off. As these metals are made purer, they are made more valuable.
Wood and clay cannot be purified in that way, right? They can only be cleaned on the outside.
“…some are for noble purposes (honorable use) and some are for ignoble (dishonorable).”
It takes all kinds of vessels to get the work of a household done but which would you choose for which task? I doubt either of us would choose a gold vessel to be used as a chamber pot!
Next time, we will carry this idea farther. Pray today and ask God what kind of vessel you are now. Then, ask Him what kind He wants you to be. Seek His will above all else. His plans for us are so much higher than we tend to expect. We do not have to live in that “grow and back up” cycle. It is possible to have longterm stabilized spiritual growth. Isn’t that exciting!!
Dear Lord, I thank You so much for bringing us together in Your Word again today. Thank You for this great passage. Please help us to seriously consider today’s passage and sincerely seek You for wisdom and clarity in what You want our response to You to be. Help us to love You more and more. Please make us what You want us to be. Make us completely Yours. Be glorified in all we do. In Jesus mighty and holy name, I pray. Amen.
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