Saturday, February 15, 2014

Useful and Honorable

“Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels” (2 Timothy 2:20-23).

Cleansing yourself “from what is dishonorable” =
  • “...flee youthful passions...” Someone recently asked me what I understood “passions.” Here’s how I responded: Seems to be used for lustful passions often, but is certainly not limited to this...more of an animal instinct or even a "follow your heart" ethic that has few outside guides or constraints. Here Paul adds the adjective “juvenile.” Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you grow up. I see just as much of this among adults as I do teenagers!
  • “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies...” There certainly are plenty of these. I believe in Matthew 7:12, and am longing for the day that I see more folks (both in and out of my theological camps!) embrace this verse.

Being “set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work” =
  • “...pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace...” Let the Word define these pursuits!
  • “...along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart...” Really consider this phrase! This should be our prayerful goal for the Church! Let me add that those who “call upon the Lord from a pure heart” are also those who will see God (Matthew 5:8). How I pray that the Lord would give His people discernment in their fellowship! How I pray that the hypocrites would be given the grace of repentance and "call on the Lord from a pure heart" rather than a heart hungry for the approval of others pursued through drama, whispering, and slander.
Notice that this definition of holy (biblical pursuits and a focused fellowship) precedes being "ready for every good work." I cannot help but think that many of the things we think are "good works" are not at all because the biblically-mandated foundation is not there - no matter how "good" we think/feel it is. How sad!

Love the Master, love His House. Pray, encourage, be faithful, engage, grow, be purified, and desire to see “dishonorable...vessels...of wood and clay” transformed by the Holy Spirit through His means of grace into “vessels of gold and silver,” for His glory and our eternal joy!

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