DAILY WORD 1/10/21
20. In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use.
21. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.
2 Timothy 2:20–21 NLT
As we look at Today’s Passage and think back on all of the Lessons about Christian Leadership that Paul has imparted throughout the Books of 1st and 2nd Timothy so far. Doing so, we may recall all of the Teachings concerning the Statutes and Principals of Christianity that he has left us. He has listed many things to avoid and also a lot of things we should add to our repertoire.
The things he has indicated that we avoid, if we can do so, will make us more ready to serve God in the capacities that He has Called us to. The things he has indicated we should draw near to and add to our quiver will make us all the more prepared for the trials to come.
None of this is really much of a revelation, it’s all relatively simple to understand. Do Good and God will be able to use you. Do evil and He will not waste His Time on you until the evil is purged from out of your life. That seems straightforward enough, right?
These elementary concepts bring us to the Lesson that Paul writes to Timothy in Today’s Passage. Because of the Good and Evil we interact with every day and what we decide to do with it, not every “Vessel”, that is, structure made to hold something, is constructed of the same material or for the same purpose.
Some vessels are made for service and others are more ornamental. Some are made be used for everyday purposes and others are showpieces. What Paul is saying in this Passage is that the sin we allow in our lives will in large part determine just how much God can use us and for what purposes.
If we are simple in our understanding but still clean, that is to say, if we do not study the word much for ourselves but we are still committed to trying to do the right thing, God may be able to Use us for serving a plate of beans to the family on a Wednesday night.
However, if we stay in the Word and we pray about what we are reading so that we can truly and fully understand the nuances and specific meanings of it all, we may be able to be Used to plate up some fillet mignon on a special occasion.
I know that this is a bit of a juvenile explanation but it brings me to my next point. Even the vessels that are meant for the best Uses, those “Vessels of Honor” are not all made the same. Consider gold for a moment.
You can take a lump of gold out of the dirt and it will obviously be worth more than some clay that you take out of the earth. If a decorative bowl is made out of each material, even if the clay pot is beautifully crafted and decorated, it is obvious which one will be considered “more worthy of display.”
However, just because that clay vessel is less expensive than the one made of gold it may still get more use than the gold one because it is more suitable for daily use. You don’t have to be a showpiece to be used of God. You don’t have to be fancy, or smart, or come from a good background to of use to the Kingdom. All you have to do is make yourself available to Him and allow Him to Craft you into something that is Worthwhile for Service.
But what about that golden vessel? Isn’t it inherently better than the one made of clay? Not if it can’t be used. If it’s not functional or practical, what good is it? Beyond just being valuable as far as material goes, if it can’t be used then by definition, it is useless.
Besides that, neither material is perfect in and of itself. Consider this, many clay vessels, when they are first constructed, are flawed and need to be broken, shattered, and put back in the mire to soften so that they can be reformed into better configurations before they are put into the fire to harden them for final use.
Gold is no different. When it is dug out of the dirt, it may be worth more than clay monetarily but that does not mean it does not have inherent flaws. Even the precious metals have to be put in the fire and have the impurities skimmed off of them before they are considered truly beautiful.
Here’s the point; no matter what you are made of, no matter where you come from, and no matter what you become, if you allow Him to, God can Use you. But with that Use, there comes a time of fire that we all must endure. There’s that Suffering again! We all must Endure the Fire of Trials if we are ever to be Used by God.
Even a lump of gold can be considered useless if it never goes into the fire and changes its form. It has to submit to the firing process before it can truly become useful. Clay in and of itself is not more useful than gold. It as well has a process to go through before it can become beneficial and both processes require fire.
Whether you are a vessel of clay, wood, or of gold, it takes pain, purging, and work to become something functional. You cannot stay the way you are and be Used of God, regardless of where you start but we can all be Useful if we submit to the Master’s Craftmanship.
Will you be a Vessel of Honor or just a lump of useless gold? Will you survive the fire or be destroyed when the heat is on? Both situations require Craftmanship, work that will make you better than you are now.
None of us start off useful, we all require God’s Expertise, His Artistry to become what He needs us to be to Lead His people. Do you have the Patience, Endurance, and the Desire to become a Vessel of Honor, or will you be destroyed in the fire and be thrown away with the trash? Ultimately, the choice is up to you!
Have a Splendid Sunday and Get Ready for the Fire!