2 Timothy 2:20,21 - Vessel of Honor or Dishonor?
2 Tim 2:20, 21 (KJV) But in a great house there are not only
vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some
to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself
from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet
for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
2 Tim 2:20,21 (CEV) In a large house some dishes are made of
gold or silver, while others are made of wood or clay. Some of these
are special, and others are not. That's also how it is with people.
The ones who stop doing evil and make themselves pure will
become special. Their lives will be holy and pleasing to their Master,
and they will be able to do all kinds of good deeds.
2 Tim 2:20, 21 (TLB) In a wealthy home there are dishes made of
gold and silver as well as some made from wood and clay. The
expensive dishes are used for guests, and the cheap ones are used in the
kitchen or to put garbage in. If you stay away from sin you will be like
one of these dishes made of purest gold--the very best in the
house--so that Christ himself can use you for his highest purposes.
That is a practical truth which Jesus had stated long before, in
the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Matt 13:24-30, Matt
13:36-43). The point of that parable is that the wheat and the tares grow
together, and, in the early stages, are so like each other that it is
impossible to separate them. He stated it again in the Parable of the
Drag-net (Matt 13:47-48). The drag-net gathered of every kind. In both
parables Jesus teaches that the Church is necessarily a mixture and that
human judgment must be suspended, but that God's judgment will in the
end make the necessary separations. [Barclay Commentary]
In the shop of a blacksmith, there are three types of tools.
There are tools on the junkpile: outdated, broken, dull, rusty....
There are tools on the anvil: melted down, molten hot, moldable,
There are tools of usefulness: sharpened, primed, defined,
mobile. They lie ready in the blacksmith's toolchest, available to their
master, fulfilling their calling....
We are all somewhere in the blacksmith's shop. We are either on
me scrap pile, on the anvil, in the Master's hands, or in the
toolchest. (Some of us have been in all three.) ....
From the shelves to the workbench, from the water to the fire....
I'm sure that somewhere you'll see yourself....
The rubbish pile of broken tools, the anvil of recasting, the
hands of the Master--it's a simultaneously joyful and painful voyage.
And for you who make the journey -- who leave the heap and enter
the fire, dare to be pounded on God's anvil, and doggedly seek to
discover your own purpose -- take courage, for you await the privilege of
being called "God's chosen instruments." (From On The Anvil by Max
Lucado) [Inspirational SB]
The practice of godliness involves the pursuit of holiness
because God has said, "Be holy, because I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16). Paul
tells us that we have been called to a holy life; we have been
redeemed for that purpose. Any Christian who is not earnestly pursuing
holiness in every aspect of his life is flying in the face of God's
purpose in saving him.
What is holiness? The best practical definition that I have
heard is simply "without sin.".....
John said he wrote his first letter so that his readers would
not sin (1 John 2:1). Most Christians seem content not to sin very
much, but John's goal was that we not sin at all. Every sin, no matter
how small it may seem to us, is an affront to God's authority, a
disregard for his law, a spurning of his love. Because of this, sin cannot
be tolerated in any form, to any degree....
.... When Paul was instructing the Ephesian Christians about the
importance of holiness he said, "So I tell you this, and insist on it in
the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do" (4:17).
He insisted on holiness, and he did so with the Lord's authority.
Holiness is not an option but a must for every Christian....
.... If we want to train ourselves to be godly, it must be
holiness in every area of our lives. Jerry Bridges [Time With God SB]
Honored vessels are cleansed vessels (2:20-21). Paul gave three
descriptions of how to find cleansing: flee lusts (2:22); refuse arguments or
speculations (2:23); and be patient and gentle (2:24-26). These attributes
describe a useful vessel (2:21) and one that will keep the gospel, not
self-interest, in mind (2:10). [New Bible Companion]
What kind of vessels are meet for the Master's use?--Empty
vessels. When we empty the soul of every defilement, we are ready for
The treasure of the gospel is in earthen vessels, and it is
God's power alone that can make them vessels of honor. TM404
Today you are to have your vessel purified, that it may be ready
for the heavenly dew, ready for the showers of the latter rain; for
the latter rain will come, and the blessing of God will fill every
soul that is purified from every defilement. It is our work today to
yield our souls to Christ, that we may be fitted for the time of
refreshing from the presence of the Lord--fitted for the baptism of the
Holy Spirit. . . EV701,2
The choices you and I make each day either tarnish us or polish
us to a higher degree of purity and usefulness. [Victor Bible
"Behold, LORD, an empty vessel that needs to be filled. My LORD,
fill it. I am weak in the faith, strengthen me. I am cold in love;
warm me and make me fervent, that my love may go out to my neighbor.
I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am
unable to trust You altogether. O LORD, help me. In you I have sealed
the treasure of all I have. Therefore I will remain with You, of
whom I can receive, but to whom I may not give." Martin Luther [The
365-Day Devotional Commentary]