Summary: All of God’s people are a vessel of some kind.
VESSELS FOR GOD’S USE
INTRO: All of God’s people are a vessel of some kind. We are either a vessel that brings honor to Him, or we are a vessel that dishonors His name. Which kind of vessel are you? Paul teaches us what God expects of each of us in his instructions to Timothy, a young minister of the Lord. We need to apply this teaching to our lives to help us become a VESSEL FOR GOD’S USE.
I. PURPOSE (vv. 19-20).
Notice that Paul tells Timothy that there are in every great house two kinds of vessels--“gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonor.”
ILLUS: Most of us have some special dishes and silverware that we use only for special occasions. These are those china plates, sterling silver, and crystal glasses we use only when we have company. We use our everyday plates, and jelly glasses at other times.
Paul says that God knows those who are His. God has chosen His people to serve Him. We are to depart from iniquity. We would not serve Him out of the ordinary vessels. How can we offer to Him lives filled with iniquity?
In this, and every church there are two kinds of christians--those who bring honor to the name of Jesus (gold or silver), and those who bring dishonor to the name of Jesus (wood or earth).
ILLUS: Do you remember how your parents used to keep a “slop bucket” outside the kitchen door to put the scraps in to feed the hogs?
II. PREFERENCE (v. 20).
The character of God is reflected in the vessels He chooses to use.
ILLUS: When you go to a restaurant, you expect to have your food served in clean vessels. If you are served tea in a glass with lipstick on the rim, you will probably not return to that restaurant. It reflects the character of the restaurant.
When we try to serve God with dirty lives, what are we reflecting to the community about the character of God? We are saying that our God is not important enough to us to give our very best. We are saying that we value other things more than we value Him.
The wisdom of God is reflected in the vessels He chooses to use.
ILLUS: We would not prepare a special dinner for someone special and set the table with fruit-jar glasses, and cracked, chipped, or unmatched dishes. We are wise enough to use the very best we have to honor our special guests. We would never bring the “slop bucket” inside, and set it next to the table.
When God chose us, He expected us to become the very best we can be for Him. How we serve God reflects on the wisdom of His choice. What do others see in your service?
III. PROMISE OF THE MASTER (v. 21).
We all have the possibility of being a vessel God can use.
In verse 21 and following, Paul tells us how we can become: “a vessel of honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use.” Unless we follow Paul’s advice, we will be offering to God the “slop bucket” of our lives.
There is nothing so fulfilling as knowing that God is using you to reach people. God can take the “slop bucket” of our lives and make it a “silver tray.”
But there is a condition. - Paul says: “Purge yourself...” Purge yourself of: Bad thinking - Bad doing - Bad living.
CONC: If we will commit ourselves to doing what Paul says in this passage, we will discover a joy of service that we never knew existed. We will find that peace and good feeling we long for, and be a blessing to others.