2 Timothy 2:20-26
In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
Today we will finish looking at the eight pictures of a faithful servant found in 2 Timothy 2:1-26. So far, we have looked at the FAITHFUL STEWARD, GOOD SOLDIER, LAWFUL ATHLETE, HARDWORKING FARMER, IMPRISONED CRIMINAL and APPROVED WORKMAN. Today we will focus on the HONORABLE VESSEL and HUMBLE BOND-SERVANT.
The seventh picture that Paul writes about is the HONORABLE VESSEL. In verses 20-21, Paul likens the believer to a vessel (utensil or cup). If the vessel is to be usable, it must be clean. God wants us to be clean vessels that He can use for His glory. Within the Christian community, there are different degrees of honor. Paul’s purpose here is to illustrate the variety of people, some good, others not so good, which are to be found in the local church. In his commentary on 2 Timothy, Donald Guthrie writes, “Timothy’s aim must be to attain the most honorable usefulness, of which there are varying degrees. The focus is on the cleanliness of each vessel.” As a young leader, Timothy is instructed to “flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call upon the name of the Lord from a pure heart.” Timothy is instructed by Paul to live above reproach. If this is true for Timothy, then it equally applies to every believer!
The eighth picture we find in this text is the HUMBLE BOND-SERVANT. Here the believer is referred to as a bond-servant. This communicates a servant that assumes this role by choice. The bond-servant willingly attaches himself to his master of his/her own free will. He/she chooses to accept this role without reservation. This is a beautiful picture of every believer that chooses to surrender to Jesus as Lord. Now an important attribute that makes this possible is humility. Without humility, no one would willingly surrender themselves to the authority of God. Humility is not only required of church leaders, but every believer if Jesus is to truly be Lord of their lives. What does this look like? Paul writes, “The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” Clearly Timothy matches the description of the HUMBLE BOND-SERVANT. What about you?
Questions to Ponder
Why is it important for the honorable (clean) vessels to be separated from the dishonorable (unclean) vessels? How do we become clean vessels that God can use for noble purposes? Why does Paul use the word bond-servant to describe the faithful servant? Would others use the word “humility” to describe you? Are you kind to everyone? Of the eight pictures that Paul describes, which one best describes you?
- Worship the Lord as Eternal God, Sovereign Lord who upholds all things and keeps all things together.
- Humble yourself before our Mighty God and tremble before Him in His Holy Presence.
- Confess any sin that you know of and that the Holy Spirit reveals to you. Receive His forgiveness.
- Ask the Lord to help You live today as a living sacrifice, a holy instrument, an honorable vessel used for His purposes.
- Pray we will bring Him honor and glory in our lives (internally and externally). Pray this for our church family and the greater one church too.
Holy Father, Righteous Father, You are holy, perfect, powerful, beautiful and good. You are full of mercy, compassion and kindness. Oh God, I pray that the fruit of Your Spirit would overflow from our lives; goodness, patience, love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, self-controlled/long-suffering. Father, I ask that the moment our hearts start to stray to the right and left that You would lovingly lead us back to You and Your ways. Help us do the same thing to those around us. Help us to walk humbly before You oh God. Help us to depend upon You, being a vessel of light, hope, grace and mercy to those around us. Help us forgive others as You have forgiven us. Help us learn from You and each other. Cause Your goodness to overflow. May those who don’t know You yet come to the saving knowledge of You. Make us like You Father, I ask in the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.