I welcome you to this new month of October, the tenth month of the year 2018. Biblically, the number ten represents God’s authority over the affairs of men, as well as man’s responsibility to obey God’s law and to acknowledge His divine perfection.
- The children of Israel were given ten commandments, not suggestions.
- There were ten plagues unleashed on the nation of Egypt before the Israelites were released from centuries of slavery. Thank God for the Passover lamb that was slain. In like manner, judgment is averted for new creatures in Christ Jesus.
- Ten percent of what Israel gained or acquired was holy unto the LORD. Even today, it is mandatory because it belongs to God. In fact, more is required of believers in Christ. For to whom much is given, of him much is also required (Luke 12:48b). We must give more than ten percent because of Calvary.
- In the New Testament, there were ten virgins, ten lepers, ten talents and ten “I AM” statements spoken by Jesus in the book of John.
- In Genesis 1, there are ten proclamations that begin with “God said.”
From these historical perspectives, evidently God beckons us to be “vessels of honor” unto Him (2 Timothy 2:19-21).
Both vessels of honor and dishonor as well as the characteristics of these vessels are described in 2 Timothy 2:19-25. In essence, how a vessel is used and what is put into it determines if it is a container of esteem or contempt. Timothy was making daily decisions that determined what type of vessel he would prove to be in God’s house. So are we! “Those who cleanse themselves… will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work” (2 Timothy 2:21). The type of vessel you choose to be in the house of God has eternal consequences!
According to 2 Corinthians 6:16, the church is a great house belonging to a great God purchased at Calvary, according to the promise, “I will dwell in them and walk in them” (2 Corinthians 6:16c). The church is the temple in which the LORD is worshipped, the palace in which He rules, the mansion in which He abides (Psalm 132:14). It is His castle, the place of defense for His truth, and the armory out of which He supplies His people with weapons. Therefore, we must respect God and ourselves by how we behave in the house of God (1 Timothy 3:15, NLT). Each one of us must choose what type of vessel we are to be in the LORD’s house, whether for honor or dishonor.
What Characterizes the Vessel of Honor?
A. One who purges himself from sin (2 Timothy 2:21) must shun godless, irreverent, and empty chatter (verses 16-18), depart from iniquity (verse 19), flee youthful lusts (verse 22; 1 Timothy 6:11), and reject foolish and ignorant speculations (2 Timothy 2:23).
B. Being separated (2 Timothy 2:20-23): Another marked difference between a vessel of honor and one of dishonor is sanctification. To be sanctified (set apart) is to live by and see life through God’s value system instead of the world’s. A vessel of honor is clean, available for the Master’s use and prepared for good works. We are not set apart to accomplish our own will and desires; rather we are to be vessels for Jesus Christ to use as He wills.
C. Being useful for the Master means prioritizing (2 Timothy 2:21). The vessel, like talents, must be developed to become “useful for the Master.” This is accomplished by coupling priorities (Matthew 6:33), and a ready mind (2 Corinthians 8:12). The poor widow was useful to God (Mark 12:41-44), and Mary did what she could (Mark 14:8-9). There are those who do not do what they can (Hebrews 5:12). It behooves us as Christ’s Vineyard laborers to live up to our responsibility of being useful to the Master.
D. Being prepared for every good work (2 Timothy 2:21). We must be ready and available to do the good works God has prepared for us to do. We are prepared for use (2 Timothy 3:16-17) through God’s grace (2 Corinthians 9:8-9). Over time, we become seasoned (2 Timothy 4:11). Our knowledge of God’s heart towards mankind should propel us to evangelize and win souls for Christ (Proverbs 11:30). To be maximally effective we must pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Timothy 2:8), worship and praise God habitually (Psalms 22:3). Once prepared, we must remain ready for every opportunity to do good (Gal. 6:10).
I conclude with the story of Michelangelo who sculpted an angel from a great big formless rock. Prior to hewing out the angel using a chisel and hammer, someone had asked Michelangelo what use he could possibly have for the rock. The same is true of the work God wroughts in our lives. God, the divine Sculptor, can chisel all of us into the image of His Son, even when we start out formless and seemingly of no inherent value when the LORD picks us up. However, for the LORD to make something exquisitely beautiful out of our lives, we must be willing to surrender to the process involving the use of His chisel and hammer. Without surrender, there is very little that the Father can breathe into the life of any human being. The Word tells us that for us to be pleasing to God, we must intentionally love Him with all of our hearts, souls, minds, and strengths (Matthew 6:33-34). Without surrendering all of who you are and all you have to God, He cannot use you sustainably. Jesus is saying to you and I this month, “Follow Me, I’ll make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Let us do that with joyous singing and reverent worship of His mighty and holy Name!
- On the inspiration of Psalms 124, if God had not been on our side for the past nine months, we could have been thirsty, with no water to drink. We could have entered into trouble and found no one to help. We could have lifted our hands and found them withered or even join the congregation of the dead. Because of His everlasting love and unchanging faithfulness, bless Him, thank Him, bless His Holy Name. Thank Him for making us part of a covenant to prepare a people for Himself that propagate the gospel of Christ to the uttermost parts of the earth.
- Fire of the Holy Ghost, purge my heart of every unforgiveness, in Jesus’ Name. Eradicate every form of bitterness from my heart, in Jesus’ Name.
- Father, make me a vessel unto honor, break me, mold me, use me for your glory, in Jesus’ Name.
- I reject every spirit of error, mistakes, and cyclically falling into sin and rising, in Jesus’ Name.
- I bind the spirit of depression, frustration and disillusionment in my life, in Jesus’ Name.
- Lord, prepare me as a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true for you, in Jesus’ Name.
- I bind the spirit of servitude to sin, Satan, worldly standards and persuasions in my life, in Jesus’ Name.
- Let every taskmaster supervising and subjecting me to hard labor be roasted by the fire of the Holy Ghost, in the Name of Jesus.
- Father, don’t let me lose my focus on You in all my undertakings, in Jesus’ Name.
- Almighty Father, make Your church a new threshing instrument with many sharp teeth to tear apart every enemy on her way, in Jesus’ Name (Isaiah 41:15).
- Thank you, LORD, for answered prayers, in Jesus’ Name.