October 1, 2010

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 (KJV)

In the shop of a blacksmith, there are three types of tools.There are tools on the junk pile: outdated, broken, dull and rusty.... There are tools on the anvil: melted down, molten hot, moldable and changeable.... There are tools of usefulness: sharpened, primed, defined, and mobile. They lie ready in the blacksmith's tool chest, available to their master, fulfilling their calling.... We are all somewhere in the blacksmith's shop. We are either on the scrap pile, on the anvil, in the Master's hands, or in the tool chest. (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 will make the journey -- will 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."
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 Ephesians' 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, there must be holiness in every area of our lives. 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). What kind of vessels are meet for the Master's use?--Empty vessels. When we empty the soul of our every defilement, we are ready for use.The treasure of the gospel is in earthen vessels, and it is God's power alone that can make them vessels of honor. Today you are to have your vessel purified, that it may be ready for 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 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. . . The choices you and I make each day either tarnishes us or polishes us to higher degree of purity and usefulness.
                                                                                        culled from