2 Timothy 2:20-21 “Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also those of wood and clay; some for honorable use and some for dishonorable. 21 So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.” ~ CSB
When I was growing up, my grandmother had our ‘everyday’ dishes for our daily meals. But when we had company she would pull out the ‘good dishes’. This would be a great impression on our ‘honorable guests’. This was sort of a way to present to others, who would visit, a taste of our best. That is what God does with us. When we are ready, He will present us as His best.
Some may look at the text and see, ‘wood and clay’ and automatically say, “That’s me…I’m just regular, nothing special. That is my place in the world.” This is not true. God made us all for a purpose. And in that purpose we all have a distinct separate value. This value is in place to ‘set us apart’ from what the world may consider valuable.
Birthed from a quote by Italian sculptor Michelangelo, there is a story out about a sculptor who was asked about his famous statue carved out of stone; “…The statue was always there, I just chipped away the unnecessary pieces.” This is God’s intent for you as you are going through that period in your life where you ‘wait’ on Him.
We often fall into grief, depression, sorrow and our patience is tested during our ‘waiting season’. Switch your perspective and use this time to ‘chip’ away all that is in you that is not of God. If you are claiming to be ‘wood and clay’ then chip away at what is not needed in you so that you will become more valuable than gold and silver.
Chip away at your anger, addictions, sadness, doubt, worry, fear, selfishness, grief, unforgiveness and anything of you that is ‘dishonorable’ and not of the Kingdom. When the time comes, God will present you to the world as the beautiful sculpture you have always been! He will set you apart and reveal you as His “…special instrument…” No longer will you be hidden behind all the unnecessary personal and physical traits that were keeping you falling short. You will be prepared for “…every good work…”
Prepare yourself for the special blessing God has just for you. It’s yours and no one else’s, but God will not give it to you until you are ready. So get ready, chip away, ‘purify’ yourself and become a valuable vessel for God and for the kingdom.
May God continue to allow His peace to surpass your thoughts and guard your heart and mind in Jesus name,
Jeremiah 17:10 “But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” ~NLT
My first jobs as a teenager were in fast food restaurants. I had to slide a timecard into a machine that documented when I arrived to work and when I checked out. This determined how much I was paid. There would be a schedule set and the days I would work would be on the calendar. When I showed up, clocked in, then clocked out, this would determine the amount of money I would be paid for the time and amount of work I did. If I was home sick, or if I did not come in on that day, I would receive no pay.
Later in life, I was able to receive a salary at the places I worked. This meant that the companies I worked for gave me a set salary. No ‘clock punching’, and it was ok if I did not make it to work. I was covered by vacation or sick time. This time was allowed by the company because of the time I put in to build up that vacation and sick time. Now, hold onto these examples and let’s go down another road:
In the world, I used to live day by day. I would do just enough to pay my rent and bills. I would earn just enough to build up some ‘fun’ money to ‘enjoy life’. I used to want material things. For example if I wanted a new car, I would work enough hours, and hustle enough money to get that car. But one day, I would lose that car and the happiness that it brought would be gone.
This was the ‘punching a clock’ time in my life. I would punch in to get just want I wanted, but nothing more would come of it and eventually I was always lacking. I would lack happiness. I would lack meaning. I would lack peace. I would walk around living with a void in my life. And I would bring others down around me because my desires were not fulfilled.
But then, I got into the Word of God. I started living my life the way the Word directed me to. Sure there were directions from the Lord I had to work on, but work on them I did. I practiced and trained myself in receiving God’s will for my life and in return, began to feel fulfilled. I began to receive a joy in my heart that happiness could not bring me.
In other words, I was not living the ‘punch a clock’ life anymore. God was allowing me a salary! Because I grew in obedience to the Word of God, He covered me when I couldn’t make it to work. He blessed me even when I failed. He lifted me when I felt I could not get up. And He put into my empty back account what I needed to get through!
My heart began to hold the treasures of the kingdom, replacing my own desires. So when God, “…searched my heart...", He saw that my motives were all in His favor. When we do this, God will “…give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” Let us examine our own actions and live a life deserving of a ‘salary’ from the Lord.
May God continue to bless and keep you covered in His healing, direction, and love in Jesus’ name,
Hebrews 12:11 “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” ~NLT
I remember when I went to ‘boot camp’ at Fort Jackson. I never knew what I was in for. There was about ten weeks of serious training. Three phases divided by the colors, Red, White, and Blue. The first phase seemed the hardest because I was so out of shape. Not only that but the world as I knew it stopped. No family, no entertainment, and no freedom. I had to answer to four soldiers in that famous ‘drill’ hat daily.
A lot of running, exercises, yelling, sweat and tears. This included training us to be ‘dress right dress’. In other words, we all had to move together with precision when we marched. This took a lot of training and practice. Laying down to go to sleep at the end of the day was the easiest part of the process. We carried the red flag with us, so everyone knew we were on our first phase. We were new. I would watch those platoons with the white flags and said, “I’ll be there one day.”
Phase two began and we carried that white flag. At this point we were in better shape, so the running and exercises weren’t as bad anymore. This was the time I was beginning to miss home. In my heart though, I knew my training wasn’t complete, so I had to push through.
Phase three, the blue flag! We were headed towards our completion. Working out, running, pushups, sit-ups, all this seemed routine now. I had gone from a size 48 waist to a 31. I was embracing my training because I had never done anything like this before in my life. I had never put myself in a position where authority figures like the drill sergeants would tell me what to do and when to do it, for ten weeks. I didn’t quit. I didn’t get angered, I hung in there and made it through.
I allowed myself to be disciplined. I realized that if I hadn’t been pushed by the ‘drills’, I would have never accomplished what I had. I never would have learned what I did, and I never would have become the man I am today. When I allowed myself to be disciplined, I learned how to discipline myself.
When it comes to the Word of God, we must listen to our Father’s direction. But unlike the Drill Sergeants, God is not going to yell at us. God will not force us. If we don’t learn to allow discipline within ourselves in the trials we go through, we will not know how to discipline ourselves and be obedient in God’s will for our lives.
I didn’t enjoy the Drill Sergeants yelling at me. I didn’t enjoy waking every morning to the sound of reveille, jumping out of bed, and running five to ten miles. But that discipline created the best ‘me’ I could be. Becoming a good Christian living in the ways of the Lord takes discipline, practice and spiritual training. And when that journey is complete, you will receive the “…peaceful harvest of right living…” that is given to those “…who are trained…” in God’s will and way.
May God bless and keep you as you continue your walk in Jesus’ name.
John 13:6-8 “He come to Simon Peter, who asked Him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I’m doing you don’t realize now, but afterward you will understand.” “You will never wash my feet,” Peter said.” ~CSB
We must be careful not to tell God what we or He, ‘won’t’ do. For all things God directs us to do, there is a reason from Him and by Him, that we are directed to do what He tells us to do. He is in control and part of that control is us doing our part in obedience.
For example, no matter what the actions of others are we must love them. They are God’s children as well. Now I know that can be an issue in today’s time. But the issue is not bigger than God. His command in John 15:12 says, “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” The sacrifice of the Son is the greatest example of God’s love for us. We must follow our Father’s example.
Another example comes from deep down in our soul when someone hurts us to the point of our lives stopping. We have that feeling that nothing is important. We don’t wake up ‘ready to go’ anymore after being hurt that bad. But I’m here to tell you that we serve a God that loves us no matter what we have been through. We are protected to the point where God can heal us of that pain and allow us to use that pain to save someone else as He has saved us. The beginning of that healing is when we forgive.
For some of us it is so hard to forgive. But how can we tell God ‘No’ when he tells us that we must forgive? The Word says in Luke 6:37, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.”
No matter what we ‘think’ we see, we must spiritually know and trust God in this knowledge that this situation in front of us is God’s plan, not ours. Discern the difference between knowing with all your heart and what feelings are triggered by the flesh. Peter meant well in his response to Jesus washing his feet, but that feeling was triggered by his flesh, not his spirit. Tony Evans said this about Jesus:
“He had spent three years with the Twelve--teaching them, leading them, praying for them, loving them. He had done everything for them that He had come to do.”
As His time had come, it was time for Him to teach them one more lesson and that was in ‘humility’. Jesus with all His power came to serve, and that is the lesson He wanted to teach His disciples in washing their feet, to serve one another. In the service of others we must trust in the lesson God teaches us daily.
When we tell God ‘no’, we are like Peter telling Jesus, he won’t allow Him to wash his feet. Jesus tells us as well as Peter in His response, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with me.” Allow God to teach, so that we may always be a part of His plan for our lives.
Jesus says in verse 7, “What I’m doing you don’t realize now, but afterward you will understand.” Trust in the Lord and watch the work He does in you to affect all around you. May God continue to protect, heal and guide you in Jesus’ name,
Swimming pools are a great example of ‘believing with all your heart’. For example, when you are standing on the side of the pool at the ‘3’ feet, you know that you are in a ‘no diving area’. The pool is too shallow, and you could injure yourself with the wrong entrance in the water. At the shallow end you may tuck your feet under you and jump in bottom first, playing it safe.
But when you stand along the side of the ‘9’ feet or deeper, you know that there is enough room in the water to dive straight in, headfirst. Deep in your heart you have no fear because you know that there is nothing to stop you when you dive blindly into the depths of the pool.
In life, God may bring you to a place where He wants you to ‘dive’ right in, but you are afraid. You think what you are diving into is the three feet, but in actuality, if you allow your spiritual eyes to open, God has deepened the waters and you can dive physically blinded, but spiritually open minded and aware, into the deep waters on your journey.
Tony Evans says in His Commentary Bible, “When a person believes, he receives justification. But in order to receive deliverance from temporal wrath, a believer must confess, or publicly acknowledge, the lordship of Jesus Christ and call on Him for divine assistance.”
You see, just like you would believe the safety of diving in the ‘9’ feet at a swimming pool, you have to believe with all your heart that Jesus is Lord, and all healing, blessings and direction come from the Father through Him. This belief is the beginning. This belief, as scripture says, results in righteousness.
God created in us all we need to be righteous. This belief you now have, ‘kick starts’ that creation in you to be righteous. Then comes the confession.
Confessing with your mouth leads to your actions. The way you walk, talk, and the way you represent the kingdom. This as the text says, “…leads to salvation…” It’s not enough to know the Word, you must live the Word. No matter what you encounter. No matter what the world brings your way, believing and confessing gives you the tools you need to maintain being a godly person in the eyes of the Lord.
Become that spiritual diver. Even if the world shows you ‘3’ feet, God is forming deep waters for you to freely dive in without reservation and without doubt in his Will and His way. Are you ready to dive into the calling, the blessing, and the will of God for your life?
Know that you were created to be ready. Ask God today to give you the strength to blindly dive into the journey He has already laid out for you. The blessing God has for you is in what you are willing to do with what you believe, and in the confession of that belief.
May God continue to bless and guide you on your journey in Jesus’ name,
Authors Billy & Yolanda
This is the place where we share our heart through God's Word in faith that will inspire and empower you to live in peace.