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March 20, 2015

Text: “Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy,  useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”  II Timothy 3:20-21

Christ has many “vessels” in his church. They are the men and women who have been called to service in the body of the Lord, (that’s all of  us). A vessel  as defined by Webster’s dictionary, is “a container for holding something”. Paul cites the differences between vessels in usage and quality of materials.  The Master expects us to be useful as servants in his household, and advance in quality. He gives you abilities and tells you that you should refine and utilize them for the growth of the kingdom.  Read the parallel parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-23 and notice the similarities. To be sure, both parables hold us accountable for the control and judicious use of the abilities that he has bestowed on each of us.

There are no perfect servants of God; even Moses sinned in the wilderness by striking the rock at the water of Meribah and lost his right to enter Canaan. Numbers 20:2-13 On our obedience, God takes us  into his kingdom warts and all, but he expects us to advance in righteousness by exercising our own souls.  ” But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…”  II Peter 3:18a  The apostle Peter also urges us to develop fruit in our Christian characters. “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” II Peter 2:10

Some of us are  lazy and neglectful. We may think that baptism is the “do all” to salvation and that sitting in a pew once a week is enough to deliver us to the heavenly home. Think again! Jesus has plans for us to serve him energetically in this life and we must meet the challenges.  Jesus tells us exactly what will happen to the servant who does not augment his latent talents nor use his abilities to bear much fruit in the kingdom.  “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:2

There are many types of abilities, from humble to astonishing. We all admire  persons who labored diligently to perfect  some talent he admired. When I was in junior high and high school there was a student with whom I had some classes wwith but did not know well. Then one Friday we had a  talent show in the auditorium. A piano was on the stage at one point and this young man soon appeared and  began to play.  WOW!  He played a beautiful classical piece and when he finished the entire auditorium gave him a standing ovation. From there I desired to find a talent and work hard to become proficient. I was perhaps not  a master of that ability, but believe me I made some sacrifices to get the job done. You can do the same thing with a task in mind. Just remember not to be bursting with pride. Use your talent to serve your master to his glory.

Now when you begin to find your talents and to increase your abilities you will be ready to find your niche in the needs of the church. One day God will open a door that will allow you to serve him. That will give you the opportunity  to utilize your new abilities, even if those abilities have not yet fully matured. Say, “Yes!”  Don’t bow out! Then you will be “useful to the Master”.  And you will be “ready for every good work”.

So get busy!




















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