Useful to the Master – 2 Timothy 2:20-21

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.

2 Timothy 2:20-21 NIV

In my house we have two distinct sets of dinner ware. For common everyday use we have Corelle plates and plastic glasses. But for special occasions we can pull out the fine china and crystal. I also have some clothes that are suitable only for working in the garden. And other clothes that are useful for weddings and other special occasions. And I suspect that most people can relate to the first verse of this passage in the same way.

But, although the example is a real house, Paul is not really talking about physical houses. Instead he is talking about my life. There are within me some activities, desires, and feelings that are self-centered and sinful. And there are some that are godly. Paul urges Timothy, and me, to purge those ‘common’ things out of our lives, leaving behind only those that are God centered. His instruction to Timothy in the following verse is very similar; to flee evil desires, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace.

What is the result of this internal housekeeping? I will be useful to the Master. Prepared to do any good work. A tool that he can use for his own purposes. And that should be the earnest desire for every child of God; to be useful to him. But it does not come easy. It requires work and self denial. But, in the end, it is well worth it. What a joy to hear him say, “well done, good and faithful servant.

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