2 Timothy 2:20-21 - But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
“Who are you to give advice? You don’t have as much experience as you think to be giving advice.”That statement was directed at me when I was confronted by someone who found themselves on the wrong side of the scriptures.
I wish I had been quick enough to respond that I am a Christian and the Lord calls on His children to do the following:
Matthew 28:19-20 - Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…
Ephesians 4:10-16 - He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Contrary to the attitude of some, all Christians have the responsibility to speak THE TRUTH in love.Sometimes that means you will end up on the wrong side of friends, family or others, but that is why Christ stated in Matthew 10:36, “…and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.”
Satan uses negativity against the work Christians do to discourage us.When we fulfill the will of God, wonderful things happen.Satan doesn’t want that.
Solomon asked the question we all want an answer to: “What profit has a man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun?” (Eccl. 1:3).Each of us needs to know that our work for the Lord makes a worthy contribution, an investment that will last beyond the present moment.
1.There is Significance in Our Work for the Lord 1.1.This present world is of a “temporal” nature, and there is nothing here that will last. 1.1.1.If our work pertains to nothing more than this world, then our work is relatively unimportant. 1.1.2.It’s not totally unimportant, since it does matter for the moment. 1.1.3.But compared to eternity, the work of this world is relatively insignificant. 1.1.4.Solomon’s honest observation about life “under the sun” is sobering: “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind” (Eccl. 1:14). 1.2.There is nothing in this life that has any lasting importance. 1.2.1.When our work consists of the Lord’s work, however, that labor is “not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58). 1.2.2.Work done “in the Lord” is of eternal value, and when our perspective includes God, even our “ordinary” daily efforts take on a new meaning. 1.2.3.We can know that our actions count for something permanently good when we do everything heartily, “as to the Lord and not to men” (Col. 3:23).
2.We have Our Purpose in Life 2.1.Our purpose in life is to do those things through which God can show His goodness. 2.1.1.This is why we were created. It’s the calling that gives meaning to life, and it’s summed up by Solomon: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Eccl. 12:13). 2.1.2.Our fellowship with God is the highest joy we can experience.But God did not create us merely that we might enjoy Him. 2.1.3.He created us as vessels, personal representatives in His own image, through which He plans to radiate the majesty of His goodness. 188.8.131.52. Matthew 5:16 - Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. 2.1.4.Fulfilling this high purpose ought to be the greatest glory we can imagine. “It is glory here, joy beyond compare, in the blessed service of my King” (Tillit S. Teddlie). 2.2.Our hope ought not simply to be to go to heaven, but also to be as valuable as we can be to God’s work for as long as it pleases Him to use us. 2.2.1.We desire to go to heaven for our own sake, but we ought to have an even greater desire to be used by the Lord for the sake of others. 2.2.2.This was Paul’s thought when he wrote to the Philippians that he longed to depart and be with Christ, but “to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith” (Phil. 1:24,25). 2.2.3.Paul expressed the meaning of life and the purpose of Christianity in Eph. 2:10 when he states, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” 2.3.To be created by God is to be a vessel. Mary spoke as a vessel willing to be used when she replied to the angel, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
3.Staying Fit for the Lord’s Service 3.1.The challenge in life is to maintain our fitness for God, faithfully keeping the righteous stewardship that has been entrusted to us. 3.1.1.We are to “cleanse” ourselves of anything that would hinder our usefulness to God 184.108.40.206.2 Tim. 2:21- Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 3.1.2.We are to pursue “holiness” 220.127.116.11.Heb. 12:14 - Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord 3.1.3.We are to be “diligent” so as not to be ashamed when God examines our workmanship 18.104.22.168.2 Tim. 2:15 - Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 3.1.4.We ought to “protect” the usefulness of the “vessel” the Lord wishes to use 22.214.171.124.1 Cor. 6:19-20 - Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. 3.2.We can’t truly hope for heaven hereafter without preparing ourselves for God’s use our time here on earth 126.96.36.199 John 3:1-3 - Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
4.We make a Conscious Choice to do the Lord’s Work 4.1.If we are to fulfill the purpose of our creation, a conscious choice on our part is required. 4.1.1.The hymn “I Want to Be a Worker for the Lord” should be our daily identify. 4.2.The Lord’s work is not something we find ourselves doing accidentally or haphazardly. 4.2.1.James 2:17 - Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself 4.3.Out of all the possible things we might do in the world, we must choose “that good part” (Luke 10:42) which will not be taken away from us.
5.Honor in Serving the Lord 5.1.The opportunity of being useful to God is a truly awesome thought. 5.1.1.That we can participate in the most important work in the history of man is an honor we don’t deserve. 5.1.2.Nevertheless, in Christ, as vessels “for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Tim. 2:21), we can be partners in God’s work of reconciling the world to Himself. 5.2.As we allow ourselves to be purified and prepared in Christ, we can be the very thing we were created to be: vessels through which God can work His goodness. 5.3.And this is exactly what discipleship to Jesus consists of. 5.3.1.John 15:8 - By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
As “workers” in the Lord, we have been entrusted with an important stewardship.We are God’s representatives here on earth.Paul, in 2 Timothy 4:1-5, lays the foundation for our work on earth when he says, “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
Why is this our charge?“God our Savior, …desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all.” (1 Tim. 2:3-6)
Will we do our work so as to faithfully fulfill our calling?