Mind if I preach a little on a Friday – after all as the great sermon attributed to an old black preacher by Tony Campolo said: “It’s Friday, but Sunday's coming”?
I heard a preacher recently answering what advice he’d give to a young man who has decided to preach. He used 2 Timothy 2 and began reading in verse 20. He emphasized the stuff at the end of this great bit of inspiration: “…Therefore if anyone cleanses …prepared for every good work….Flee youthful lusts…pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart… avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient…” What great (obviously) advice, but what struck me were the first few words of this text.
“…in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay…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.”
Wow! I may never be gold or silver but I can be wood or at least a lump of clay. A lump of clay: but a lump of clay in the great house of our Father and a lump of clay sanctified and useful for the Master! So many of us lament of our lack of skill and talent and ability – what God wants is not ability but availability. He has all the ability in the world what He needs (yes, God needs) is people, who He gave the right to choice, to choose to allow Him to use them.
There may not be much you can do, but there is nothing that He cannot do through you! Wow. A piece of wood or a lump of clay willing to be used. I know some gold – and, yes, there have been times I’ve wished I was that golden preacher, that five tool player,, that evangelist who could evangelize, that pulpiteer who could pontificate, that wordsmith who could wow – but I’m no Willlard, Jim Bill, Ira, Gus, BBB, Thomas, Jerry, Marlin or N.B., I’m just me. But, I can be me, used by Him. And you can be you, too. I want nothing more!!!
God uses ordinary people to do extra-ordinary things. God use me...
THAT GREAT TEXT IN SOME OTHER TRANSLATIONS:
“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. (ESV)
In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose. (NLT)
In a large house there are not only things made of gold and silver, but also things made of wood and clay. Some things are used for special purposes, and others are made for ordinary jobs. All who make themselves clean from evil will be used for special purposes. They will be made holy, useful to the Master, ready to do any good work. (NCV)
In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. (NIV)
In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing. (The Message)