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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

I Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Used By God

In review of 2 Timothy 2:21 it says, ”If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work” (NLT).

Today’s verse is from the middle of 2 Timothy 2:15-26 where Paul tells Timothy about being an approved worker. He explains that I need to work hard so that I can present myself to God and receive God’s approval. I should strive to live a good life with nothing to be ashamed of. Be one who correctly explains the word of truth and avoids foolish talk that leads others astray. The Lord know those who are his, and all who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil. For in a wealthy home some utensils are made of choice materials for special occasions, however lower quality utensils are for everyday use. If I keep myself pure, I'll end up being a more choice utensil for honorable use. My life will be clean and I'll be ready for the Master to use for every good work. So run from things that stimulate lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. Don't get involved in foolish ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change them.

I should build my life on his Word and build his Word into my life. His Word tells me how to live for and serve him. Ignoring it will only make me feel ashamed when he judges me at the end. This requires a constant and diligent study of God's Word, otherwise I can be easily lulled into neglecting God and my true purpose for living.

In these passages, Paul urges Timothy to be the kind of person Christ could use for his noblest purpose. I too shouldn't settle for less than God's highest and best. I need to allow him to use me as an instrument of his will. I can do this by staying close to him and keeping myself pure so that sin and its consequences do not get in the way of what God could do in my life.

As a teacher, Timothy helped those who were confused about the truth. Paul's advice to Timothy, and to myself who teach God's truth, is to be kind and gentle, patiently and courteously explaining the truth. Remember to listen to people's questions and treat them respectfully, while avoiding foolish debates. If I can do this, those with differing opinions may be more willing to hear what I have to say and perhaps turn from their error.

So, If I want to be used by God, I need to purify my heart. I don’t have to be a perfect person, but I do have to have a pure heart. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:21, “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work” (NLT).

The good news is that God uses all kinds of people. He uses shy people. He uses outgoing people. He uses people from all different races, ages, stages of life, and backgrounds. He uses men and women. God will use plain vessels, and he’ll use ornate vessels. He’ll use big vessels and small vessels. But there is one thing that God will not use: He will not use a dirty vessel. I need to be clean on the inside.

I do this through confession. Augustine said, “The confession of bad works is the beginning of good works.” The Bible says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing” (GNT).

The word confess in Greek is the word homologeo. Homo means “same,” and logeo means “to speak.” So homologeo literally means “to speak the same about my sin that God does.” It means I agree with him: “God, you’re right. It was a sin. It was wrong.” It doesn’t mean I try to bargain with God (“I’ll never do it again”). It doesn’t mean I try to bribe God (“I promise to read my Bible every day if you’ll forgive me”). I just admit it.

It may seem too simple, All I’ve got to do is admit it, and God will forgive me?” Yes! It’s called grace!

If I really want to be used by God it is suggested that I take time to sit down with a pen and a pad of paper, and say, “God, what’s wrong in my life? Show me. I’m going to write it down, and I’m going to admit it. I’m going to confess it to you.” Then, when God gives me an idea, write it down.

So make a list, and then write 1 John 1:9 over it and say, “God, I admit these to you. These are wrong. I don’t want them in my life.” Ask God to cleanse your life. God will forgive you!

This is the starting point to being used by God. I must purify my heart.

Bottom Line:
Our goal should be to live a pure life, and be a special utensil that God can use.

What this means to me:
I should strive to keep myself pure, so that I can be a special utensil that can be used for honorable use. My life should be clean and ready for the Master to use to do his good work.

In summary, I need to adjust my way of living and obtain a pure heart, through confession. Know and correctly explain the word of truth. Avoid foolish talk. Become a tool that God can use for his good purposes. This means continuing to build my life on his Word and building his Word into my life.

Today Father I want to work toward being a tool that you can use to make a difference in the lives of others. I ask for your forgiveness from my tailoring my life toward work. Work is important but not above having you at the center. Today I place you and your leadership back into the center of my life. Let all that I do in every area stem from how I want to live for you and live by your Word. I pray for your wisdom and guidance. I ask for your assistance in how I handle my responses to others. Let me be helpful and loving. In your son Jesus name, amen!

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