2 Timothy 2.20-21 – You Matter

Reasonably often nowadays we see a very fatalistic attitude come to the surface when people talk about religions or faith traditions. Things like, “Well, you know, it’s out of my hands because DEITY will do this or that.”

Whilst there is an element of that in our Christian faith (God is absolutely sovereign over His creation, see Psalm 135.6, Proverbs 21.1, Ephesians 1.11, Acts 2.23 for a couple of examples) we are also encouraged to play our part, to partner with the Lord in achieving His purposes and bringing to fruition His plans. In His great love for us, He actually wants you to be involved. Today Paul makes this clear to Timothy.

20 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. 21 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.

Paul writes that in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay. The house is the house of God, built on the firm foundation we read about yesterday. Simply, in God’s house, in the church here on earth, there are those who make themselves available for honorable use, and those who do not.

When you go to church you probably end up looking at and listening to those who have made themselves available to the Lord for honorable use and have the wonderful privilege of praying for the church, leading the church in worship through music, or preaching and teaching the Word. 

Friends, we should all make ourselves available to the Lord for honorable use, He wants you to cleanse yourself from what is dishonorable and to become a vessel for honorable use. We should all want to be more and more set apart as holy (sanctified), and to be useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work


Maybe your good work is in the job you are working, maybe it’s in the family you are raising, maybe it’s in the Bible study you lead, maybe it’s in the witness you give your friends when playing football with them, but we will be given as much opportunity for good work as we make ourselves available to the master of the house, being cleansed from what is dishonorable.


Maybe you think, wait, I am cleansed by the blood of Jesus shed for me, I am justified by my faith in Him, being sanctified day by day and conformed into His image, and I will ultimately be glorified when I am forever in His presence. That’s true, you are. What Paul is teaching Timothy, and the attitude we need to have about serving in the house of God is this,

“…there is another aspect of cleansing which God looks for us to do with the participation of our own will and effort. Not that it is our work apart from God, but it is a work that awaits our will and effort…This aspect of cleansing is mostly connected with usefulness for service, and closeness to God.”

David Guzik

So, friends, you matter. Your character matters. Your conduct matters. Your will and effort matter.

Do you want to be useful to the master of the house? Are you ready for every good work

In this process you make the decision, because you matter.

The Gospel in Habakkuk

Where is the Gospel in Habakkuk?

Throughout his dialogue and talk with God, we se his

Worry is transformed into worship. 

Fear turns to faith. 

Terror becomes trust. 

Hang-ups are resolved with hope. 

Anguish melts into adoration.

(Holman)

The problem of evil that Habakkuk presents is a real, clear, and present danger, there is no use pretending it’s not, but, Habakkuk shows us the proper response, and we take what he did in the short term and apply it to ourselves.

God fixed the immediate problem of evil in the short term with the Babylonians coming against His people.

God fixed the problem of evil ultimately in the person and work of Jesus. 

In Habakkuk 3.12-13 we read

12 You marched through the earth in fury;

you threshed the nations in anger.

13 You went out for the salvation of your people,

for the salvation of your anointed.

You crushed the head of the house of the wicked,

laying him bare from thigh to neck.

Jesus triumphed over evil, sin, and death, Jesus triumphed over the world, the flesh, and the devil, and all that can be thrown against us (1 Corinthians 15.55-57).

Jesus triumphs over the problem and perpetrator of evil once and for all. Here in Habakkuk, God delivers His people from Babylon, and in His finished work on the cross God delivered His people from evil, bigger picture, and this was signed, sealed, and it will be delivered (Revelation 19.11-16, 20.7-10).

Think about what Habakkuk said about the past problem of bondage to sin and the oppression of evil…think about the Exodus from Egypt, think Pharaoh…

13 You went out for the salvation of your people,

for the salvation of your anointed.

You crushed the head of the house of the wicked,

laying him bare from thigh to neck.

Now, think of God delivering His people from Babylonian captivity, the TRUE meaning of Jeremiah 29.11, plans for hope and a future…think here Babylonian King…

13 You went out for the salvation of your people,

for the salvation of your anointed.

You crushed the head of the house of the wicked,

laying him bare from thigh to neck.

Now, think about this in relation to the second coming of Christ, the forever and ever putting to death of sin and evil, breaking its hold on us and everyone and everything else, think of our great enemy, the accuser, the deceiver…

13 You went out for the salvation of your people,

for the salvation of your anointed.

You crushed the head of the house of the wicked,

laying him bare from thigh to neck.


See, Habakkuk spoke of the past, the present, and the future, and at the centre of them all, is Jesus. 


The problem of evil that Habakkuk presents is real, no doubt, but, he shows us the proper response, it’s ok to ask, it’s ok to wrestle with these things, it’s ok to go to God in prayer and ask, frankly, what’s going on, because God has already put in motion the plan to get you out of it, both now and ultimately.

It might seem like it’s slow to us sometimes, we want it fixing NOW; a week, a month, a year is so long for us,but He is all knowing, He is all powerful, He is all loving, and He will deliver His people with His anointed, and we are told, in Habakkuk 2.4live with faith in this plan, even when evil seems to be abounding.

What is the plan? Of course, we are talking about faith in the person, plan, and power, of Jesus.

 

Over All I Know – Thursday Music

Today another song by Vertical Worship, who we also heard from here, with a song called Over All I Know. Focusing on the atttributes of God, the song is upwardly focused and sings praise to God based on who He is and what He has done. We open with 

You tell mountains they must fall and they fall

You tell oceans to be still and they’re calm

You tell sickness it must leave and it’s gone

In my weakness God I know You are strong

Jesus not only walked on water in Matthew 14.22-33, but calmed storms in Matthew 8.23-27. He healed on many occasions, more than 25 times, including the resuscitation of Lazarus in John 11, and Jairus’ deceased daughter in Matthew 9.

The chorus repeats some wonderful truths about Almighty God,

You are the One above it all,

I stand in awe

You’re the God over all I know

No higher name,

no greater throne,

You stand alone

You’re the God over all I know

God is truly above all, before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1.17), He is everlasting and eternal (Psalm 90.2), and is enhroned forever as King over His creation (Psalm 29.10, 1 Chronicles 29.11-12).

His name is above all names (Philippians 2.9), and He alone is worthy to sit on heaven’s throne (Psalm 11.4, 1 Kings 22.19, Revelation 4.2).

This line is then tagged a few times, and herein lies our devotional for today,

I believe it, I have seen it, My God is over all

Do we believe this?

Do we believe that everything written above is true of Almighty God?

Have we seen it?

Have we seen His goodness and mercy and love around us? We need to be careful not to equate experiences alone with the presence of God, He is always there whether we feel it or not, but, have we seen His power around us? Have we seen His handiwork in the world? Have we seen Him working through those around us for His glory and the edification of His people?

If we believe this, and we have seen this, we can confidently say with a perfect mix of head and heart, of evidence and experience, of faith, hope, and love, that

I believe it, I have seen it, My God is over all