Reading Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:20-21
Verse to Memorize: 2 Timothy 2:20-21
Reference: Jeremiah 17:9; 1 John 5:3
Goal: To help believers cast off every form of evil, become vessels more beautiful than jewels, and be loved and used by God in a precious way
2 Timothy 2:20-21 reads, “Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.”
A vessel refers to a container for food. God likens His children to a vessel because they can contain the love and grace of God; the word of the truth; and even God’s strength, authority, and power. Then, how can we become a vessel that is more beautiful than jewels, receive God’s abundant blessing, and glorify God?
1. What is a vessel that is more beautiful than a jewel?
No matter how many stones there are, a beautiful gemstone among them is easy to spot for it shines brightly. In the same way, a man who is more beautiful than jewels is recognized by God. How pleased will God feel when He finds such a person! He can’t help but give every good thing and every perfect gift to such a person.
Then, what should we do to be acknowledged by God as a vessel more beautiful than a jewel? It is a person who meets the qualifications as one whom God ‘cherishes’, ‘values’, and ‘recognizes as being beautiful’.
Then, what kind of person can be said to be a vessel that God cherishes? It refers to a person who has been given a great duty for the kingdom of God and fulfills it perfectly. John the Baptist, who prepared for the Lord’s way, and Moses, who led the Israelites during the Exodus, are representative examples.
Next, God-valued vessels are people who follow honesty and truthfulness with greater integrity than any other ordinary people. They remain faithful and persistent in the truth without changing of their hearts, and retain the image of dignity. Joseph and Daniel, fall under the category of such valuable vessels, who served as the governors of the great empires and revealed the glory of God.
Lastly, the vessel beautiful before God is a person who neither quarrels nor cries out, who embraces everything in the truth. Esther, who saved her people, and Abraham, who is the forefather of faith and the friend of God, are examples of such beautiful vessels before God.
2. To become a vessel more beautiful than a gemstone
1) We must clean our hearts and become sanctified
If a vessel is filthy, no one can use it, no matter how expensive and valuable it is. It can be used only after it is washed clean. In the same way, we have to prepare a clean vessel to receive the abundant grace, gifts, material blessings, and the blessing of good health that the God of love has prepared for us.
Jeremiah 17:9 reads, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” Matthew 15:18-19 says, “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders?
These two verses tell us that our hearts must be washed clean, first of all, so that no evil may be revealed in our thoughts, words, and deeds. “Our hearts being washed clean” can be done only by the Word of God, that is, the spiritual water for cleansing. That is why Ephesians 5:26 says, “So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.” Hebrews 10:22 also states, “Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
Then, how is it that our hearts can be cleansed by the washing of water with the Word of God? We can wash our heart clean when we obey the Scriptures that ‘wash’ our hearts telling us to throw away something and not to do. That is to say, when we practice the words that tell us the things that we should not do and what we ought to throw away, the filthy, sinful and evil natures are cast off and our hearts are purified. As we wash our hearts, our deeds of the body become holy and we can give out the light of Christ in the truth.
Do you think, ‘How can a man be expected to keep all of those many commandments?’ Or do you feel like it is too tough to abide by all the commands of God? Keeping God’s commandments is never burdensome to those who love God from the bottom of their hearts. 1 John 5:3 says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.”
We feel joyful and happy when we do something for our loved ones. We might not feel coerced or irritated doing things for them. You cannot but love God if you believe that God is the Father of your spirit and He allowed His only begotten Son to be crucified on our behalf. How can we not love Him! With love for God you will not find it hard to live by His Word. Rather it will cause more pain and sorrow by standing against the will of God and not living by His Word.
2) We have to overcome trials well and give out spiritual light
A rough gemstone often used for rings or necklaces generally has imperfections and impurities. After a jeweler’s grinding and polishing, it can be born as a gorgeous jewel. In the same manner, God allows trials at times to give His beloved children blessings both in spirit and in body. Such trials are given not because they have committed transgression but because God trains and polishes us so that we can become a vessel more beautiful than a jewel.
Put differently, afflictions might sometimes come to us even though we have not sinned. By passing through them with joy and thanks, we can be used as God’s instrument and given a great blessing. That is why 1 Peter 2:19-20 reads, “For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.”
Some trials are allowed for those who have already fought against and thrown away sins to the point of shedding blood, and become clean vessels that are without any form of evil. God is the holy Light itself with no spot and no blemish. Thus, He refines His dear children so that they can attain to the level of Light that is more beautiful than a jewel. They can become a vessel more precious than any jewel when they overcome those trials of blessing with faith and then they are filled with goodness and love. The more goodness and love they have, the greater the intensity of the light they have, and they brighter their spiritual lights, the greater authority and power they can manifest.
However, trials and afflictions caused by the walls of sins against God do not lead to blessings. They come from sins so you need to find out what sins you have committed and repent quickly in such cases. Then, the difficulties will go away.
3. Blessings given to those vessels more beautiful than jewels
The following account taken from Mark 9:17 describes an incident in which Jesus drove away an evil spirit that His disciples hadn’t been able to cast out from a child. When Jesus said, “You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again,” it was cast out from the child and he came to normal. The reason why His disciples could not drive it out is that their light and Jesus’ light were entirely different.
Then, what should we do to reach the level of bright and powerful light Jesus had? We should put complete trust in God whatever kind of trials comes. We must not pay back evil for evil, but overcome evil with goodness. We must love even our enemies. Once our faith, goodness, love, and righteousness are acknowledged in any kind of afflictions, then we can receive God’s power and by His power we can cast a demon out and heal any kind of disease or infirmity.
Senior Pastor Dr. Jaerock Lee has undergone so many trials and afflictions in his walk of faith. He was falsely accused without having done anything wrong, yet he only committed everything to God and prayed for them with love. Just as a student can show his academic ability in tests, Dr. Lee’s faith and love has been revealed in tests and trials and each time God has allowed for him to unfold greater and more amazing power than before. After he passed all kinds of trials, God opened the door widely to the world mission and let him evangelize the world by conducting decades of overseas crusades where tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even millions of people gathered. God has even been performing space-and-time-transcending powerful works through Dr. Jaerock Lee.
The spiritual light that God wraps around us is more brilliant and gorgeous than any other lights in the world. God recognizes those children who are surrounded by the spiritual light as vessels more beautiful than jewels. I hope you will become sanctified quickly, become vessels more beautiful than jewels, and enjoy answers to whatever you might ask.