Our Holiness and God’s Work

Our Holiness and God’s Work

Deacon Hui Zhen - 3 July 2022

Weekend Devotion: Our Holiness and God's Work

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Many believers desire to do works for the Lord after coming to faith. This is a good desire, for they desire the noble task. These are very commendable and it is God who put in their hearts the desire for noble tasks. However, we have also heard of stories of believers serving in church and grew lukewarm and cold in faith as they serve. We have also seen ministers in church living a life that is not aligned to the truth of God.  

 

In 2 Timothy, Paul wrote to Timothy and solemnly brought up what it means to be a vessel that is usable by the Lord.

 

2 Ti 2:20-23

 

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. 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.

 

Here, Paul gave an illustration of the different kinds of vessels in a great house. This refers to the different kinds of believers of Christ in the great house, which is the church, heavily purchased through the precious blood of Christ who is the master of the house. And here, we know that all believers in the house of God are God’s vessels, given to Lord’s service. Some believers are like the gold and silver vessels, they are used by the Lord for honorable purpose – maybe God used them to put things to present to guests; but some believers are like vessels of wood and clay which the master uses them for dishonorable purpose like putting refuse or waste.

 

However, Paul also tells that a vessel has the potential to become of honorable use and be useful to the master, if he cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, set apart as holy, ready for every good work.

 

Often, we ask what it takes to be used by the Lord?  

 

Brothers and sisters, before what we do, is what we are. God uses vessels which are cleansed, set apart as holy. It means that for a vessel to be used by God, he must be sanctified. To be sanctified is to heed the commands of God to separate from worldly influence and the fleshy thinking system of the world, and set apart for the holiness and godliness of God. One should be very mindful about his or her own personal holiness and godliness, before doing any work of the Lord.

 

How then should we pursue personal holiness and godliness, in order to be ready for every good work of God? How do we practically, “cleanse” ourselves from what is dishonorable?

 

It is in the following verses:

“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies, you know that they breed quarrels.” [2 Ti 2:22-23]

 

To cleanse ourselves from the dishonorable, we ought to

  1. Flee from youthful passions. Timothy was a young man when Paul wrote to him. Like many of us in our youths or young adult age, he was also vulnerable to a lot of youthful passions and desires. But Paul’s charge for him was to flee from all these youthful passions, for these strong yearning will tempt one into sins. The uncontrolled pleasures, unending appetite and conquests are snares to a person’s souls. Don’t even try to go near them to test how much you can withstand the fire, instead, flee from it.

 

  1. Next, pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace. We have to pursue something in place of the sinful nature we are putting to death to; we have to pursue godliness in place of the youth passions we are fleeing from. Here, Paul asked Timothy and in fact all believers, to pursue righteousness (meaning holiness, Christlikeness), faith which means strong confidence in God (His character and His Word), love, and peace (in relationship with other brethren). We are called to personal holiness.

 

  1. With those who call onto the Lord from a pure heart. In our pursuit of holiness, God ask us to do it together with our brothers and sisters who also call onto the Lord with a pure heart. This also means the importance of being in continual fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, to mutually encourage another in the Lord. If we are not placing ourselves in a community of believers who are committed to obey God, we are easy targets for Satan and we subject ourselves to the disadvantage of not having an accountability partners for our spiritual growth.

 

  1. Do not engage in foolish and unfruitful conversations, meaning do not invest the time in talking things that have no redemptive value, as it only stirs quarrels and bring people away from focusing on Christ. Instead, as Paul taught Timothy, “not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.” (v 24-25) Such acts and conducts are desirable in God’s eyes and bring people back to focus on Christ, His righteousness, His gentleness, His endurance, and obedience.

 

Paul had given Timothy, and all believers today, practical steps to take, if we genuinely desire to be vessels usable for God’s good works. Flee from sinful desires, refuse ungodly conversations or chats, pursue godliness with brothers and sisters who are setting their minds on the things of the Lord. It is also a reminder to all serving in church, that it is important to pursue a life of holiness in our lives as we serve because before what we do, is what we are.

 

Dear brothers and sisters, do you desire to be vessels for honorable use in the house of the Lord? Then, apply these Word of the Lord to our hearts, may God give us understanding and enable us to carry them out in our own spiritual life.

 

May we value and pursue our personal holiness and godliness in Christ, and be found worthy as pure vessels in God’s eyes for honorable uses.

Deacon Hui Zhen
Deacon Hui Zhen
tayhooiching@gmail.com

Hui Zhen is an ordained Deacon, who has been serving The Blessed Run Church. She is married to Deacon Wei En and they have two lovely sons, Joshua and Nathan.

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