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Useful To God

2 Timothy 2:20-21
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)

Paul likens the church to the home of a rich merchant. In that house, gold bowls and silverware were for serving food at the table; they were valuable and intended to last. By contrast, wooden and pottery containers were used for dirty jobs: they were contaminated and had no lasting value. Which of those would the Master of the house like brought to the table? Obviously - only the gold and silver containers. They would please the Master and be useful to feed his family and guests.
So Paul urged Timothy to ensure that impure and untrue teaching was given no place of honour in the church. It would make God’s family spiritually ill and poison the guests. Timothy would fulfil his responsibility in protecting the purity of the church by keeping his own life and teaching in line with that of the Apostle Paul, and ensuring that all the members of the church did the same.
Every follower of Jesus knows how easily they can be pulled away from the truth: accepting some little wrong idea or making up something that God has never spoken. Usually we follow others in this, which is why the leaders who oversee the church must not tolerate false teaching – it will only spread, and as more people believe lies they will encourage others. The question for us all to ask is, “Will this please my Master; will it nourish His family and bring new life to His guests?” If not, then do not let it have a place in your life or fellowship.

Master of all. Thank You for Your Word through the Apostles. It is so clear and will equip anybody to live a righteous life. I am sorry when I have accepted false teaching as being true or when I have invented a way to follow Jesus which would not have Apostolic approval. Please help me to stay true to Your Word and to reject every other way. I want to be useful to You; please help me to be the right sort of person. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams