Teach This: Stop Being a Garbage Can

“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.” (2 Timothy 2:20-21)

God uses everyone for something. Christian or not, walking closely with him or not, we all serve his ultimate purposes in one way or another. In a sermon on this passage, Pastor Ray Stedman quoted a sign that said, “It may be that my whole purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others.” I think that can really happen.

teachthis_350As a Christian, though, today’s passage says you can do something about the way God uses you in this life. If you want to be used for noble things, you can clean yourself up. That’s not about cleaning your sin away to earn heaven (which you could never do); it’s about avoiding sin once you’re a Christian and embracing obedience to make yourself available to be used by God for great things on earth.

Paul’s metaphor is a little confusing because the trash bucket in your house can’t decide to clean up its act and become a crystal vase. But you can decide to stop filling your life with garbage. With God’s help, you can demonstrate the beauty of his truth by letting others see it at work in your everyday choices.

Think: How important is it to you to have your life used by God for good and important things? According to today’s passage, what can you do about that?

Pray: Thank God for giving you the opportunity to be used by him to accomplish his purposes. Ask him to help you to keep your life clean of sin and to obey the teaching of his Word.

Do: Make a short list of a few people in your life that God has used to do some good and important things.