Monday, March 13, 2017

Keeping the Vessel Clean - Martin Wiles

If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:21 NLT

Keeping silver clean is no easy job.

As one-time antique dealers—and as recipients of my mother’s silver, my wife and I know a little about silver. One, it’s valuable, and two, it’s difficult to keep clean. 

Before my mother gave us her silver flatware set, she sat for hours shining each piece until she could see her reflection in the forks, spoons, and butter knives. Then she separated the various utensils and placed them in a plastic bag where air could not touch them. 

So far, we have kept them in the same zip lock bags she placed them in. We know if we expose the set to air, we’ll soon have to repeat what she did before she gave them to us. 

We’ve also owned silver tea sets which we displayed on antique buffets. When shined, they made an attractive addition to our antique furniture. But after a short period of time, tarnish crept over each piece. We either had to polish them and put them away or leave them out and shine them every few months. Leaving them out and tarnished wasn’t a choice. Doing so ruined the looks of our d├ęcor. 

Being used by God requires purity. Exposing silver to air means it will turn and eventually require cleaning. Living in the world exposes me to sin whether I want it to or not. Even monks and nuns who withdraw from normal life and environments still face the inner pull of sin. Cleaning silver can be challenging. So can keeping myself pure and holy. 

Keeping myself pure is made easier by realizing I have an inner power enabling me to be successful—the resident Spirit of God. Holiness is not something I can accomplish on my own but is possible when I allow God to accomplish it in me. 

Just as silver exposed to air requires regular cleaning, so does maintaining holiness. If I neglect holy living, the tarnish of sin will take over. But if I spend time in spiritual disciplines and keep obeying God’s commands at the top of my list, my vessel will remain pure. 

Do whatever it takes to keep your vessel clean. 

Prayer: Father, we depend on Your Spirit’s power to help us keep our vessels pure so we can be ready to be used by You. 

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