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Clean Vessels
II Timothy 2:19-22

God is not going to take the pure water of life to thirsty souls in a dirty pitcher. "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work" (11 Timothy 2:21). God is still in business "adding to the church daily." Thirsty souls can be found everywhere waiting for "the water of life." Many are seeing "rivers of living water" (John 7:37-39) flow through them with souls being won daily. God's provision allows any man to be "meet for the master's use," but His very nature will not allow Him to use a dirty vessel.

"There are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor and some to dishonor" (v. 20). Some Christians are used of God, some are not. A few win souls, most do not. This is an obvious fact in any church. Whose fault is it? Are some just not gifted enough, not ordained to be used? No, a thousand times no. "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be . . . prepared unto every good work" (v. 21), and this surely includes winning souls, for all have been ordained to bring forth fruit (John 15:16).

This purging (separation) is to be from people and practices. Many believe "these" refers to the vessels "of wood and of earth ... to dishonor." "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord" (11 Corinthians 6: 17). God uses separated Christians, not isolated or withdrawn, but those in the world though not a part of it.

"Flee also youthful lusts" (v. 22) is Paul's plea. Youthful desires for pleasure and the present keep Christians from being available to God. Soul winners must be weaned from a life of fun to the serious business of eternity.

"Your iniquities have separated between you and your God" (Isaiah 59:2). "Your sins have withholden good things from you" (Jeremiah 5:25). Remember Samson "wist not [knew not] that the LORD was departed from him" (Judges 16:20). Could this be the reason you are not a vessel unto honor? Will you purge yourself to be "meet for the master's use"? Deliverance from sin is free, but deliverance from the world demands the cost of separation.


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