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Be A Vessel

August 2014 

Louis Tamburro

In our American culture it is not normal to live beyond yourself, that is to serve others, care for others, and do random acts of kindness for others. Our culture tends to be self-centered and narcissistic. What’s in it for me? We are addicted to how many people like our tweets, posts and selfies.

 

In God’s Word we find something different. It teaches us to live beyond ourselves, to be a vessel of God’s grace in the world so that people who are far from God will come to know God through our love. Check out what Paul says to his buddy in 2 Timothy 2:21 – “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable…”

 

Before we step out to be a vessel of grace in the world we need to be cleansed by grace ourselves. We need to be cleansed of the dishonorable things in our lives, our sin, before we can be used to do honorable things, things that bring honor to God. The Gospel provides the way. Cleansing is through faith in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins. If we believe who Jesus is and what he has done for us on the cross, then we will be cleansed, forgiven, and transformed into vessels of God’s grace that are ready for honorable use.

 

In verse 21 Paul states, “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.” Once we are cleansed, God uses us as vessels of grace, instruments set apart for honorable use.

 

Simply put, you are valued in God’s eyes, regardless of your sin, regardless of your history, regardless of your baggage. If Jesus didn’t value you, then he would not have died for you. Because he values you he died for you. You have value in God’s eyes, and he has set you apart for honorable use.

The Christian walk starts with cleansing then moves to living. It starts with God cleansing us and moves to God sending us to represent His love in the world. It is upward then outward. Vertical then horizontal. God saves us then sends us to be vessels of His grace in the world.

 

Why does God do this? Why does God want us to be vessel’s of His grace in the world? Paul tells us in vs. 25b-26.
“God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”

 

Here is the purpose Paul gives us for us being vessels of God’s grace. God wants to use us to lead others to repentance and faith in Christ. It is God’s great desire for people who are far from God will come to know God through our love. That is what Paul is saying to Timothy and us. We exist as vessels of God’s grace in the world so that people who are far from God will come to know God.

 

God has set you apart to reach people who are far from Him. What do you do every day? You may not like your job, but you are a vessel of God’s grace in that place. You may not like your boss, but you are a vessel of God’s grace to your boss. You may not like your school, neighbors, roommates, or the cultural context you are in, but you are a vessel of God’s grace for those people. You, my brother or sister, have been set apart to be a vessel of God’s grace in the world.

 

Listen Christian, you cannot save the world, nor are you called to. But you can be a vessel of God’s grace…and God can save the world. You can be a drop of love in an ocean of hell. God did not save you to SIT, He saved you to GO!

 

So GO! Go and be a vessel of God’s grace. Go and be a vessel of God’s love! Go and be a drop of love in an ocean of hell. Go advance the Kingdom of Heaven. Be a vessel and pray that many will come to repentance.

About the Author 

Louis Tamburro is married to his beautiful wife Andrea and they have three children Noah, Caleb, and Tenley. He has a Masters Degree in Divinity and a Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary. Currently he is the Lead Pastor of a new church plant called Vessel located in Oviedo, FL.

 

From James

My pastor, friend and partner has hit a biblical theme that my friends will recognize – the vital biblical mandate to intimately connect personal piety with Christ with the mission of Christ in the world. Hence, the foundational verse of FollowOne is Mt. 4:19, “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

 

Cruciform Music  - This Month's Featured Song

"Carry Your Name" by Christy Nockels

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