There really cannot be too much emphasis on the great work of missions. I remember, as a young teenage boy in my dad’s church, when we had our Faith Promise Missions Conference how those giants for God came to our little Indiana town. They came with their families and stayed in the homes of our church members. I recall one morning dad told us boys (all three of us pastors now) we were going to help get them a set of tires. I remember those weathered and worn old cars those missionaries would drive! Most of the time they were not roadworthy or even safe but on they logged thousands of miles for the Master! The missionary stood with tears as my dad would do whatever possible to help keep those warriors for the gospel on the road and on the way to the field of His calling. I watched as out of our own poverty we gave and it seemed there was never a limit of what we would do. To my father, as a pastor, and for his church, he saw the role he played as a vessel. His chief function was to be part of getting the gospel to every people group and nation on earth. My rearing was very clearly all about being used of God as a vessel for His purpose and glory.
The Apostle Paul was instructing the young pastor Timothy on his endurance as a “good soldier” and on his diligence as an “approved workman” in 2 Timothy 2. Later in the chapter Paul bears down on the importance of doctrinal and relational purity (16-18; 23-26) but then adds a description of our chief role, a vessel (20, 21)
Look at the 20th verse, “But in a great house…he shall be a vessel…” We are to be a useful vessel in a great house! “There are some to honour, and some to dishonor” and leaves for us all to consider the type of vessels are we! Paul urges us to purge ourselves of the dishonorable (21) and to be transformed unto a vessel for the usefulness of the Master. There is no doubt the “great house” is referring to the local church made up for the Master’s use. What use? It is given five times in the New Testament (Matthew 28:19,20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8) the Great Commission!
Ours is a singular mission and reason for living- to be used of God. For His glory and for His purpose. We are but vessels and may we consider the importance of our usefulness and willingness to be used as He gives breath!
Our firstborn child Eric Jon was called to preach as a young boy. He gave himself to serve the Lord and at age 18 went off the Bible College. He spent three months there and we watched as he developed as a leader and into a fine young servant of God. Eric graduated from his Christian school and was asked to sing at his commencement. He chose a song which was captured on a video recording that has since been very dear to his mother and me, “He Leadeth Me” by Joseph Gilmore.
“He leadeth me, O, blessed thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ‘tis God’s hand that leadeth me.
And when my task on earth is done,
When by Thy grace the vict’ry’s won,
E’en deaths’s cold wave I will not flee,
Since God through Jordan leadeth me.”
This was the last video recording of our son. The Lord took his in a car accident November 28, 2003 at the age of 18 years 5 months and 9 days.
You only have one chance at this life. Live your days as a vessel for the Master’s use, a vessel in the hand of the Potter.