There's Joy Inherent In Self-Discipline
II Timothy 2: 20 - 22
JESUS CHRIST spoke of His followers as being IN the world but not OF the world.
JESUS CHRIST prayed, "Now I am no longer in the world, but these are IN the world... Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me" (John 17:11).
He then said, "They are not OF the world, just as I am not of the world" (John 17: 16).
If you are a professing Christian, remember that. Much stability comes from knowing Christ has personally prayed that prayer for you and the Father is willing to grant the Son's requests if we allow Him to.
In our day we need Him to "keep" us. That is, to guide guard, and govern in our lives.
II Timothy 2: 20 - 22 gives a practical application of a lifestyle that is sure to prevent boredom and provide joy.
Like a spelunker exploring the wonders of caverns in an underwater cave, let's look into this helpful text.
I. COMMIT YOURSELF VS. 20
Two types of articles in a large home are used to describe two types of people. Unlike inanimate, lifeless objects that have no power of choice, you have the privilege of choosing which type you want to be.
One is described as a "vessel of honor," that is, a noble one, and the other as a "vessel of dishonor, ignoble."
Using that analogy, which had you rather be, a silver dish containing your master's favorite delicacies or a garbage can?
Most of us live our lives like snapshots. A snapshot depicts a specific moment. A video of movie film shows the entire scene. With our snapshot mentality we tend to think short term of our day to day existence. However, think summarily of your life in total, like a video of your life story. Overall would you like to think of it as depicted by the vessel of honor? It can be if that is your commitment. So begin by committing yourself.
II. CLEANSE YOURSELF VS. 21
We are encouraged to cleanse ourselves of things and persons that might be classified as a "vessel of dishonor." Don't hang with them. Close association with the wrong element can lead to contamination. This is essential if you are going to be IN the world but not OF the world.
There are three aspects to the cleansing process. We must be:
A. "Sanctified" Has it ever occurred to you to ask why the Lord didn't take you on to heaven the moment you were saved? You will never be more worthy of heaven than in that instant you stood cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. In that moment you were JUSTIFIED.
From that moment and the time you get to heaven when you will be GLORIFIED, you are in the perpetual process of being SANCTIFIED.
Those who are justified by faith in Christ are thereafter in a life long process of being sanctified. Don't let that word scare you. It means set aside for the Lord's use. Then you are -- B. Useful For The Master
This is a noble expression of a basic human need -- to be useful. Don't you feel best, most fulfilled, when you are use ...
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